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Mistakes were Made


Location: Loom General Hospital

Time: 7am

Joint post between Fallenreaper and I.


Matthew stood up from where he'd been slouched in one of the waiting room seats, rolling to his feet with loose-limbed grace. He had watched Officer Norton enter, dither, and get what he was asking for. He had heard every word of the exchange between Norton and the woman.

He could hear - well, he could feel it more than actually hear - the officer's heart practically quiver with his nervousness, despite the calm facade he was maintaining. Norton was far more jumpy than he should be for an FBI agent here on legitimate business, and the FBI seemed unlikely to be involved in a mere 'burglary gone wrong'. Either this man was trouble, or he was here about the supernatural side of things.

The vampire stepped up to him. "Why are you here about Holly?"

------

Robert tilted his head slightly. Slowly, his index finger rose to push his glasses’ further up on his nose bridge before he addressed Matthew. Already he identified the man as being beyond human causing him to follow his Bureau training. His words held an air of caution.

“Are you related or a family friend of hers? Ms. Knight’s attack is one of several under investigation currently,” He politely explained, but gave no additional information. Subtly he was sizing the man up as a potential threat.

------

"Not exactly a close friend," Matthew replied easily, "but concerned, nonetheless." The nervous little man was definitely here because he was in the know, judging by how his nerves were ratcheting up another couple notches. His own relaxed poise had not changed, and Wee Willy had brought him fresh clothes, so he was as neat as he pleased, but reassuring anyone out loud that he was no threat was unlikely to help. "There have been other attacks? Dear God." No lie at all, in any of his words, no lie to the alarm and displeasure in his voice. He hoped the monster he had killed was the only one.

-----

Robert subtly nodded. It was obvious he was having a hard time believing the man’s claim, especially when Matthew was out here in the waiting room and his connection was still vague in his answer. Carefully Robert adjusted his shirt collar in a nervous gesture then cleared his throat.

“Yes. This is why I have to speak with Ms. Knight. I need to know if her case relates to the other incidents,” Robert explained then added, “if it does, we can possibly learn about the culprit and put an end to his rampage.”

----

Matthew smirked. "Wrong answer," he whispered, an amused edge to his tone. A quick glance about showed that no one else had noticed their conversation yet, but still. "Why don't we go somewhere we won't be overheard, and you try telling me who you really are, or we can call the police directly and find out that you aren't actually on the case. Let's try, say, the cafeteria, if you're afraid of anything untoward happening." He paused. "Think of it as interviewing a different witness first."

---

“More like a suspect,” Robert muttered coldly.

His expression seemed unchanged or influenced by the fact the creature before him knew he was lying. His hand gripped his baggage while he gestured with his other for Matthew to lead. A hint of wariness was still slightly in his muscles.

“After you. I will say this, I’m pretty sure Ms. Knight’s file would’ve mentioned her having associations with an individual like yourself.”

---

"It's too early in the day for you to flirt with me like that," Matthew returned fire amusedly, already turning away.

7am in the morning meant that the cafeteria was doing a brisk trade - mostly in the way of coffee. Matthew slumped into a seat at a table surrounded by empty tables, propping his head up on one arm; he wasn't actually all that tired yet, but it never hurt to play-act a little, and it had occurred to him that he'd been up and about since dusk the previous day, and might be a little bit tired. "Would you like a coffee? No? Then introductions, to start. You can call me Stanford."

---

Robert shook his head at the offer when given the chance finally, “No, thank you.”

His figure casually slid into the seat across from the demon before gradually relaxing. His hands were positioned in front of him on the table top and left idle for the moment.

“Mr. Norton,” Robert repeated the exact name given at the desk. There was no hesitation or caution in his tone while he leaned back, waiting for the demon to lead the conversation.

---

"Mr Norton," Matthew repeated, mimicking him with a hint of mockery, "why don't you start by telling me what position it is you hold, that I should be speaking to you at all."

---

“If you insist on being childish, we can end our business right now. I have more important things to worry about then being mocked,” Robert said, knowing he didn’t give the proper title of Special Agent at the beginning.

He didn’t consider this conversation important and it wasn't helped by the demon’s childish behavior. In fact, the mockery had begun to rub away at his patience causing him to adjust slightly. His eyes glanced to the ticking clock positioned over the exit. The seconds counted down gradually for a few moments before Robert returned his attention back to the demon. There was a hint of frustration, but he held his temper in check.

