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[APPLICATIONS THREAD] Harwell's Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

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Post by Captain Whitehawk on Thu May 30, 2019 4:33 pm

Dead Man (Carry Me):

Name: James de Beauvoir
Alias: The Shaman
Age: Early 30s, born in the late 1960s.
Birthday:
Sexuality: Homosexual
Appearance:
Spoiler:

[APPLICATIONS THREAD] Harwell's Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II - Page 3 Tumblr_o4o7qq1raV1qasnrqo1_1280
[APPLICATIONS THREAD] Harwell's Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II - Page 3 Tumblr_o0swoi0wjf1qasnrqo1_1280

A high forehead, dark, loose curls, brown skin, thick brows and a tapering, sloping face.  A semi-permanent smile accented with a pair of dimples.  Face and neck are sprinkled with moles.  Tired lines beneath his eyes, a couple wrinkles trapped between his brows.  Wide palms and knobby hands.

Personality Type: ISFJ // 6w7 9w8 2w1 // SP/sx // Gryffinpuff // Chaotic Good // Charity/Pride //

Personality: James is much like a spring: whatever he does, he can’t seem to do it half-heartedly, swiftly pouring himself out over-full instead.  He’s soft, and compassionate, and at times a little stiff, but he means well, and he loves knowing he made someone else feel comfortable.  He can be cold, he can flare too hot, but in the right hands, he can be a real baby.  In calmer waters, he’s pedantic and peaceful, drawn towards comfort and ease.  He absorbs others’ suffering and isn’t great at managing his anxiety, especially over matters that seem out of control.  Slight mom-friend over-drive on that, though.

James is a radical, compressed by anxiety and intensified by devotion.  The thought of dishonesty, of faulty justice and broken equity, petrifies him; the only fear that can match it is seeing others harmed.  He’s not a law-follower, but he likes the idea of law and what it stands for, and like his brother he’s totally willing to reinvent the law, even if it means danger and suffering.  He’s not convinced he’s a hero.  But he wants to be.

Abilities: While he lived in Louisiana, James was believed to have protection from several demons that not only kept him from harm but also gifted him supernatural strength. The local newspapers claimed that he had sold himself to the devil, and in exchange for his immortal soul he had been gifted powerful magic and eyes in the back of his head, capable of sensing a gunshot as easy as the wind. The devil had breathed on him and given him satanic power so strong no enemy was safe from his killing power.  Animals flocked to him: in the streets he was accompanied by strays and even the most benevolent of pets would be seduced from their homes to rise to his touch.  Some said he could even control the weather, bringing downpours on bystanders and challengers alike.


  • Unlikely Luck (From dice rolls to ticket prices from the weather to aim, James has an uncanny ability to succeed at just about everything, even the little things.  On the flipside, should his luck turn sour the consequences are relentless, and he’s lucky to escape with his life.  His luck also rotates and pays back in equal amounts. How strong this ability operates is subject to change, but the longer any session of luck lasts, the weaker its power.  In other words, strong luck lasts a short amount of time; weak luck can wane on for weeks.  This is the infamous de Beauvoir curse, as it’s this ungodly luck that so frequently kills its benefactors.)

  • Duality: Death Defiance (A pair of abilities that ensure James’ survival.  They’re primarily defensive abilities, meaning they can’t be triggered at will and he can’t use them like a real weapon.  Harm of some kind must come to him first before they truly activate, though extreme stress or anxiety can arouse it just as well.  The beginning of the fight or flight response starts the clock for these two powers.)

  • ----Killer Instinct (In dangerous situations, James’ mind homes in on sensory details and movement.  So canny is the focus that he can hear the click of a bullet slapping into a barrel before the shot’s been loosened.  Likewise, his physical abilities intensify and strengthen: he becomes faster, stronger, capable of landing hits perfectly with ease. Think of it as hyperarousal on a massive scale.  Such an act is incredibly draining and can only be sustained for a matter of minutes--perhaps ten if he was pushing it.  The longer and harder he pushes himself, the greater the exhaustion afterwards.  Fifteen minutes of this could put him in a coma for a week.)

