by Timothy Toner (10 May 94)
Well, everyone was writing themselves into the world of Darkness. This isn't me, but it's damn close. It's the character I have played since May of 1992, when I started. I think he's neat.
He flew through high school, amazing his teachers who knew he was intelligent, but couldn't reproduce his experiments. College was a brick wall, however. The University of Michigan demanded that he conform to their rules, and if he could not come up with the proper answer, he would not be allowed to make his own.
Doug struggled through college, making only passing grades, but keeping at it. He was close to something new, something profound, and he knew it. A wayward theory he had finally began to bear fruit in independent research. No one was more excited about it that Dr. Sinclair, one of the few sympathetic voices he met at the University.
Then he had the misfortune of showing his work to three grad students, who tore it apart. Four weeks from graduation, the experiment collapsed upon itself. Doug was seconds from a nervous breakdown, when a rich friend offered to foot the bill on a weekend to Las Vegas. Having no other option, Doug agreed. After all, the experiment could wait, right?
The two had the best of times, partying hard, and exploring every nook and cranny of the city. On the final night, both got hammered, and went down the wrong alley. A figure from the shadows smashed Doug against the wall, shoving a rib through his lung. Despite the pain, Doug leapt to his feet, and went after the thing assaulting his friend. The attacker ripped a hole in his throat, and Doug fell hard. He watched as his friend was drained dry.
Before the thing could turn on him, and finish the job, a wolf sprang on it, and chased it off. A beautiful gesture, but it didn't help Doug. He'd be dead in seconds.
Maybe the wolf sensed that. Maybe that's why he turned into a man, a large black male, with scars criss-crossing his face, cradled Doug in his arms, and fed him blood.
As Doug awoke, only one thought remained from that night. _Who._ Who had killed him, had killed his friend? His sire told him it was a Tremere, but that vengeance was an impossibility. The Tremere were all like that. Kill one, and two would spirng in her place. Doug agreed, but in his heart, he knew he wouldn't be satisfied until they all died.
He fell in with a motley troupe consisting of two Ravnos, another Gangrel, and a Malkavian. Their actions sickened him, and after a short while, he left them, to return home.
Two incidents during that time would change him forever. The first was a run in with a vampire biochemist, who managed to synthesize vitae. Doug accidentally took a dose, and found a new clan burning in his veins: Tremere. If he had any question of the rightness of his crusade, God had answered it. He had the power of the enemy in his veins.
The second was during a raid on a powerful Toreador. Caught without a gun, he grabbed a civil war era saber, and killed his first Tremere. He enjoyed the power and grace of the weapon, and took it with him as a trophy. Little did he know, it was the blade Lee surrendered at Apamattox. He nevertheless trained with it, making it his weapon of choice, a decision that served him well.
Soon after arriving in Chicago, a friend pulled some strings and landed him a job as a professor at U of C. There, he tried to continue his work, but the dream seemed to have died with him. He nevertheless produced a variety of implements that would make his existence less wretched.
He managed to run afoul of the Prince, and ended up secretly blood bonded, Lodin's ace in the hole. Forced to join another coterie, he clashed with Sullivan Dane, time and again. Their final battle occured atop the raised Michigan Avenue bridge. Dane wielded a sword that would inflict horrendous, incurable wounds on a Kindred. Spotting an opening, Dane lopped off his left hand. This caused Doug to go into a frenzy, and push Dane over the edge.
Horrified, Doug lashed out with Movement of the Mind, and stopped his fall. The sword Dane wielded interfered with his magic, and prevented him from pulling the hunter to safety. He told Dane to drop the sword, or they would both fall. Dane acquiesced, impressed by Doug's selflessness.
Saving Dane bought Doug the unquestioning animosity of every Kindred in Chicago. Lodin knew Doug's potential, and quailed at the though of killing him for breaking the Masquerade (the fight was televised). He exiled Doug, and sent him to New York, to learn about the Sabbat. After all, he seemed to be the only Camarilla City Gangrel in existence.
That was the worst mistake Lodin could make. Doug fought hard to be accepted into the Sabbat strongholds, no one truly believing his tale of being the only survivor of a young nomad pack. Many potential allies died at the end of his blade. In New York, the only thing that saved him when seven brujah descended on him was the sudden appearance of Michael, seneschal to Osric.
Osric knew Doug's game. He offered to teach Doug everything he wanted to know about the Sabbat _and_ the Camarilla. All he had to do was acquiesce to become a Generation Jumper, until a suitable replacement materialized. Given the option of death at the hands of the Sabbat, or joining up, he agreed.
Doug sank into a maelstrom of depravity that even the Sabbat could not rival. He was forced to kill indiscriminately, and only tearful prayers each day saved his soul. To prove himself to the Jumpers, he committed diablerie on a young girl, an action which he regrets to this day.