“To be truthful, you’re not the one I want to talk with. It’s Ms. Knight,” Robert made a point to remind Matthew his true reason for being here, “Most of the time when someone like you is involved, you're usually the cause of it in some manner.”

His words were meant to cut at the root of what Matthew was. A hand had already dipped out of sight and rested on his handgun, filled with silver and a combustible material able to mimic sunlight. The bullet type was standard issue for all Bureau agents because it could damage a wide range of demonic species. An important factor when it came to a race whose evolutionary path was nothing but pure chaos. With demons, no matter how friendly, it was best to be safe rather than sorry every time.

“Now, you can either hinder or help my investigation. Either way, I’m getting my answers. The choice of how is up to you,” to prove his point, Robert rose from his seat then made to leave.

------

Matthew straightened up, folding his arms and leaning back in his seat to look up at the other man. "I killed the monster that would have killed Ms. Knight," he said coldly, all trace of levity gone. "But no, I'm not the person you want to talk to, am I?"

---

“Cooperation gets you farther than beating around the bush,” Robert stated bluntly, being honest. There was a hint of tiredness in his voice as he released his hand from resting on his gun.

Reluctantly, he lowered himself back into his seat, “Since you’ve killed it, what was it?”

---

Matthew discarded a couple of responses he could have made about honesty and cooperation. "I don't know." He paused for a moment, finding the words. "It was humanoid in form. It cloaked itself in shadows, but when injured by silver it revealed itself to look like a white-skinned man with sharp pointed teeth. I think it was there for her flesh and blood. It was unusually strong and fast, and its touch was literally ice-cold. It could speak, with grammar and mockery, but it could not think further than its prey."

---

"Sounds like a young Wendigo," Robert commenting revealing the Bureau had suspected the species for a bit now. Slowly his figure leaned forward, his hands cupped over underneath his chin as his thoughts rushed around in his mind.

"Was there anyone else that saw this creature? Logic would indicate her neighbor did, but I'm not jaded enough to be a pessimist yet."

Robert waited to hear Matthew confirm or deny his suspicions first.

---

"He saw it," Matthew confirmed. "She saw it. No one else, so far as I know. But I did not know about the other attacks. I know nothing about wendigos beyond what I have told you about the one I killed just short hours ago. So I do not know who else, if there was anyone else."

---

"Great...," Robert sighed then leaned back in his chair causing it to squeak, "So why did you stick around? You knew the Bureau would be coming and investigating this incident. It's not exactly a secret among your type."

His tone held genuine curiosity in it as he studied the demon before him. His arms had fallen into a crossed position over his chest and seemed they were comfortable there.

"Especially since being there at all immediately put you at risk of being a suspect and possibly detained on sight."

---

"Being there at all meant I could not stand by and let the creature slaughter her." Never mind that Matthew might have done such a thing himself, once upon a time. "I chose to stay because I'd like to know if she's fine."

He took a deep breath. "But more importantly, I wanted to meet whoever came to investigate. 'My type', as you say, aren't one big happy family trading gossip. 'My type' usually stick to themselves, and this city is a big, dangerous place where everyone keeps things to themselves. I need information. I need connections. 'Your type'," he let amusement turn up the corner of his mouth for a moment, "is at least slightly more likely to look kindly upon me than some would-be bounty hunter."

----

“A demon with a heart,” Robert stated calmly.

His figure settled backward, relaxing finally and glanced at the clock a second time. Weighing his options in his head, Robert finally came to one that was suited to the situation.

“Well, I will admit your decision is unusual. Usually, your type is chosen through different channels rather than simply looking for it,” Robert continued as he tried to phrase his words more delicately, “You will go through an intense interview and they will have extreme expectations of you. Mostly to see if you’re- to put it bluntly, see if you’re a worthy asset. Failure to meet any of it could result in you vanishing completely.”

After a pause, he then added, “Knowing this, are you sure you still want to do this?”

-----

Matthew blinked. ".... I'm not sure I'm specifically looking for employment. And I'm certainly not sure about this do-or-die Sorting Hat. But let's say I'm cautiously interested."