  • ----Survivor (In dangerous situations, James’ ability to dodge, duck, and dive rapidly improves.  His vitality increases, allowing him to last longer through strain and difficulty, even to the point of quickened red blood cell regeneration, allowing him to spill more blood than normal.  Wounds heal faster, resistance is higher, and pain is dull, sometimes completely extinguished.  It’s allowed him to escape death multiple times, recovering from otherwise fatal wounds within a matter of days.)

  • Animal Allegiance (For whatever reason, animals just really, really like James.  They can’t understand commands any more than normal, but they do flock to him and defend him if attacked.  Where James is, animals (both domesticated and otherwise) are sure to follow.  This ability is also subject to his luck ability.)

  • Personal Space (An ultra-sensory ability that allows James to sense his surroundings farther than the average person.  Both people and objects are included, and perception is relative to mass: bigger objects are easier to sense than smaller objects.  For this reason, people are generally easier for him to sense than say, books.  This ability is muffled by obstacles like furniture or walls, and it declines in accuracy the farther away from himself he is trying to sense.  Generally, this ability only works within a ten-foot radius, whereas on a lucky day it can extend as far as twenty feet.  Likewise, on bad days the ability seems to cut out.  Given enough time to get used to a person, James primarily used it to memorize the signature of other people, so he could tell when they were approaching him.  In the case of Russell, being able to recognize and sense him whenever he was near was of great comfort to him.  It’s also a great power to have when you have a toddler.)

  • Stormcall (An unreliable ability that responds primarily to James’ luck and his mood.  Like his mother, James could pull in storms off the coast to his general location, drenching his enemies.  Unlike his mother, James had next to no control over this ability and was just as often made miserable about it as his foes.  Still, good for gardening season and it was an impressive if unweildy aesthetic.)


He did not, thank god, inherit his mother’s magic.

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Personal History: In the life of James de Beauvoir, Sundays meant Mass, and in the evening following James watched as his mother took off her lipstick, slipped out of her Sunday best, and received clients in their drawing room.  On the dark burgundy walls, the emblem of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ hung on his sacred cross, resplendent as he overlooked the proceedings of one of New Orleans’ most powerful hoodoo queens.

They were a hoodoo family, all of them, and had been since his mother’s many times great grandmother had first stepped foot in Louisiana.  They were warriors too, or at least petty instigators, as much about finesse as they were keeping score, and it was this line-drawing and space-stealing that eventually earned the wrath of another hoodoo queen, who crossed the family in a mighty fit with powerful luck.  This luck was fatal, but they would learn that the hard way, mesmerized instead by the way the whole world could fall into their hands, if only for a day.

His eldest brother, Stephen, could rot you from the inside out, wind you up inside like a toy while your guts disintegrated.  He was protective, angry, and always scared, and it was this collection of madnesses that turned him into a tax collector: Paul dogging his heels, they would go out into the neighborhood pledging their protection and mother’s blessing if you’d cough up a few dollars, weaseling territory like any other young men their age.  They’d kill too for a higher price, in a time where killing your neighbor was for as much safety as it was profit.  New Orleans was hell when James was a child.

The family luck screeched to a halt the day Stephen died.  A gang down across the waters filled him full of bullets and sent his body back home to their mother, Queen Seraphina, so she could weep and gnash her teeth and know the damage her brood had caused.  She waited weeks for the luck to turn and raised not a finger till the skies listened to her again, then she shook the city with a storm that rattled the cobbles.  But it wasn’t revenge.  That was Paul’s gifting.

His second brother, Paul, could swear like a sailor and every word was a crossing, spitting fire between his teeth.  In wrath, his eyes darkened to black, soulless pits, and in those moments, Paul swore he could see sin.  He was fast, too, faster than any person should have been, strong enough to crush a skull in his hands, scared enough to know not to.  Paul, James would learn with time, wasn’t that much of an asshole, but he was an easily upset bastard, and it got him killed like his brother before him.  Witnesses said his head bounced when it hit the pavement, a decapitated pillar of flame.  