Because of the bond to Lodin, Osric was unable to fully control Doug, but Osric didn't seem to mind. Instead, as a sign of fealty, Osric forced him to swallow a stone, which would allow Osric to find Doug, no matter where he went.
Soon after, Osric sensed that his control over Doug was slipping. Like Lodin, Osric sensed the untapped potential within Doug, and released him, saying that eventually Doug would return of his own volition. After two years of wandering in the Eastern United States, Doug, only three years old, returned as one of the most potent Kindred in Chicago.
Doug came home to find Chicago in a state of seige between the Camarilla, Sabbat, and Lupines. He, along with Inyanga, created an uneasy peace, only after proving himself by besting a sept guardian in unarmed combat.
His valor redeemed him in the eyes of many Kindred, who realized that they had grown too fat in the Lodin years, and that Hunters like Dane weeded out the weak. He was rewarded with a seat on the Primogen, while Inyanga journeyed to some place called The Wanderer's Hold. The area lupines soon found that they had a sympathetic ear on the council, a vampire with the raw power to make his opinions stand.
His domain is vast, stretching from Indianapolis to Cairo, IL, to St. Louis, to Madison, WI where he has made good friends with the local Anarchs. He has also made life friends with a pack of lupines in Champaign, IL, a hotbed of Technomancer activity. He often must prove his prowess against a lupine who does not understand the prowess of a Wyrmspawn. Kenton always sends them off with a good drubbing, for good measure.
If the tale ended here, then Kenton might have been truly happy. Of course, that was not the case. On a trip to Champaign, Kenton stopped at a bar to visit an old friend. While there, he ran into Dr. Sinclair, at a convention. Or, rather, a Convention.
Sinclair seemed shocked and joyful over Doug's reappearance, until he noted the pale pallor, and cold flesh. Before Sinclair could retreat, two of Sinclair's colleagues approached Doug, and began asking probing questions. By the end of the night, they knew all.
Sinclair visited Doug the next day, and apologized. He explained that it was all right, that his colleagues knew about vampires, and indeed needed a friend in Chicago. Lodin had made certain alliances that were invalidated with his untimely death. Sinclair showed Doug documents which proved his case. He then asked if Doug would continue the alliance, in an unofficial capacity. Unable to refuse the one teacher who had shown him kindness in his college career, he agreed.
He was then told of the Technocracy, who were trying to protect humanity from creatures like the Sabbat and the Tremere. Indeed, Doug was being groomed for the Technocracy in college, but seemed unable to grasp the Paradigm. Now, the true Magick would be forever denied him. However, Sinclair did note that Doug was fated to gain magick in some form; the Tremere blood in his veins proved that.
So far, Doug has not been called on by the Technocracy. He has been fed a potent line that the Traditions are a true menace, keeping reality flexible enough to allow monsters like the Sabbat to exist. Given enough time, the Technocracy's Magick will allow them to turn Doug back, but the Traditions will never all that to happen. THe most damning evidence the Technocracy offered Doug contained a note on the final days of the Hermetic Order, linking the Order of Hermes directly to the Tremere. Old hatreds die hard, and never in a vampire.
Doug Kenton, then, Primogen Regent for Clan Gangrel, is a pawn in a very dangerous game. Not only does the Technocracy hold sway over him, but the simple stone Osric forced him to swallow was no ordinary stone. Instead, it was permeated with three of Osric's bps. It was designed to be released when Lodin's bond failed, and each point was slowly released over three nights, effectively blood bonding him. Doug has no idea how many Kindred he will take down when he falls. But the Technocracy and Osric know very well.
Currently, it is rumored that, moving at opposite ends toward a common goal, the Tecnocracy and the Generation Jumpers are grooming Kenton for the Princedom. The thought of a four-year old vampire ruling Chicago is amusing to Osric, and the Technocracy likes a Prince enamored with science. Chicago could very well be theirs in a matter of years.
Of course, that was part of the plan. He asked for two channels to run both sides of the blade. Along these, he welded leads, and imbedded a small but powerful battery. With a flip of a switch, the blade went to 1000F, enough to cause horrendous wounds to Kindred and Lupine alike. This, above all things, is his ace in the hole. Few know about this ability, and live to tell about it. (Diff 6, Damage Str+4(+1 Aggr)
Subsequently, he began to use a "stun rod" to paralyze his victims, but this proved too unwieldy. However, as he was taking fencing lessons, he noted the mesh on the fencing gauntlet, with slight modifications, would carry a current rather well. Running the leads through his sleeve, Doug could now touch someone, and knock them unconscious. It has made hunting MUCH easier. (Diff 3, Damage 5. Regain HL / 5 min.)