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Baron

An urban pack of Lutetian werewolves

0 · 1,406 views · located in Lornaine Forest

a character in “The Multiverse”, originally authored by RolePlayGateway, as played by Tiko

Groups

Citizens of the Lutetian City State of Issunar

Description

Image
*This Artwork was not created by me. It belongs to voydkessler of Deviantart.
Name: James Guiscard
Alias: Baron
Age: 82
Species: Werewolf
Place of Birth: Lutetia City, Lutetia
Nationality: Lutetian
Occupation: Pack Leader of the Bloodstone pack and proprietor of The Den.
Current Residence: Lutetia City, Lutetia
Family: Ragenard Guiscard (brother), Maxwell Lessard (son)

James is the fourth generation of Guiscard to serve as Pack Leader of the Bloodstone pack. He took up the name 'Baron' two years into his new position and has held the pack for eight years now.

Under his leadership, the Bloodstone pack has flourished in numbers and nearly doubled its territory in the past four years. Unlike many of the Lutetian packs, James is known for taking in mutts - werewolves who contracted lycanthropy via bites, which has served to swell his numbers to a respectable size.

Baron strives to maintain a balance of morality and freedom in the running of the Bloodstone pack, and though he - and those of his pack - are far from upstanding, law abiding citizens, the Bloodstone pack is largely devoid of involvement into organized crime.

Baron is the proprietor of The Den, a bar in Vargeras. Unlike many werewolf establishments, Baron permits humans and other creatures to frequent the bar provided they're not causing trouble for him or his pack. Wolves from rival packs are liable to be stopped at the door though.

So begins...

Baron's Story

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Character Portrait: Baron
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#, as written by Tiko
Baron was seated at his usual table near the back of the bar next to one of the only windows in the establishment. The air was hazy and thick with cigarette smoke which he was contributing to as he took a long drag of his cigarette.

The regulars knew to keep their distance and the immediate tables near his seat where vacant of patrons as he watched the activities of the bar with an aloof look of boredom.

It was late enough in the evening that the sky outside was beginning to grow dark, but some light filtered through the dirty glass yet. The sun wouldn't be set for another hour or so.

Elsewhere in the bar the evening regulars where beginning to fill the room out. They were pack members mostly, but also the occasional biker or trucker was known to pass through. Some scoffed at Baron's willingness to take human patrons into his establishment, but it was his openness to bringing outsiders into his numbers that had allowed his pack to swell until it had claimed a seat among some of the largest packs in the city. They maintained a respectable sized territory in Vargeras, and those who frequented The Den knew better than to openly question Baron's decisions.

He took another drag of his cigarette while he used his free hand to poured himself a glass of whiskey that he had had imported from Llohap.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Lialore
Max was late. And he couldn’t find it in him to care.

He shouldered through the entrance to The Den a solid thirty minutes after his shift was supposed to have started. His hands were in his pockets, chin tucked in, gait sloppy. The haze was disturbed as he stomped in, manner not unlike a teenager who had just been denied his petty little heart’s desire.

Max had good reason enough, so he thought. After selling the last of his mother’s possessions, he’d made his way straight to work. If you could call it ‘selling’, more like; ‘giving away’ or ‘being absolutely conned out of a decent sale by scrounging necromancers.’ His lips twisted at the thought. The beloved piano should have fetched way more than he’d sold it for.

On reaching the counter, he flipped up the section used to gain access to behind the bar then hesitated when his sweep of the bar brought his eyes to a resting spot – Baron’s table. He had to bite back a dramatic sigh, blowing lips and all.

The thought of having to narrate his personally awful day made him uncomfortable. But it wasn’t just that. Meeting the man’s gaze brought more frustration. More feelings of inadequacy. Usually, he’d be able to scorn himself. Rein himself in. Ungrateful, Max. Not today. He was too far gone in the self-pity which his mind had been indulging in, the sale of the piano having been the catalyst.

Snapping the section of the counter back down with a sharp bang, he gathered all the respect he could muster and stepped through the smoky clouds towards the Pack Leader. He’d planned on demanding answers, perhaps throwing in some points about how bad his life was, how he felt useless, like a nobody, like he was fading away…

All that came out once he’d entered Baron’s aura was: “Sorry I’m late.”

His heart jumped up into his mouth. Do it.