-----

“The Bureau has to be careful who they are associated with. We aren’t exactly well-liked among a few groups, including your kind,” Robert stated politely, unfazed by the demon’s reaction.

He checked the clock again then went on, “The interview serves as a way to both establish what type of individual you are, how reliable your information is, and any possible trouble in your past. Some individuals have tried to use the Bureau as a shield against hunting Angels, a fact that is unacceptable or tolerated.”

Robert leaned over the table but kept a firm distance between the two. A respectable one, "I question a lot about this series of events like how you and Ms. Knight know each other. You sidestepped my question on that."

-----

Matthew rolled his eyes. "Because I don't know her, obviously. Rampant paranoia being what it is in our side of the world, and a man seemingly stalking a woman being what it is in any decent part of the world, I wasn't going to say that when I still want to get close enough to find out how she's doing. Sometimes coincidences do happen. Now, given how you keep looking at the time, perhaps we can save the preliminary interview for later. You do have other witnesses to interview and a creepy, exsanguinated corpse to arrange disposal for, after all."

-----

“Truthfully, stalking is the mildest of odd behaviors I've seen. And you're not the first to happen to be near her location,” Robert said, subtly hinting that this wasn't the first time a demon had been caught stalking the woman. Thankfully the first time she was blissfully unaware of its presence and there had been connecting evidencing she was the cause. At least until now.

He casually lifted upright from his seat, staring at Matthew for a moment, “Yes, unfortunately, I have limited time to investigate her and her neighbor. This was a long time actually coming so it’s the perfect opportunity. How or where can I get a hold of you, Mr….?”

-----

"Stanford," Matthew filled in, patting his pockets for a pen. He found one, but nothing to write on except a napkin; he carefully wrote down his current handphone number on it. "Not that I'll be going far, honestly," he said with a smirk. "I'm going to be lurking right outside waiting to bug you about them."

-----

"As long as you don't try to eat me, I'll accept that," Robert commented. He took the napkin before saying his goodbyes then walked out of the cafeteria, heading toward JP's and Holly's rooms.




Mistakes were Made


Location: Holly’s Apartment

Time: 3.07am



Matthew's current victim tasted disgusting, which was the final proof that it was not human, or at least not human anymore. If he had wanted any further proof, which he did not.

Strictly speaking, the blood tasted like.... well, like blood: the sharp salt-and-iron tang, the gravy-like consistency of it that was thin yet sticky, the way the scent hung heavy in the air. But there was an intangible foulness to it that he did not quite have the vocabulary for, akin to the way many people recognised a wrong merely by the gnawing sense of wrongness. It was the wrongness of devouring a fellow demon, of seeing a tiger feast upon another tiger. Having had a great many years of experience with the taste of blood, he further knew that this creature fed upon humans too, and had indeed done so very recently; it was in the hints of sweetness upon its breath as it gasped its last, in the particular, equally intangible richness of what he was swallowing. Blood was blood no matter what being it came from, and blood was life.

The vampire held his prey tight in their grotesque embrace and drank deeply, spitefully, and resolutely ignoring the heavenly fragrance that sang at him from the crimson stains on the floor.

A subjective eternity - or a couple minutes - later, Matthew let the corpse slide off his knives; the wet sound of his blades coming free and the hard thud of the body hitting the ground making a single ugly snatch of noise. He found the wounded woman and her friend next door, both passed out on the living room floor; he had overheard the man talking - his handphone was on the floor, screen lit up with the still-ongoing call - and his panicked exclamations over his friend. More importantly, he'd also sensed a flaring-up of power, and now that he was paying attention properly he could feel it, he could smell it, power humming in the veins of both humans helpless before him, though the woman still had the more striking presence by far. Perhaps it had been what had attracted the dead monster to her, just as it had Matthew.

He shrugged off the thoughts and acted.

He cleaned his knives; carefully, without making skin contact with the silver blade. Slide Contempt back into its sheath, tuck it away within his coat. Silver knife on the counter, within reach, judt in case, and because when 'help' arrived they would expect to find a knife, on account of the wounds on the corpse.

Wash hands. And mouth. Can't do anything about the stains on his shirt. Dark green turtleneck; it wasn't all that obvious, at least. He knew his own injuries were superficial and already healing. Tug his coat sleeve over his wrist, cover the frostbite that would be hard to explain.