There was no magic in him, mother seered it in a bowl of water and blood, and this seemed to sate her.  He was to stay in school and behave and not do anything UNEXPECTED or UNUSUAL.  This was final.  His brother John moved out of the house to pursue a new project he very excitedly referred to as “the Dogs,” leaving James alone with Seraphina and his father Arnold, when he was allowed in the house.

Life, for a while, was normal for James.  Aside from the strain of being in a black cartel in the racist 1970s, life was fine.  But where most boys discovered girls, James did not.

His outing was accidental.  It was a rumor, and it should have stayed that way, but when confronted by Seraphina, a woman well known for her upstanding, virtuous reputation, he couldn’t find it in himself to lie.  The beating he received for his honesty convinced him to swallow the truth.

Seraphina told James she would fix him, and she would save him, and he’d have to be afraid of himself no more.  At the tender age of 19, his mother found a girl for him, convinced him sweetly with a smile that he would wed this Ada Wheaton, and they would give her nice fat grandchildren, and he would find internships and make good money and shut up, shut up, shut up.  She wanted to erase him.

Well, he gave his mother a grandchild, a bouncing baby boy named Jules, but soon after their successful copulation James couldn’t bring himself to see Ada, and he stayed out of the house as much as possible, quietly trying to flee.
The gay bar was another mistake, but when Ada heard of where he’d been and with who and more frequently than she’d realized, she left their flat in tears, their child on her hip, ready to bring the cops and have him arrested for sodomy.  She’d raise their son by herself and she wouldn’t need any part of him.  As you can imagine, James fled.

Rather than face the police and his furious wife and Lousiana’s incriminating sodomy laws, James found his brother John and his brother’s newest business, a quietly growing legal service that put superhumans to work for, well, whatever services another person could desire.  In New Orleans, the legal service was primarily a mercenary service.  The promise of anonymity and a new place to live was enough for James.  He signed up immediately under the alias, “Shaman.”

In the proper de Beauvoir fashion, he grew into his powers.  He’d always been able to get out of trouble quick as the wind, but that was the summer of the dogs, and the cats, and the rats and the mice and the crows trying to break through the windows to catch a glance of James.  They came in such droves that for a week that John made him sleep outside, and all through the night James was accompanied by any number of animal companions.  A mere gesture would invite even the most antisocial of pets into his lap.  And then the storms came, and they poured over the earth like a wave.  James didn’t know how to understand it either.  It was unnatural, their oblivious neighbors said.  The devil lives in this man.

And if devil he was, it could only be natural that he would find himself with enemies.

His reputation preceded him, he was known not as a Dog but a demon.  At first, scuffles were the natural offshoots of vengeance, family of clients who’d slipped through the legal nets to know who had played hitman.  Security got better.  The attacks subsided.  And then they returned.  Or rather, one man was very determined to get the better of this superhuman menace, and what were the Dogs if not a vermin nest?

He dodged the man for the better part of a month, running on fumes as his body flagged, exhausted by evasion.  Their fights dragged on for longer and longer as James struggled to keep up.  He would escape only to be found again, hours, days later.  You are a menace, James was told, your kind hurt and steal and destroy and you have no space on this earth.  Alright, James said, too worn to think, but can I at least get your name?  

The quip was not amusing then, but when time eventually landed James in his trap again, it wore better.  Russell.  Russell Turner.  They started to talk amidst their blows.  Talking turned to argument, turned to silence.  Why were they fighting?  Were they really all that different?  Meet my family, James said.  You can watch my brother struggle miserably with chopsticks, and then you can really decide whether we’re as monstrous and inhuman as you say.

