Against All Odds
James R. Smith
Just Your Average Sociopath
James appears to be 26 years of age with short black hair, green eyes, and pale skin. Most of the time he wears a trench coat, black shirts with white designs, black pants, tennis shoes and usually some sort of unmarked baseball cap. He always wears a chain necklace with a .35 caliber bullet pendant. Although handsome, James is currently uncharismatic and displays odd mannerisms that are rather weird and offputting such as mumbling angrily to himself, odd stares and a general hangdog shoegazing demeanor. Despite this, James often speaks courteously and with great politeness to fellow Sabbat. This appears to be a natural personality trait rather than the usual Tzimisce respect for protocol. It’s also in stark contrast to that of his irascible and short-tempered sire, Agatha Landau.
However, James can use his Vicissitude to assume the zulo form. When this happens he becomes a hulking monster with shiny black skin and a face like a jack o’lantern. This causes his clothes to rip to shreds, so he only changes to said form when necessary.
Childhood can be hard. Especially when your babysitter is an abusive uncle who likes to dangle you out a third-story window by your ankles for his own sadistic amusement. Such was the life of James R. Smith as a boy. His emotionally distant parents didn’t believe him when he told them about his uncle’s sick treatment. It was sad, really. The abuse was turning young James into an emotionally withdrawn child who his classmates shunned as a “weirdo”. The abuse finally ended when James was 9 after he pushed his uncle out the very same window he was dangled from. It was easy for James to pass the murder off as an “accident” on the part of his uncle. After all, people don’t usually suspect children of being killers. But by this point, the damage was done. James was an alienated and deeply disturbed sociopath who fantasized about sitting atop a mountain of bloody skulls taken from people he dreamed of killing. But he was smart enough not to kill again, knowing it could eventually lead to his capture at the hands of the authorities. He kept his true feelings bottled up into adulthood as his father trained him in the family business: gunsmithing.
However, it wouldn’t last forever. Agatha Landau eventually noticed James one night as she was out hunting. Originally planning to drink James dry, she took a moment to read his thoughts and thus saw the murderous fantasies in his mind and became enamored of them. She thought to herself, “Perhaps it is time I had a son.” After that, she watched him in secret for several months until she decided to come for him.
When Agatha approached him and detailed what she wished to do to him, James wasn’t at all fearful. He was ecstatic! Her flesh morphing powers were the coolest thing he’d ever seen. He’d also be among people with whom he could be himself. He could hurt and slay people to his complete satisfaction. Indeed, learning the Path of Death and the Soul made a certain amount of murder a requirement.
James has recently taken a childe of his own: Cassandra Wright. He is slowly turning her from a troubled but otherwise normal teenager into cold blooded killer. He has already made her diablerize one of the Baali and she hadn’t even been a vampire for more than a handful of days. Only time will tell if James can help her adapt to unlife in the Sabbat or if she’ll wind up going off the rails completely and need to be put down.
James has also started to become a budding sorceror due to a long process of first learning to read and write the Romanian language of Ivan Zantosa in order to decipher his koldunic grimoire. It remains to be seen if he can achieve his goal of becoming a truly powerful koldun or if he will wind up as a mediocre hedge magician of little finesse and renown. Furthermore, he is being romantically pursued by the Sluagh known as Lilian, much to the chagrin of the other Bloodrunners. While they have been on one “date” which involved breaking the windshields of parked cars and James having tasted her changeling blood on one occasion, it remains to be seen if James truly reciprocates her feelings or if he will tire of her and discard her.