Check on the unconscious people again. Their pulses feel - and sound - steady, and she didn't look at all like she was bleeding out despite the quantity of drying blood. So much blood soaked that makeshift bandage, he was sure even the humans could smell it, thick and heavy with salt and life. He didn't dare undo the bandage anyway.

Check the corpse for identification, for any clue of what or who it was, anything else of note.

He didn't pick up the phone call. Let them come; mundane police would be at a loss to explain the whole scene. People in the know would help cover it all up, and Matthew was confident of his ability to either not seem to be a threat, or failing that, make his escape. People in the know would definitely get involved, and he wanted to meet them. He had had enough of wandering aimless about Loom.

Pulling out his own phone, he went over to the nearest window and looked out, trying to get a glimpse of a street sign. "Hello, William." He didn't usually call the boy by his actual name, and he wondered if dear little Willikins had picked up on it. "I'm going to need you to come out here and back me up however, because...."
With its back to Matthew, it missed the vampire catching himself and coming back for another round. Holly’s struggling slowly started to cease as she lost more blood. The sense of her weakness drove its instincts into ripping the flesh and devouring it, further distracting it. Its jaws tightened, then began to pull away. Before it could tear her throat out, its mind caught the vampire’s approach. Its torso jerked to the side to avoid the first blade. A single arm snapped out to catch the silver blade’s hand, its momentum brought to a stop just centimeters from slicing into its flesh.

However, Contempt had found its mark.

A new, indescribable pain rippled across the area just below its shoulder blade. Its jaws released Holly, allowing her to step back and crumple to the floor. Its eyes turned to face Matthew as it gave a shriek in protest. The other arm whipped out to claw at Matthew’s face, hoping to force the vampire back.

But Matthew was already turning with it, trying to stay behind it. He tore his right hand free of the monster’s grasp, and made to drive the silver blade into it again, aiming just under its armpit.

As for Contempt, buried to the hilt in its back - the black blade did not glow, nor pulse with a tangible sense of power, nothing so crude; its owner knew if its greatest gift was ineffective, or when it had worked.

It didn’t take long to notice its movements had slowed to disturbingly close to human levels. It took, in fact, a mere second, as it tried to twist away from its assailant - and what should have been a shadowy blur of movement became ineffective thrashing. The silver knife glanced off, and then Matthew threw his arm around the being, stabbing it in the chest. The monster shrieked, an inhuman, sibilant sound that nonetheless conveyed agony.

They stumbled backwards together, its claws scoring bloody scratches on the vampire’s cheek as it tried to strike at him; he awkwardly managed to pin its left arm with his own as he reached around and drove Contempt into its guts.

Matthew bared a set of sharp white teeth - finally, finally - tore into its neck, and drank.
Mistakes were Made


Location: Holly’s Apartment

Time: 3 AM




It was faster than him; Matthew bared his teeth in a snarl as it wrenched his left hand off course, its unyielding grip accompanied by freezing cold so intense that it burned. His silver knife in his right hand still struck flesh, though, and even as the being hissed at him, the shadows faded back briefly to reveal blood-streaked white skin and ice-blue eyes and a strangely human face, alight with a delighted, vicious hunger.

So silver does hurt you. Good. His own self-control was impeccable; his teeth were still human, his knives were still gripped tightly, even Contempt in his frost-burned grasp.

They strained against each other for a moment. Someone behind - that human man who had shouted for them to freeze, as if any being like them would heed him - flicked the lights on, and with a parting threat, the other monster shoved him backwards, darting away.

Matthew staggered - keep your arms out, don't stab yourself in the face - found his footing, and as the shadowy attacker seized the woman in its grasp, the tangy scent of blood springing sharp into the air, he was right behind it again, slamming each blade into its flanks, one under each of its arms.

-what do you mean 'food shouldn't fight back', you pathetic- -clearly never been gored by a bull before-
My new work-in-progress CONTRIBUTION TO SHENANIGANS.

If his ability to be a threat to everyone else is a concern, that's because he's meant to be so very, very powerful and dangerous XD. What keeps him in check, aside from the usual threats of a battalion of angels come to vanquish evil, would be his own nature (and my desire for a good story)(and his desire for a good story, too). He's emphatically not the go-forth-and-conquer kind; he's the equivalent of the witch in the hut you make questionable deals with, whom you would never ever cross because God only knows what might happen.