Maybe it was the intensity of beating the shit out of each other for as long as they did.  Maybe it was that time Russell offered James his coat and let him go rather than chase him down again.  Maybe it was dinner with John, or lunch after that, or the afternoon they spent in the dog park, surrounded by eager pups.  Maybe it was getting rained out of a baseball game, or wrestling without intending to kill, just to see who was stronger.  Maybe it was the trip down to New Orleans, visiting cousins and introducing Russell as a coworker to Seraphina, just to test the waters.  Or maybe it was the first time they kissed, accidental surely, though the kisses that followed definitely weren’t.  But somehow, someway, they fell in love.

Life was simpler, better, sweeter, after that.  For once, James felt free.  He felt okay about himself.  He was happy.  And he could do it all with Russell, which made it all the better.

They got a house.  They got a dog (Molly, the best girl in the whole wide world, even if her habit of eating garbage was a little disgusting).  They adopted a child, a tricky thing to manage in a world like the 1980s.  (Russell was her single parent on the forms.  It took a lot of hunting to find a social worker that would pass James off as a friendly cousin.)  Life was good.

And then there was Lightbringer.  The advent of not superhumans but superheroes began.  It was supposed to be a joyous occasion.  But James, seeing all her power, felt only dread.  Then fear.  Then agony.

It was James and Russell first, then Anthony, Russell’s brother, then a clever scientist from the west coast, and another superhuman to make it five.  Their goal was simple: check Lightbringer, since no one else could.  And as she grew from one to many (the Guardians formed quickly after her debut), their goal soon meant fight the Guardians too.  
They spent a year and a half warring.  James was desperate and terrified and angry.  He wanted so badly to see her gone, but no matter how they did it, no matter how many times they tried, their little group couldn’t defeat her.

Lightbringer went to Russell, naturally, the sensible one, with a truce.  A white flag, a chance for discussion.  Bring James, Lightbringer said.  Let’s talk.  We’re all so endangered fighting each other, we’d be better off as friends.  Let’s end the fighting.  We can make peace.

The talks, had they happened, might have gone well.  As it was, James and Russell were stopped on their walk for peace.  Anthony, Russell’s brother, hearing that James had deigned to talk to Lightbringer, feared betrayal of both safety and ideals, and shot him.  He shot James dead.

It was a bad luck day, James had told Russell before, as the clouds gathered, and the rain began to pour.  I don’t want to go, I’m afraid of what will happen.  And Russell, calm, sure, wise, said It’ll all be fine.  Don’t worry, I’ll be with you.
Russell was.  Russell held him as he died.

The two brothers fought while Empathy, Guardian, healer, tried to reverse damnation.  Empathy’s ministrations failed.  James stayed dead on the pavement.  Anthony, in one swift move, gouged Russell’s eye out and fled, never to be seen or heard from again.  He never liked James being with Russell anyways.

When James’ body woke in the mortuary a couple days after dying, it wasn’t quite James that woke up in it.  The man left over was shell-shocked, traumatized, strange.  It wasn’t hard to remember all that had come before, but it was difficult, nigh impossible, to say it was all him and his.

Oh, how horrified James would be if he understood what he’d become.

Family:

  • Serafina de Beauvoir – His mother, a powerful hoodoo queen, firm practitioner of voodoo beliefs, and patron to the local Catholic cathedrals.  It was said that Serafina could bring storms to heel or create them on a whim, and that New Orleans was subject to her pleasure.   Her abilities were well-respected by her fellow witches, so much so that other hoodoo queens would send customers to her when they felt their abilities were insufficient.  She was disgusted by James’ homosexuality, and never forgave him for it.  She remained oblivious to John’s bisexuality, a thing that was thoroughly hid from her after John watched how she treated James.  She had at least one lover outside of her relationship with her husband.  She died of heart failure some time after Stephen died (so, she was dead when James was in his mid-late 20s and would have met Russell by that point.)
  • Arnold de Beauvoir – James’ father, a Catholic cuck.  Arnold was biracial and light-skinned, his features considered “good” (Caucasian) for his bloodline.  In a time where desegregation was only recently officiated in Louisiana (legalized in 1953), the perceived racial difference between Serafina and Arnold led to a lot of tension and almost broke up the family multiple times.  Serafina occasionally kicked him out of the house but would also engage in such behaviors as telling their sons not to speak to him, sitting separately during mass, and not allowing him to sleep in the same room as her.  Arnold was, to say the least, an anxious and unhappy man.  His relationship with his sons improved after his wife died, but James saw him very rarely after being sent from the house.
  • Stephen de Beauvoir – His eldest brother, a stiff and awkward gent who kept things to himself and didn’t know how to have open conversations with his loved ones, not even his family.  Like cancer but faster, Stephen could rot a person from the inside out with just a touch of his hand.  It is suspected that Stephen’s abilities passively made their mother incurably sick, and that this was what eventually killed her some time after Stephen had died. He was an effective assassin, so effective in fact that he became a central target and was promptly taken out by a superhuman cartel while he still lived in New Orleans.  His death prompted John to build the Dogs of War.
  • Paul de Beauvoir – The second child of Serafina and Arnold de Beauvoir, Paul was the most zealous of the de Beauvoir brothers, taken to the widespread belief that not only were superheroes a plague--but also that if the de Beauvoirs were not to take matters into their own hands, they would find the world in a much darker place.  The de Beauvoir family being almost comprised of superhumans was lost on Paul.  Paul witnessed Stephen’s death, and became fanatical about the protection of the underdog.  Like a grand shepherd, Paul quickly grew a following of minor superhumans looking for a bigger shadow to hide in.  He imagined this as a declaration by the spirits and saints that he was to protect the disadvantaged from those that would otherwise use and abuse them.  Much of these so-called underdogs were later facilitated into the Dogs of War after the same cartel that killed Stephen made short work of Paul.  He was decapitated.
  • John de Beauvoir – His older (technically half) brother, a closeted bisexual man.  As the second to last child, the familial expectation was that he would join the family in the occasional murder of nosy neighbors and annoying gang lords.  But with a head for organization and leadership, John surprised everyone by taking over their operations.  The Dogs of War began as a family interest (a way to protect the family from other New Orleans factions) that later grew into a hitman organization.  A polite, civil man who was very insistent on James having proper manners, definitely gave dating advice and helped polish James on his capacity to woo potential boyfriends.  Afraid of more siblings dying, became very protective of all the family – another reason the Dogs of War expanded as it did.  
  • Ada Wheaton (de Beauvoir) -- His ex-wife.  She suspected something was wrong even while they were still engaged.  She found another man to marry and have children with in the northern states.  Together, they eventually settled in Minneapolis.  
  • Jules de Beauvoir -- Jules was only a few years old when his father left, and thus keeps very few early memories of him.  The move to Minnesota likewise eliminated much of his connections to his father’s heritage, which was steeped in Creole mythology and Louisiana hoodoo.  Despite the introduction of his stepfather, Jules kept his father’s last name as a homage.  He found his time with his dad in the years following, primarily when he was between the years of eight and twelve.  The decrease in visits, he found out later, was due to safety concerns.  He last saw his dad at fourteen.  After that, there was never a word.
  • Russell Turner – James’ partner.  What could be said?  After so long living in fear of himself and the possibility of a miserable life, the possibility of happiness was beyond him.  But then--Russell.  They just worked.  He understood shitty family and hypervigiliance and violence and fear and pain, but he was never without kindness or a gentle heart.  Russell Turner, to James, feels much like his god-ordained labrador retriever to James' cheetah-ness.  The fact that he's strong and clever and sweet and kinda dorky but also undeniably sneaky is just icing on an already fine cake.
  • Kitty Turner – His and Russell’s daughter.  She was only six when James died.  While he lived, Kitty was his darling, a face to peck with kisses, perfect to tease and coddle.  He was so proud of her.  