“Is-“ Max cleared his throat, balled his hands up at his sides and took a deep breath. “Is there something wrong?” His voice came out sounding exasperated. “It’s been five years. I thought I’d at least get a-“

It came out in a flare of anger.
“Where’s my promotion? Have I not proven my worth? My loyalty? I can't do anything more, Baron, not unless you change me. I want to be something more.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Carlisle Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Tiko
A hush fell over the room as everyone turned their eyes to Max and Baron, and the silence was broken only by the clacking of pool balls that seemed to resound eerily loud in the absence of any other noise, but soon the pool balls fell still also.

Baron took one last drag of his cigarette before blowing it out slowly as he stubbed it out on an ashtray sitting next to him. He followed it with a sip of his glass before he leaned forward to look Max dead in the eye.

"Is that so?" he asked. "Tell me, what exactly have you done for this pack? Get your ass beat down from poking your nose where it doesn't belong? Showing up late to work?"

There was bite to his words, and something about Max's request had riled him. It was difficult to say why though, and he didn't seem intent on sharing his reasoning. Instead he leaned back in his chair and took another sip of his drink before dismissing Max with a wave of his hand.

Another man approached Max from behind and clapped a hand down on his shoulder.

"Come on kid, not tonight," he said as he nodded towards the bar where Max was supposed to be working as of a half hour ago.

The voice belonged to Carlisle, an older member of the pack and sometimes friend to Max. He had been with the Bloodstone pack going on thirty years now, but he wasn't of the local bloodlines and served as something of an oddity. He had in fact found his way to Lutetia all the way from Quelaya.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Carlisle Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Lialore
Baron’s apparent carelessness only infuriated him more. His smooth, time-consuming movements had Max gritting his teeth. He didn’t notice the stares that were turned on them; his world consisted of only himself, his annoyance, and the man who - at the moment - he blamed for it all.

He didn’t just want to be something more.
He felt like he needed to be something more.

From the Pack Leader’s demeanour after his outburst, Max had already guessed what was coming. It didn’t hurt any less. The reality check sent him spiralling back to earth. He felt some shame creeping in at how he’d handled the situation. Still, he held Baron’s regard as best as he could despite the wave of his hand. Max had already hurdled the immediate intimidation; he intended to run as far as he could before it caught up with him. Though he was well aware it could end in a good black eye or a few broken ribs, or worse.

Get your ass beat down from poking your nose where it doesn’t belong?
Where it doesn’t belong?
Doesn’t belong.


The hand that came down on his shoulder reminded him that he had an audience. Max collected himself. Calmer, he continued in a more hushed voice, addressing them both.

“Not tonight? When?” He said, eyes flitting to Carlisle then returned to Baron. It came out in a soft hiss, only slightly venomous.
“You know I wouldn’t get beat down if you made me one of you. I don’t want to, just, be an errand runner; shining your glasses, pouring your liquor. Is that all you saw in me when you took me in?” Max unclenched his hands and turned the palms upwards as his tone grew pained and somewhat pleading.
“This is all I have. Let me make something of it. I won’t let you down.”

He didn’t know if Baron cared. He didn’t know if Baron was even actively listening.
Max lightly shrugged off Carlisle’s good-natured hand and turned for the bar.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Tiko
Baron's glass was slammed down on the table and he was on his feet before Max could turn from him. There was a growl upon his lips as he grabbed Max by the back of his jacket, half shoving, half dragging him towards the cellar door. Jerking the door open, he shoved Max down the steps towards the cold hard pavement below before following him down.

None followed the pair down and Max would find himself alone with Baron in a larger cellar lined with wine racks and casks of alcohol. At the far side of the cellar stood a large cage of sorts that had been partitioned into two cells. It was this that Baron was showing Max as he dragged him back to his feet and shoved his face up against the bars. Even after having been thoroughly cleaned, the lingering smell of bodily excrement was still detectable - as where the signs of rusty blood stains on the bars and pavement of the cell floors.

"Is this what you want?" Baron growled lowly. "Living down here in your own shit and piss for three weeks while your body rips itself apart and you experience the worst possible agony you have ever endured? If the pain doesn't kill you, you'll be wishing it would. And even after you endure all of that, you still might not survive your first turning. Is that what you're asking for?" Baron growled.

He pulled Maxwell back from the cage and gave him a shove back towards the stairs.

"Get out."

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Lialore
Max was literally wrenched out of his self-pity by the scruff of his neck.