Revek (from Solus' sheet) might be related to Mr Sharp here. Apprentice? Offspring? Wannabe rival?

Matthew got Contempt from him. No, Matthew is not going to talk about what he paid.


Name: The King of Swords / The Smith / Mr Vulcan Sharp / etc.

Age: A construct and a number. Very, very old. Time abyss.

Gender: Male, most of the time.

Race: Demon

Sub-Class: Hellion. Demon lord. Fae. Shapechanger. Iron-kissed.

Description: Humans, if they meet him at all, see a middle-aged man with worn, calloused brown hands and night-black eyes. He might be behind the counter of an antiques shop, or dining alone in a restaurant so prestigious the bill for each meal is more than the entire monthly salaries of some people. His clothes are not nearly as notable as the accessories glinting on his person - one of those watches all of silver, with even the band made of thick links of metal; fine chains around his neck, tucked down his shirt, or perhaps one bears a pendant of an iridescent gem; studs in his earlobes; a filigree pin upon his lapel. The effect is of an exceedingly wealthy eccentric. The look in his eye discourages curious questions.

For those with whom he is open to the idea of doing business, Mr Sharp is blunt with his words, but seemingly genial. His face is dark, craggy and harsh; not at all what one might say is conventionally attractive. His clothes are worn, sooty work gear, complete with leather apron and tough boots, though metal still gleams at his throat and from his pockets and perhaps even piercings in skin. He may limp as he walks, as if his legs aren't quite right; come to think it, his eyes are misaligned, his nose crooked - but those broad shoulders and bony-knuckled hands seem like they might crush the life from you with ease anyway.

He always speaks the truth; perhaps not the truth entire, and not clarified for the listener, but it is always the truth. His word is his bond. Whether this is a law he cannot break, or a choice he has kept to, only he knows, but so it is. What this usually means is that if he states that he will kill you unless you show some respect, rest assured it is no idle threat. The King of Swords makes no idle statements; he can be alarmingly mercurial in his mood, from whimsical cheer to the pedantic comprehensiveness of a lawyer, from cold fury to unmoving stoicness, but take nothing he says lightly.

Most importantly, mistake none of this for human morality or common decency. He does not feel mercy, only a curiosity towards your behaviour which he chooses to indulge. He is interested in humanity; your pain will do as well as your pleasure. He may even be emotionally invested concerning particularly intriguing individuals; do not expect that he will give without taking, that he will value you as more than a pretty bauble, or that you will linger in the memories of this great immortal as more than a pebble upon a long winding coast. He may remember each and every stone upon that rocky beach, but do not hope for more than that. He would be disappointed with your foolishness.

Affairs: His history does not matter; it is by and large well beyond mortal ken, irrelevant to the current day and age, not to mention none of your business. A selection of notable facts, instead.

He has a brother. One much more inclined to politics, to wealth and human economics, to power and its maintenance. They do not like each other, but they have a mutual understanding; each has use for the other, each has not yet had a reason to turn upon the other, and each finds that they like others even less than they do their sibling. As demonic familial relationships go, it's positively heartwarming.

His personal interests are challenging projects and interesting people. The opportunities to feed his appetite - a portion of the essence of any being killed by metal he has charmed, or those bargained away to him - is an enjoyable side benefit. He deals in information and favours as well as his metalcraft, though he much prefers the latter to the former two. Souls in trade are so last-season; he likes irony, and setting the kind of price men willingly accept, even for what they hoped never to sell.

What has drawn him to visit Loom? He's hoping to answer that question, himself. One of the likely answers might involve a particular half-born he's dealt with before.

Abilities/Skills: The King of Swords, as befits his preferred title, is known first and foremost for his skill at forging exceptional blades. He can imbue a weapon created by his own hand with powerful enchantments and horrid afflictions, and any such sword or dagger is a perfectly balanced, ever-sharp and nigh-indestructible killing tool, not to mention beautiful to look upon, if he so desires.

There is a catch, of course. There always are. Especially when one is of the broad and ill-defined category of demonkind known as fae, who if they have only one thing in common, have in common an appetite for that which they can win away by bargain or trickery.