Likes and Dislikes: Loves warm naps under sunlight, peace, curry, rice, animals!!!, art museums, and anonymity.  Dislikes bigotry, lawlessness, milk, really any dairy product, Lightbringer, and himself.
 
Strengths: Abilities aside, James is a bastion against perceived tyrannies.  James believes in fairness and longs for far-reaching peace, and it’s hard for him to sit quiet when he knows people are being hurt, especially by those who claim benevolence—the dishonesty gets to him.  His compassion is not a weapon, but a shield, and this he lends eagerly to others.  At his core, James has always wanted to be a hero in the way he’s thought of other superhumans as being, and while he’s deeply ashamed of himself, and doesn’t believe he deserves the title, it’s still something he wants to be and works toward despite his flaws.

Weaknesses:  Anxious and fatalist, James is controlled first by fear.  He’s always believed he lives on borrowed time, and as such it’s hard to feel secure in any situation he lands in.  Not having any control over his surroundings only worsens this.  He stubbornly isolates in the face of the inescapable, and it can be difficult to bring him down from his defensive perch.  He fears most people.  

All of James’ abilities are ultimately under the sway of his luck ability, and it’s on rotation.  As he cannot control his own luck, James is at the mercy of what gods herald his fate, and he can only do the best with what he is given – which isn’t much, if his luck has gone awry.

Other/Trivia:

  • James is Creole (Nigerian, Native American, French, and English.)
  • James is lactose intolerant.
  • James has anxiety and occasionally panic attacks.
  • The song James' form title refers to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rj5gc5Yafg


The Baptist, John:

Name: John de Beauvoir
Alias: The Baptist
Age: 61
Birthday: July 15th
Sexuality: Bisexual
Appearance:
Spoiler:

[APPLICATIONS THREAD] Harwell's Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II - Page 3 1b2a1f07b6cd6aa43a29d03e7c7915dd--mens-fashion--black-fashion-men

Personality Type: ISTJ // 9w8 5w6 2w1 // SP/so // Hufflepuff // Neutral Good // Charity/Lust //
Personality: Charitable, hospitable, and decent, John is a man who strives to be of upstanding character at all times, even if such a goal requires underhanded tactics.  When push comes to shove, John also prefers to reinvent the law rather than be a victim to it, often expanding this urge into something more humanitarian, as evidenced by his creation of the DOW and its associated public service corps.  He’s not shy of affection or saying, “I love you,” but there’s always a part of John that’s unreachable.  At his core, John prefers to watch rather than directly engage, and this hands-off approach reaches all his intimacies.  You may see John, but you may not touch him.  

Abilities: Like his mother, John had magic of the hoodoo variety, and was capable of both powerful blessings and hexes.  Like all the de Beauvoirs, he was also subject to the family curse, a cycle of luck and misfortune with often tragic consequences. After watching two brothers die and his mother suffer several miscarriages, he decided to take his chances at surviving the de Beauvoir curse.  He found another superhuman to rob him of all his supernatural powers.  He is powerless now, and this is probably the only reason he’s survived as long as he has.

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
Personal History: John grew up in a Catholic-hoodoo family in New Orleans, in a time where the city was divided into territory by family name.  It was a shaky time to grow up in, both because of racial tensions and the time’s view on sexuality, an issue that pressed more and more on John as he grew up.

He grew up knowing his family was both powerful and cursed, and it was this history that dogged his footsteps both day and night.  For the most part, he tried to stay out of it and mind his own business, focused on his schooling and getting internships and staying out of the melancholy chaos of his home.  The warring of his older brothers, and their consequent deaths in gang wars, however, would pull him back into the fray.