He stumbled down the first few stairs which led into the cellar, but he couldn’t regain his balance from the shove and ended up rolling down the last half of the flight ungracefully. Knowing better than to curse or agitate Baron any further, he started to get to his feet in grim silence, without a single complaint. He didn’t have to struggle much as Baron gave him a helping hand by dragging him back up and kindly directing him to where he wanted Max to go with rough hands which mashed his face up against the cage. Now he put up some fight, trying to push his head away from the rusty metal which pressed into his flesh. He didn’t like to think what could’ve come into contact with it. Too bad Baron gave him a lovely poetic confirmation of his badly suppressed thoughts.

That was what he wanted. That was what he was asking for.

How could he explain it? This wasn’t a choice. He couldn’t carry on as he was. For such a long time his life had been nothing but the pack, they were the closest thing to a family he’d ever had, and Max had no one else. His future depended on the pack. His future depended on being turned - or else remain stuck in time. It was what he wanted. He didn’t see why the fact that he could die even mattered when it was his decision, a decision he had made years ago. Besides, why should Baron care so much? Yet here he was, being denied for reasons he thought were unclear. Whether he lived or died, Max believed wasn’t up to Baron. Whether he was a pack member, however, was. And it seemed like Baron had already practically made that decision.

Or so Max had thought.
But he was being deprived of full membership.

Max snarled upon his release, stumbling back a few steps before steadying himself and squaring up.

Get out.
Doesn’t belong.


After a moments quiet, he snorted, both hysteric and infuriated at being - what he believed - led on under false pretenses.
“Guess I really don’t belong.” And never will.

He started up the stairs with his head turned down, shrugging about in his jacket to get it back into position after being manhandled so. Max was planning on leaving The Den for the last time in his wave of deceit.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Snow Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Maxwell Lessard
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#, as written by Script
"Max." A calm and cool voice cut into Max's hearing as he stormed out of the cellar and towards the door. The white-haired Adair - generally referred to as 'Snow' by other pack members, a nickname given to him when he was a kid for the colour of his hair, his pale skin and his arctic origins - fixed the younger man with a cold stare.

"It looks to me by the way you're going for that door, that you're about to do something stupid." The white-haired young man folded his arms and raised a questioning eyebrow, "It also looks like you could use a drink. I'm buying, if you stick around."

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
Baron was shedding his jacket as he returned from the cellar, which was followed quickly by his shirt that was tossed onto the back of a chair.

"I'm going for a run," he growled out.

A few others in the room followed suit in shedding their own clothes. Nudity was par for the course when you hung out in The Den and jackets and jeans hit the floor while bodies twisted and writhed, sprouting fur.

As a wolf, Baron was a massive beast of an animal that stood several heads taller even than a dire wolf - though he wasn't near as large as those of his pack who took on towering bipedal forms. Of course, the hybrids lacked the speed of their quadrupedal counterparts and where less apt to taking an interest in social runs. Tonight was no different as the three that chose to join with Baron appeared as little more than large wolves themselves.

Baron shook himself off and pushed the door open with a wolfish snout before taking off down the street at a lope. Even urban werewolves found patrolling territory easier on four paws with a heightened sense of smell.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Carlisle Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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Ragenard was already halfway through his second bottle of bourbon and the ministrations of one of the newest pack girls who had for some reason taken a fancy to him and helped him clean the silver off his wounds when he heard Baron's call for a run.

By the time he belligerently got up from the booth and untangled from the fussy woman blabbering at him that his wounds weren't clean yet and wouldn't stop bleeding and who knows what else, Baron was already well down the street.

"Sod off, whelping bitch, I'm fine and will run if I damn well feel like it!" exclaimed Ragenard as he began to discard his clothing. Upon noticing the angry expression on the woman he quickly offered up his version of ammends "Ah, don't look at me like that lass. Rough day, and I can't let the boss run off without his second, now can I? as he finished discarding his clothing he added-"Now quit staring at my twig and berries and make sure the clothes and equipment make it to my room!" .

After taking a few glances around, he noticed none of the pack bipeds had made a move, much to his annoyance.


Bruisers! What the fuck do ye think you're doing? We ein't going to let the boss run off without his vanguard! You and you, trous off and off we go! he roared pointing at the two closest bipeds as he began his own grisly transformation.