He does his best work when it is for another, as part of a deal struck. There are other concerns; he can make a sword by simply taking a lump of steel and shaping it with his will, but such careless use of essence can tire even a power such as him. It is better to smelt the ore and forge the blade by more mundane means, saving his attention and strength for working gifts into the metal. And of course, it doesn't have to be a weapon; he is a smith of unparalleled skill, who can work any metal, to any end, given the time, material and incentive. So few people think to ask for something more inspiring.

His knowledge of metals, of course, is without equal. Their physical and magical properties, the places they may be found and the value assigned them by humans, by angels and demons. The traces of metals in the earth hum to him, and the nails and screws in the walls sing; he can pinpoint each and every piece in any given building teeming with men, down to the coins in their pockets, and then if he wished he could collapse the building upon them.

As part of his powers, naturally, the Lord of the Forge is immune to the burning touch of silver and gold that plagues so many of Hell's denizens. Fire and heat cannot harm him either. What he is susceptible to are the protective plants, the woods and herbs of warding efficacy - rowan, rosemary, St. John's wort, and so on. Weave your charms of protection with vine and cloth, and bring no metal on your person.

Less well-known, but still not the most well-hidden of knowledge, is his nature as a shapeshifter. The Smith takes on the form he needs so that he may craft as he wishes, or to present the right face to the right individual; he is confined to a humanoid structure, but the details sometimes leave a great deal to be desired, if one desires anatomical accuracy or consistency. And this is of course a choice; he could appear handsome, even stunningly beautiful, if he wished (he does not wish). Neither is he is in the habit of taking a shape which is sharp of tooth and quick to battle, but it is not beyond him.

And in addition to all this, the King of Swords is a demon lord - he is old as the archangels, with all the experience and cunning to match; he can command the service of a multitude, who give him their souls in exchange for secrets of the forge, or weapons which are proof against their own foes; he is mighty enough to be a plausible contender for the throne of Hell, had he any interest.

Notable Belongings: Easier to ask what he doesn't own. He does not own the world, no country nor notable territory. He does not own any sentient being, though quite a few people may protest otherwise, for he owns things they hold so dearly that the distinction is merely academic. There are a great many items of power out there which he wishes he owns (and many more that he does).

For the immediate situation, he owns an elegant penthouse apartment in a very exclusive condominium in an exclusive neighbourhood, a very nice limousine, a motley assortment of staff, and far too much metal.
Mistakes were Made


Location: Holly’s Apartment

Time: 3 AM




Matthew's curiosity was getting the better of him.

Of course, Matthew had a long and colourful history of letting his nature get the better of him, whether it was hunger, pride or sheer pettiness, but this one was probably the highlight of the decade for him.

Namely that he had followed a police officer home without her knowledge, and was now possibly playing hide-and-seek with something else that might have also followed her home.

Matthew had not seen such a being before, which was pretty worrisome on its own. He had been peering in at one of the windows - and seen enough to convince him that she was definitely mostly human for now, if maybe a little too intense - when the hum of life around him had flickered. Sorting out the ripples of emotion and intensity was not easy, and had become especially tricky since he'd come to Loom, but close proximity helped. Whatever this was, it was nearby. He had abandoned his perch to scout around the block and back, stepping a lot more lively given the seemingly deserted street, and when he leaped lightly back up to check on the woman he discovered the thing had in fact slipped inside.

“My, you smell... delicious."

The vampire did not entirely disagree with this statement; she was strong and healthy, and her blood hummed with such power it had been the entire reason he'd followed her all this way. So not the point. though.

“Now, that’s not very nice.”

Yeah, no.

By the time the human screamed, Matthew had tackled the other monster from behind. If 'tackled' was an appropriate descriptor for his ramming two knives into the being while his momentum slammed them both up against the wall. His aim was unerring; Contempt's black blade straight through the back of its neck, the smaller silver knife he'd recently acquired into its back, piercing its heart - assuming this creature had its heart in the same place as the average human.
Name: Matthew Daniel Stanford (current name) / Michael/Mohannad/Mattathias (previous names) I don't use my middle name, please.

Age: 400 years (estimated) It's been a long time.