John had a vision for a brighter, freer future for superhumans and non-supers alike, and it was in the ruins of his older brothers’ efforts that he began the Dogs of War, an organization meant to order the superhuman violence in New Orleans into contracts and issues of legality rather than blood.  As the organization grew, the Dogs became more than a local issue, they were now a national solution—or at least part of one—to the widespread superhuman violence.  The Dogs could be a check to power, and for once, power had consequences under a Dog’s contract.  His employee register would later aid in jailing hundreds of defectors.  The DOW’s required dual service in both the DOW and its companion aid corp would institutionalize superhuman power in a way that directly benefited the public, while also lending purpose to superhuman existence.

When his younger brother James needed a place to live and a legal shadow to hide in, John happily hired him on as a Dog.  Their work together would eventually catch the attention of assassins and other brigands, but these became of lesser and lesser consequence as the Dog’s web of contracts grew.  Some anti-superhero groups, such as the one James’ partner Russell came from, even found themselves switching sides to join the Dog’s.  

James’ paranoia concerning the Guardians was not one John would join in, even if he shared it.  When James left the Dogs to form his own group, it was with a heavy heart that John let him go, but not one that could have anticipated tragedy.  James’ death at the hands of one of his own was world-shattering.  The Guardians’ attempts to save John’s little brother touched him, but not enough to shake his cause.  He returned with fervor to the Dogs and what they stood for.

Imagine now his surprise when he found his dead brother in his office, having evidently staggered in through the open window.  James could not have been well, an epiphany further confirmed by his angry refusal to see both husband and child, a temperament so unlike him that for a moment John had to wonder if he was hallucinating.  But violent, sick, and deranged, this James was present and alive in a way that was undeniable, and when James begged—no, ordered—secrecy or risk both John’s life and the lives of their mutual loved ones, John decided putting him quietly for the time being was better than unleashing him on his family.

But James did not improve.

Cold, mocking, and desperately violent was the way of this new James, now dubbed Thanatos, the only name he would answer to.  There was no reasoning in this ghoul, whose only whims seemed now for action and distance, as frequently as he could get both.  And the itch for bloodlust did not leave, winding Thanatos tighter and tighter till keeping him calm was as much about letting him out on contract as it was drugging him into dopey complacency.  

Thanatos bled into a fine killer in a way that James never was, and as his body count racked higher and higher, it became easier to offer condolences and love to James’ abandoned family than to let them in on the horrible secret.  There was no James that John could have given them.  Dead though he was not, the shell left behind seemed incapable of the love James had once given.  It was easier for James to be dead, and this narrative John kept alive and well at every turn.

Running the Dogs has always brought John great joy.  And yet, while Thanatos still lives, its good intentions are, in John’s eyes, a mockery.

Strengths: Stubborn, pragmatic, sincerely concerned for his employees, and a bit of a softie, John is both a strict and compassionate employer.  He rarely struggles to keep company camaraderie or maintain honesty in his corporation, and this is what has largely sustained his business endeavors.  He heads an internationally successful mercenary organization and its companion aid corp, making him a well-known philanthropist.  John is, in short, one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes men in the Harwell’s universe.

Weaknesses: What regulations John enforces on his employees he’s never able to keep for his loved ones.  He’s like putty in your hands, and this deep desire to keep peace and happiness in his personal relationships often undermines the morals he’s otherwise trying to keep.  He’d go back on himself a thousand times to keep a loved one safe, which is a very dangerous perspective to have when you have as much influence as John.  He’s also not great on personal defense and often forgets his own vulnerabilities.

Notable Relationships:

  • Seraphina de Beauvoir – Mother, deceased.  Growing up as the son of a powerful hoodoo queen makes for an interesting and occasionally troubled upbringing.  Seraphina was not a bad mom, per se, but certain backwards beliefs she had about sexuality and fidelity made her somewhat difficult to bear, especially as childhood wore off.  John always managed a cordial relationship with her, but unbeknownst to Seraphina, she was rarely in her son’s affections.  Her funeral was just another family tragedy.
  • Arnold de Beauvoir – Father, alive.  Despite a mutual understanding that Arnold wasn’t his real dad, the two enjoyed each other very much and John would skip outings with friends to entertain trips to libraries or jazz clubs with Arnold.  John understood that Arnold was being mistreated without needing an explanation, and strove to sidestep his mother’s insinuations about her husband whenever possible.  Arnold’s still alive, living in a nursing home that John set up for him, and even though Arnold rarely remembers who he is, they still enjoy regular hang-outs and John takes him out for theater or a baseball game every once in a while.
  • Stephen de Beauvoir – Oldest brother, deceased.  Stephen and John got on fairly well, not a whole lot of mutual interests but at least about protecting family, that one was a no-brainer.  Stephen took on a lot of unnecessary fatherly duties for both John and James, a role that rankled John, who’d much rather he acted like a brother and not a savior.  This rift he later learned to regret when Stephen died protecting the family.
  • Paul de Beauvoir – Older brother, deceased.  Paul was a fucking jackass and the only one willing to admit this was John.  The guy was downright delusional.  Stupid.  Stupid and arrogant.  Paul’s death he brought upon himself, in John’s opinion.
  • James de Beauvoir – Little brother, mortal status complicated.  Given how many children were lost to complications after John, the arrival of James was both unexpected and hard to accept.  John babysat him for much of his childhood, waiting for James to be claimed by the family curse and die, but when James survived to puberty and started manifesting a number of powerful abilities, John figured, eh, alright, maybe you’re made to live after all, and started to actually care.  Their relationship snowballed from there, and they stayed close even after John moved on to begin the DOW.  James was one of his first real employees, and their years of working together made them something near partners.  As James is one of his few surviving relatives, he holds him very close, protective and forgiving of his sins even when he knows he shouldn’t be.  James’ death and consequent revival has been hard on John, who’s been at his wits’ end for years now trying to figure out how to restore his little brother to his happier, healthier self—and the people he knows James loved—without accidentally unleashing a monster.
  • Russell Turner – Brother-in-law.  While initially unsure of him, John eventually got over the fact that Russell was a hitman hired to kill his brother and also himself and grew to even like the guy.  Admittedly, dinner conversations were kind of awkward in the beginning, but after finding common ground in shitty family, politics, and world visions, Russell became a regular visitor in John’s home and eventually, a real member of the family.  Even after James’ death, they’ve always done holidays together and John regularly sends cards or arranges family vacations, and if Russell needs a favor, John is sure to follow through.  Hiding his dead husband from him has been an insanely difficult task, but the possibility that a reunion would go very poorly for Russell is a tragedy John can’t personally bear the thought of.  And TBH, while satisfied with his own relationships, he’s always been a little jealous of James for snagging someone like Russell, so that’s kind of a factor too.
  • Catherine “Kitty” Turner – Niece.  Kitty’s sprightly and wild and knows her own mind, something John’s always appreciated if occasionally been frightened by.  She’s a strong, independent young woman and he’s very proud of her and all she’s accomplished!  He feels very blessed to have her in his life and is always happy to see her.
  • Ada de Beauvoir – Ex sister-in-law. John doesn’t see her anymore but back in the day it was rough.  He held his tongue only for the sake of his nephews.
  • Jules de Beauvoir – Nephew.  Jules is more like a son to him than a nephew, and as such he keeps regular tabs and goes out to see his family a few times a year, especially after Jules’ wife died.  John’s work with the DOW is somewhat touchy with Jules, who doesn’t like superhero related anything, but Jules puts up with it because John’s so cordial.
  • Noel and Jack de Beauvoir – Grand-nephews.  John’s always been a background figure in their lives, sending cards and Christmas/birthday presents, seeing them a couple times a year.  Neither boy can say they’re especially close with their great uncle, but he’s a constant, positive presence in their lives, and has been watching them with even greater closeness since their arrival at Harwell’s.


Other/Trivia:

  • John has an ex-wife and a few kids, all of whom he visits regularly.
  • John loves collecting curios and buys postcards to send home every time he travels overseas.
  • John is Bipolar, type II.


_________________

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