From a flurry of broken bones, reassembling muscles, and migrating organs came Ragenard's werewolf form.*

Standing just shy of nine feet, the intimidating werewolf was a wall of ripply black furred muscle that could barely be contained by the The Den's roof.*

His appearance was made all the more startling by his sudden move to rip off his own skin where his previous wounds were. In the space of a few heartbeats -filled with much enraged roaring and flying spittle- the now forcibly de-silvered wounds sealed back together.

Knowing his entourage would be behind him, Ragenard stomped off through the door, nearly ripping it off it's considerably reinforced hinges, and adding another score mark upon the finish.

Once outside, rather than sticking to the open ground of the streets like their quadrupedal brothers, Ragenard and the other bipeds used their strength to haul themselves and jump off roof to roof, and before long managed to spot Baron and the others down in the streets alongside their rooftop jaunt.

The setting changes from The Den to Vargeras

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Carlisle Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
Baron gave himself over to the rhythm of his paws beating against the pavement as he barreled out of the doorway of The Den and down the narrow streets of Vargeras with a trio of wolves trailing at his back. It felt good to just get out and run, and to get his blood pumping. with the smells of the city in his nostrils.

The shadows had grown long with the evening hours, but the sun had yet to set and there where still a fair number of evening strollers out for a walk, or heading home from work or dinner, but most of them had the sense to get out of the path of the oncoming wolves. This was Bloodstone territory and the people knew it, wolf and human alike.

He heard and smelled his brother before he saw him, and he threw his head sideway to get a look at Ragenard and Carlisle collding with a slanted rooftop, knocking shingles loose as claws gouged deeply into the wood beneath. His lips curled back to bare his teeth in what could only be described as a wolfish grin before he redoubled his pace.

Lowering his head he was off like a gunshot, barreling through the streets at reckless speeds. The trio at his back picked up the pace, but their smaller sizes lacked the stride length of Baron's massive form, and he was swiftly outpacing them.

The brotherly rivalry was nothing new to the pack though and eventually they fell back one after the other to leave Baron and Ragenard to their juvenile competition. Even Carlisle abandoned the run as he swung over a roof edge to drop down to the pavement with the rest of the pack on the side of the street.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Carlisle Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard Character Portrait: LRX419/A "Wayne"
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“Fuck me, this place is a right shithole.”

A hooded figure lurked in the shadows of an alleyway, swathed in a threadbare overcoat studded with tarnished brass badges and frayed patches. His face was hidden by a faded green hood and the coat's raised collar. From the depths of the hood, a single eye winked. It looked more like a lens than an eye, rotating and contracting as it focussed on the cavalcade of werewolves careening down the street.

He had spoken to one of Vargeras' down-trodden citizens, who had backed deeper into the alley as the wolves thundered past. The hooded figure pulled a packet of local cigarettes from his coat pocket, offering one to his companion.

“Mate, you really need to call the RSPCA. Got a serious wild dog problem...”

The citizen, who had introduced himself as Henri, declined the proffered cigarette and shrugged. “This is why you are here, no?”

A rough approximation of a laugh echoed from under the hood, followed shortly by the whir of mechanical joints as the hooded figure sauntered towards the mouth of the alley.

“Yeah, but no-one said nothing about this shit.” A gloved hand emerged from the greatcoat's sleeve and extracted a crumpled cigarette from the pack. The pack disappeared back into the coat, replaced by a battered zippo lighter with a pair of naked women engraved on it. The cigarette flared, throwing the stranger's face into sharp relief.

Angular and inhuman, it was dominated by a hooded optical array that reflected the light like a faceted crystal. He jammed the cigarette into the narrow slot that passed for a mouth, letting it smoulder. Henri backed further down the alley, cursing and making signs against evil.

“And fuck you too, cunt.” The hooded figure replied, raising two fingers in a reverse “V” sign, before plunging both hands into his pockets and setting out after the charging pack of wolves.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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Lengthening shadows were beginning to threaten to swallow the world while the slowly sinking sun started to relent its vigil as Ragenard and his entourage began to catch up to their brethren down in the street.

While nowhere near as fast at long distance running out in the open as their quadrupedal counterparts, what they lacked in speed they made up in sheer strength, and using this strength to jump, pull, swing, and at places flat out crash through the congested roofttops of Vargeras, they had been able to keep pace.

Until he saw the grin. There was no question in Ragenard's mind about what was going to happen next. From playtime as pups, to settling debts and wagers as young lads, to simply letting tempers simmer down before they were at each other's throats, Ragenard and his brother had always engaged in this little competition of sorts.