Gender: Male

Race: Demon(ically-infected human) To be honest, I'm not sure myself

Sub-Class: Vampire The term is much newer than the condition; 'demon', 'accursed', 'bloodsucker', whatever

Description: Lean and spare, Matthew has slightly sunken cheeks, overly prominent cheekbones, and a straight, sharp nose; he's slightly too underfed-looking, but his sharp Eurasian features, combined with that knowing glint in his cloud-grey eyes, do give him a roguish charm. He looks like a man in his mid-twenties, and stands at about 1.65m / 5' 5", with slightly curly black hair worn at almost shoulder length and chestnut-brown skin free of scars or blemishes. He dresses neatly and comfortably in muted colours; long-sleeved turtlenecks, long pants or jeans, in beige and pale grey and blue almost as much as in black. A great deal of black still features, most notably the knee-length longcoat he conceals his knife within. Such warm, skin-concealing clothes are his preferred wear regardless of the occasion, though he has the skill and means to turn out in formal wear suited to the most solemn and lofty events if he must. Must I?

Matthew carries himself with the easy grace of a dancer - or a panther. He's confident in his abilities, and seemingly perpetually amused by the day-to-day quirks of life, almost condescendingly so, but there is something in the genuine curiosity of his questions, in the small, wry smile on his face, something bright and heavy in his eyes, that suggests more. Though his eyes may literally gleam bright in the dark, light reflecting off his tapetum lucidum, which along with the fever-heat of his body are the only true hints of his inhuman truth.

History: Where he was from no longer matters; what his birth name was, what language his parents spoke, who his people were, all of it is as dust in the wind to him. The earliest event of meaning that he will acknowledge remembering, with bitter amusement, was when a demon-touched woman good as killed him by accident, and her brother gave him of their cursed life to try to save him.

Matthew loves Hadrianus like his own true elder brother, but he's not sure if he will ever quite forgive him.

They travelled together for some time, helping each other learn their new lives. Hadrianus was kind and compassionate and disliked not just violence but the very idea of hurting humans; Hava was proud and angry and wanted to be a good person like her brother. Matthew, who had learned to fight even before he got his blood-hunger, who found it deeply unfair that they had never really had a say in becoming what they were, who had never really believed in justice and goodness, Matthew turned from hunting animals to hunting human prey because life was meaningless and dead was dead so he might as well taste sweeter blood.

Hadrianus did not like it, and Hava did not like it, but Hadrianus of the Fortress was the kind of person whose door was always open no matter how much it hurt him, and Hava followed his lead, and Matthew could do what they couldn't because he knew how to fight and run and hide and live, so they argued and acquiesced and split paths and rejoined each other as immortals are wont to do, once they have realised that they have eternity to wait for the other to change their mind.


Why do I have to talk about this?

And here Matthew Stanford is now, in Loom, because here is the hub of the supernatural, lurking behind the doors and beneath the streets, and if Adrian and Haven Castle are to be found anywhere in the world, here they likely will be.

Abilities/Skills: The first and foremost ability of a vampire is that they are usually human in appearance, in all ways save for the fever-warmth of their skin and the cat-brightness of their eyes in the dark. When confronting prey or enemy, however, their fingers may twist into claws fit for rending flesh and their teeth sharpen for tearing bites. This mild physical alteration is voluntary for all vampires save neophytes, of which Matthew is not.

Strength and speed are significantly heightened in vampires, the better for them to hunt their prey, and they usually become stronger and faster with time. Matthew is fast enough that he is a blurred flash over short distances, and strong enough that a brick wall is a minor nuisance. Vampiric resilience is such that he sleeps only about four hours each day, and a donation of blood from a human will satisfy his hunger for about two days, while their regenerative capability is such that few wounds can trouble him for longer than an hour or two. Any injury inflicted by the burning touch of silver or gold, of course, is another matter entirely.

There is something in a vampire's bite that lulls their prey, fogging their thoughts and slowing their reactions. There is something to a vampire's senses, that their hearing is very keen, and faint scents are still sharp to their nose. There are other such subtleties that come with time; Matthew has learned that he can move silently with little care, and learned that he can feel the light thrumming presence of blood in any nearby beings, feel the burning of power within those veins as a warning of difficult prey, and he thinks that with time and cruelty, he might learn to make all that blood do his bidding.

Will I, one day, get to puppeteer people around like Katara and Hama? I can only hope.