A wild and carefree run through the world, no rules, no considerations, no muddling thoughts. Shut up and keep up.

Baron usually won these little contests, but tonight Ragenard had the advantage. He didn't need to navigate twisting narrow streets, nor did he have to worry about turning, evading late afternoon strollers, or crowds. He just had to pick a direction and go, and to hell with everything in his way.

And so he did.

Ragenard barred his fangs and let out a few deep, and resonating yips, letting his brother know he was right behind him before he too redoubled his pace. The world around him because a quickly ignored storm of torn up shingles, roofing tiles, and destroyed wayward fixtures as he begun to madly dash and leap amongst the rooftops of Vargeras.

Almost immediately he stopped smelling his entourage, almost as the same time as he spotted the runners who had just been with his brother falling back, and couldn't help but grin to himself. The pack was strong, the territory large, the influence secured, but in the end, some things never changed.

Vaulting through a church steeple and dislodging the bell there with a loud clang, Ragenard because to catch up with his brother. He was just a bit behind, but this was how it always began, and tonight, it would end with him the victor.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
The scents of the city assaulted Baron as he barreled through the streets without any inkling of reservation. The smell of car exhaust, rotting trash, people, a barbecue... it all mingled together into the conglomeration of odors that made up the city.

Sometimes he didn't mind hitting the forests for a good run, but the city was where it was at. An urban wolf, through and through.

He was panting heavily and his chest heaving by the time they had spilled into the Phantom Quarter where faint whiff of decay clung on the air, and the buildings were rapidly growing more decrepit.

They were pushing the boundaries of their territory, but no packs had staked a claim to the Phantom Quarter. Who would want it anyways? It was home to those who had no home elsewhere. Any wolves living out this way where apt to being loners, driven out of the more developed regions of the city by the local packs.

The setting changes from Vargeras to The Phantom Quarter

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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Ragenard couldn't help but wrinkle his sensitive nose as his headlong run with Baron moved off into the Phantom Quarter. To say the place reeked was to do it a disservice.

Rotting flesh of at least three different species, mildew, waterlogged thrash and burning thrash, feces, blood, and bodily fluids Ragenard couldn't even begin to guess at assaulted his nose along with a hundred other odors firmly in the disgusting olfactory spectrum.

Worst still was the pervasive pall of smoke-stink that dominated over it all, seemingly coming from a large dwelling on fire several blocks off.

Ragenard managed a curious glance over the rooftops that rewarded him with a few firefly's of cinder and smoulder off in the distance as he gave his legs all they had and jumped clear from one side of the street to the other before the world went dark for him.

Unable to support his prodigious weight, the roof of a crumbling ruin that once a million years ago might have passed as a fashionable tower room in a noble's château estate exploded into splinters as Ragenard crashed through it, falling a few stories before he managed to gain solid ground.

Enraged at the prospect of losing the race over an ill-timed tumble, Ragenard simply ran up to and through the nearest wall leading in what he remembered as the last direction Baron had been running towards, breaking several bones in the process and landing in a tangled heap of moldy plaster and rotted wood at street level.

Despite a lot of angry hissing and snarling as his bones re-set themselves and started to mend, Ragenard was relieved to see his gambit pay off by half at the least, as he could now see Baron off ahead by only a dozen or so yards.

Not a win, but at least a decent showing.

With some more snarling and furious wood mauling, Ragenard extricated himself from the debris and howled to his brother, somehow signaling to him with it's piercing tones that he both admitted defeat and that he would appreciate it if his brother stopped being a right bastard and stopped running already.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
Baron had already come to a stop when he heard Ragenard come barreling through a wall somewhere at his back. The scent of smoke had brought him up short and he was scenting the air. There was a fire nearby, and fire would draw fire engines and police. A couple of wolves tearing through the district in the wake of arson was as good a way as any to land them in a police station for questioning.

His skin rippled and writhed as he shed his fur, and a few minutes later a man was crouching in place of the wolf.

He stood and shook his hair out before turning to face Ragenard.

"So what is it this time. Tell me you didn't put Noel in the hospital again."

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
Ragenard gave Baron an exaggerated dismissive wave as he crouched down and began his regression back into his human form.

"That" he groused as he stood up and turned to face his brother, "Was this morning's news, utter horseshit, and I didn't start it."

"For fucks sake, Ragenard," Baron replied in exasperation and irritation. "Do you have any idea the position this shit puts me in?" he asked. “How bad is he?”

Ragenard put on a face of mock contemplation before replying. "Hey, far as I'm concerned, he had it coming talking all of that shit about us. Well, me at any rate." He gave the question of Noel's wellbeing a few seconds of thought before continuing, "Uh. I don't know? Alive? Maybe a few broken ribs, spleen, and who the fuck cares? Guys an ass, James."

“And you wait until now to tell me?” Baron asked. “Does his sister even know?”

"Hey, I wasn't planning on telling you anyways. It was a gentleman's dispute, didn't need pack law figuring into it" growled Ragenard irritably before looking down at his feet. "Uh, and no. I haven't, uh, seen her all day. Buggered off after the fact and caught wind of some blood suckers."

"Well you're alive, so I'm guessing they're not," Baron remarked. "Nothing that'll trace back to us?" he asked.

Baron didn't particularly approve of Ragenard's vendetta, but neither had he ever made any effort to stand in his way either. But he had made clear to his brother that if he chose to act alone, he would be cleaning the messes up alone. His beef with the entire vampire race wasn't a pack matter.

Ragenard shook his head before replying, "Clean as a whistle. Well, not clean if you take my meaning, but nothing that links back to us" said Ragenard as he tilted his head.

The distant sound of sirens was drawing closer and Baron moved off to the side of the road as flashing emergency vehicles blew past, no doubt en route to the fire that the pair had caught the scent of.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
"Well, what is it you need then?" Baron asked.

A few more vehicles barreled past before some measure of quiet resumed. It was an awful lot of vehicles for a fire Baron noted.

Ragenard took a second to watch the passing lights after having their talk interrupted and to compose his thoughts. "Wonder what that fuss was about, shimmered and flared something fierce from up top" mused Ragenard as he patted down his thighs looking for a non existent pocket. "Damn. Wish I'd have brought some smokes or something" muttered Ragenard while hoping with little hope that his brother wouldn't notice his sudden bout of furtiveness.

"Last time you were acting this way, it was to tell me Dad skipped town," Baron remarked. "Spit it out."

"Funny you should mention skipping town..." trailed off Ragenard with an exaggerated sight. "Now, don't get pissed...but I wanted to ask-" stopping mid sentence, Ragenard seemed to shake himself off and stand up straighter.

"No. Not here to ask the leader of the Bloodstone Pack. I'm here to let my brother know" Ragenard said with more conviction he had felt in a while. "That last nest of vamps I took down. Something was off. Not sure what it was, but I could feel it down in my gut" said Ragenard before taking a deep breath and finally letting it out and getting to the point.

"I need to go do something about it. Probably won't be around The Den all that often, at least not staying over. I'm going to try to join them.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Ragenard Guiscard
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#, as written by Tiko
"Tell me you're not talking about what I think you are," Baron bit out, a low growl had edged into his voice. "They're butchers. What the fuck are you thinking," he demanded.

"I'm thinking that they know their shit when it comes to blood suckers. I'm thinking they can actually be useful in helping me resolve this shit. I'm thinking they might see it as me doing the world a service when I tear off another godfuckingdamned vamp head off, and not look at me like I'm some sort of lost soul with a look that's half pity and half disappointment! " growled Ragenard as his eyes began to turn a feverish yellow and his face shimmered slightly like a candle's wax running down the side.

Ragenard took a few steps back to get his anger under control for a minute before speaking again. "I know what they are, James. I know I'm talking about sleeping with the devil. But I'm planning to fuck it, not marry it. No harm would come to the pack from that direction, not while I draw breath."

"No it won't," Baron growled. "Because as long as you're with them, there won't be a place for you in this pack," he warned. "But you already knew that, didn't you."

"Aye." said Ragenard while taking another look in the direction of where the flashing lights could be seen off in the distance. "I suppose I did" sighed Ragenard before continuing.

"The pack is strong. The territory is secured. You got more bruisers and with Carlisle alone there's enough experience to keep them in shape and train new ones if you found any. The pack...the pack will be fine without me" said Ragenard before looking at Baron in the eye "I will not do anything that will threaten the pack. Should the pack ever need me, I will be there. Should my brother ever need me, I'll be there" he said resolutely.

"But I'm going. Even if it means exile. So do your pack leader part, you pox ridden bastard, and I'll think none the less for you as a leader or of as a man."