But for now he will make do with his skill at the longsword and the knife, with his makeshift skill at small firearms, and with his firm belief in never picking a fair fight. He has a keen enough mind, especially when applied as a mix of careful forethought for a particular goal and bold improvisation, combined with his general thirst for knowledge. He has a sharp eye for reading people, or at least, it takes one liar to know another. And when push comes to shove, he is both very good at causing pain and at enduring pain, because at the end of the day, if Matthew is anything he is a stubborn, remorseless, sadistic bastard.

Notable Belongings: Matthew likes to be well-prepared, and his personal effects reflect it - a Glock 19 tucked into his belt, while two wallets and various pockets contain half a dozen debit cards, significant amounts of cash in three different currencies, travel documents made out to two different identities, a smartphone with nothing truly of importance on it, a small notebook with contacts and notes written in his native tongue, and a couple of spare magazines.

Concealed within his coat is a knife the length of his forearm, with a plain leather sheath and a gleaming black blade. Its name is Contempt, and when it strikes a foe, it carves away at their aura, draining them of the powers that make them superhuman until they can rest, feed and replenish their aura; against a normal human, it is only a knife. The demon-forged weapon takes power from Matthew in order to steal from others in turn; in a prolonged fight the vampire himself will also gradually weaken to human levels. Paid for in flesh and blood, in memory and spirit, Contempt is practically an extension of Matthew; it will burn the hand of anyone else who tries to take it, and will dissolve to ash upon the death of its owner.

More generally, a combination of having found a banker he can trust, decades upon decades of investing his money, and a general accumulation of possessions from cycles of self-indulgence, paranoid planning, and self-imposed asceticism, means Matthew is obscenely wealthy, owns properties in several cities, and actually has concerns with which to occupy his time beyond his search for family and meaning.

I know you want to know where I got Contempt. You shouldn't even know I have it; I'm not a new-turned whelp waving it around waiting to get killed. Suffice to say that I made a deal, the price was fair, I don't recommend the experience, and no, you don't get to know the details.

I also feel that I should mention that this is hardly a comprehensive list of weapons I have access to, much less the actual scope of my wealth. But an exhaustive list of what knives and guns I'm hiding where bores me.


Current Situation: Fairbanks had advised Matthew against venturing into Loom. The city had some interesting local initiatives, but the dangers of so much as a three-day holiday, much less living there for the foreseeable future.... "The city's crime rate is alarming, sir, but that wasn't what I meant. Loom has a certain reputation for attracting the particularly amoral and cutthroat, if you'll forgive my phrasing, and this reputation spans both sides of the masquerade. If you intend to maintain a low profile, it may actually be the more dangerous approach."

But here Matthew had wanted to come, so here he was. With young William in tow, helping him pick out furniture for the new apartment, update him on current affairs, and provide blood once every two months. What the vampire was going to do for blood every two days until the next time was up to him to figure out. There were homeless people in just about every city in the world, so he hadn't worried.

Except now he was revising his opinions. The beggars knew a great deal, as the invisible downtrodden often did, so he hadn't had to worry about surprising them with his inhuman nature, because this was Loom. What did matter was that many of them would have nothing to do with his ilk, not even for food and money, because this was Loom.

So one and a half months since his arrival, Matthew was having to go further and further to find another individual willing to bargain. And then the incident happened.

He'd noticed a police detective who thrummed with power, who was talking to the homeless folk and asking questions. Power he'd only felt up close once before, from an angel. Power he realised that he'd felt faintly throughout the past month, skittering through Loom, that set him on edge. Of course he followed her home, to see if he could learn anything about her.

What he had not expected was to save her from a mysterious assailant.

Since we're going to spill all the sordid details of my life anyway: there's Fairbanks senior and Fairbanks junior. Barnabas Fairbanks is the current patriarch; he'd be the second Fairbanks I've gotten to know, since the first was his grandfather, to whom I first entrusted a not-insignificant portion of my finances. Whole family's in the business of being financial advisors, or wealth managers, or whatever they're calling it these days. Willikins who's following me around is Fairbanks junior, apparently so enthralled by the idea of the supernatural that he volunteered himself as my PA, blood donor and all. His father isn't too thrilled, and frankly I don't quite know what to do with the duckling either. He's efficient, enthusiastic, and so far not particularly squeamish. We'll see.
Work in progress, posting from phone LOL. Done.
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New to this (I have done RPGs before, but not in a while, and am new to this forum), but colour me intrigued.
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