Baron couldn't say he was too surprised by the turn of events. Ragenard's obsession was leaving him spiraling out control, and this had been a long time coming.

"I hope you get your head back on straight someday, brother," Baron told Ragenard before he doubled over with the popping of contorting muscle and bone. He shook his fur off and headed off down the street at a lope.

"I hope so too, brother. I hope so too" muttered Ragenard to himself with one last look towards the flashing lights before his skin rippled and he exploded into his towering wolf.

He gave one long howl to the nascent moon before leaping off into the roofs on his way back to The Den for the last time in what might be a long long time. The noise that pierced the night would have sounded like that of the lone wolf to any with an ear for such things.

The setting changes from The Phantom Quarter to The Den: Cellar

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Julienne Delatte Character Portrait: Carlisle
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5 years ago...

Baron descended the steps into the gloom of the cellar which was broken by only a single flickering light that swung loose on a chain. There were others already down here, tending to a kid resting on an old cot that had been setup in one of the two wrought-iron cages that sat at the back of the cellar.

The boy couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen years old.

"How's he doing?" Baron asked.

"It's not looking good," Jullienne told him as she got him from where she had been sitting on the cot edge washing out a festering wound on the lad's arm.

He could smell the infection in the wound all the way from where he stood, but there was nothing a doctor could do for him now.

"It won't be long now," Carlisle said. "A few more days, if he makes it until then."

Baron entered the cage and took a seat on a wooden stool that sat next to the boy's cot.

"Hey Jason," Baron said. "How are you feeling."

"Like shit," the kid managed to chuckle out before wincing against the pain the action had caused. "Is it always this bad?"

The boy's skin was clammy with fever and he was shaking as the infection invaded every cell of his body, merging with and forever altering the lad's physiology.

"Are you kidding? This is nothing," Baron told him. "We'll get you through this."

He wet down a rag that was draped over the edge of a bucket of water and lay it over the kid's forehead to try and help bring the fever down.

"Promise?" Jason asked through cracked lips.

"I promise," Baron replied. "Have you remembered anything yet? About the wolf that bit you?"

The kid shook his head weakly.

"It's alright, get some rest," Baron told him. He clapped a hand lightly on the kid's shoulder before he got back up. "Call me when it's time," Baron told the others as he headed back up the cellar steps.

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Character Portrait: Baron Character Portrait: Julienne Delatte Character Portrait: Carlisle
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3 nights later...

Baron heard the screams well before he reached the cellar door and as he descended the steps once more he took a long drag of his cigarette before throwing it on the floor and stubbing it out with his shoe.

"It's happening," Julienne told him.

She and Carlisle where lifting Jason to the floor so they could remove the cot from the cell, and the movement only drew more agonized screams from the boys throat.

"Here, bite down on this, kid," Carlisle told him as he placed a wound up rag in Jason's mouth to stifle the screams.

The bar had been closed for the night, but they didn't need police showing up tonight of all nights if someone decided to report the commotion.

The boy's screamed turned to stifled moans as he writhed on the floor. Another scream tore from his throat, only marginally muffled by the rag that fell from his lips in his delirium.

"Help me..." he whimpered. "Please... help me."

Tears streamed down the boy's face as Carlisle moved out of the cage and pushed the door closed with the clang of metal before locking it.

"Jason," Baron said sharply as he squatted down next to the cage. "Jason look at me. Stop fighting it. It'll tear you apart if you don't let it out. Jason, do you hear me? Just let it out."

Jason clawed at the floor through another tortured scream and Baron stood back up and began shedding his clothes. His eyes lightened to the amber hue of a wolf's eyes as his own body began to contort and writhe. Around him, Carlisle, Julienne and the others where following suit.

The groans and popping of realigning bones and bulging muscles filled the room, and with the energy of the pack to show him the way Jason's own form was being shed. The first transformation was always the worst, and his screams turned to feral snarls as the bones of his face elongated into a snarling muzzle, and his fingers elongated into clawed digits. His form was lean and gangly, with arms a bit too long for a bipedal creature, but powerful rear legs capable of maintain an erect position if necessary. Despite his seemingly gangly form, the rippling muscles that bulged along his back and biceps where hard as a rock and lean as wire.

As Baron shook himself off, he was met with the yellow eyes of Jason staring back at him through the bars of the cage before the lad turned wolf threw his head back and let out a keening howl