Rich, Handsome, and Hungry for Prey
Name: Artorias Eboncross
Occupation: Being obscenely wealthy
Hunger: Prey – Brutes and Heroes
-Immediate – ?
-Intermediate – ?
-Long Term – ?
-Penultimate – Become his Horror Incarnate
-Ultimate – Gain Eternal Youth
It began the same, his dream, his nightmare. Always he finds himself deep underground, walking down a road wide enough to be a highway and with a ceiling reaching high above. The road and it’s walls are carved from the living earth around him, and polished to a marble like gleam. As if to further this likeness, veins have been carved in the walls, through which lava flows, down into canals on either side of the road, providing light and heating the air like an oven. Having seen lava flows when awake, he knows it should reek of sulfur, and yet only the smell of the dusty earth surrounding him is present. At last he comes to The Door, The Door is a testament to the skill of it’s artisan, carved into it’s surface is a mural of incredible beauty and depth. Artorias has never been able to finish the story no matter how many times he has the dream, as a longing he has known since this first began compels him forward. The Door is too impossibly massive for him to ever hope to open and yet it does so of it’s own accord as he approaches it.
As he steps through, he just stops and stares, even the longing cannot compel him to do otherwise for the first few moments. Before him lays a lake of lava and fire residing within a massive cavern, molten falls dot the landscape, four of which land on that which inspires his awe. Rising out of the lake’s center is a huge four tiered city. Built with the same architecture as the road behind him, the city is beautiful, the four lava falls land in basins at the top tier and spill down channels carved throughout the city lighting it with a warm inner glow. Garden terraces are dotted around the outer ring of each tier, although how the plants survive the heat is completely beyond him. At the summit of the city, lies his destination, the coliseum. The only way to reach the city is by crossing the bridge at the other end of the courtyard that The Door opens too.
As he steps onto the bridge, the nightmare begins. He feels It awaken. It knows he’s here, and as always it waits for the next step, the one that always dams him. Like countless nights after the first, he fights the longing and it’s compulsion to move forward, because now he knows what waits. He fails. With his very next step a thunderous roar shakes the entire cavern, as if signalling the start of Ragnarok it drives terror into his heart and he begins sprinting. The first night, he never made it across, he was too slow, but since than he’s been practicing. Now he makes it to the city, it’s gates wide open as a dark figure leaps from the coliseum and takes wing, above it, impossibly, a storm begins to form. No matter how fast he runs, no matter what route he takes, hopping molten streams, crossing through gardens or leaping through windows and buildings, it comes. It always circles at first, taunting him, letting him know he can’t escape, it doesn’t matter. He keeps going, as he reaches the second tier, it begins it’s game.
Invisible against the backdrop of the storm brewing above, It dives at him from the corner of his vision, just out of sight, but giving just enough warning that he’s able to jump and dodge out of the way. Pitch black scales leading to razor sharp claws put gouges in the polished stone roads, collapse buildings in on each other as Artorias ducks though them, and rends market stalls to shreds, wherever he happens to be, nothing can rebuff it claws. Upon reaching the third tier he hear’s the intake of it’s breath as it begins raining fire upon him. Never a direct it, it sears and burns him none the less. Stone statues melt to slag, foliage he used for cover ignites into infernos, and buildings become scorched husks when he takes shelter in their alleys. At last he reaches the fourth tier. The storm has now reach full strength blotting out the cavern ceiling, hovering over the city. It releases another roar, the hatred contained within could level mountains. In addition to the fire, Artorias is now dodging lightning as he sprints for the coliseum and the confrontation that awaits him there. Heart pounding, Artorias weaves through the statues that stand sentinel along the path hoping they can shield him from the onslaught for even a second.
When he finally enters the coliseum, he is unable to rest, as the longing is stronger than ever and compels him into the area. Shortly after, It, arrives, the source of his terror. The Dragon. It slams onto the arena floor with bone jarring force, that barely seems to faze it. Artorias can’t look away, for all the pain it’s caused, the beast is magnificent. Black scales gleam in the molten glow, enhanced by the blue-green of it’s wing membranes and standing over 20 ft. tall, it’s as if a storm’s fury took physical form. The dragon approaches him, smoke rising from it’s nostrils, and stands before him. “KNEEL” Every night for years, since he could make it to the summit, the dragon has approached him thus, and every night, Artorias gave into his terror, knelt, and died horribly for it. Tonight however, was different. Artorias was rightly terrified as he was each night before, but for the first time, he had had enough.
He looked at the towering engine of devastation standing over him, looked it in the eye, and said, “No”. It laughed. If it’s roar was the signal for Armageddon, it laugh was the death of the world, as if the moon shattered and rained down upon the earth. “FINALLY” And it swallowed him whole. Agony like he’d never felt before, in all the previous dreams it killed him by some other means, crushing, burning, slicing, but never has he been eaten. At long last the pain ended, along with everything else. Artorias died that night, and was reborn. He awoke in the shape of his tormentor, with a final message echoing in his mind. “KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU, TRUE TESTS, NEVER END”
Artorias Eboncross stands at 6’2" with black hair, blue eyes and an athlete’s build. His typical attire usually consists of a duster/trenchcoat, black slacks, dress shirt, vest, and fingerless gloves. (Think Victorian or Steampunk) He often has 5’oclock shadow or a goatee. Many consider him to be good looking although he would argue his most distinguishing feature is the Eidetic Memory that helped him breeze through Law School. He is a very honest person and enjoys hunting, fighting, exercising, and video games, not necessarily in that order. He’s traveled the world a bit and is very interested in extending his life span, a couple of his business investments reflect that interest although he doesn’t particularly expect those to pan out in the way he wishes. Commercially he’s known for finding promising businesses that are being held up by legal red tape, buying them, and than finding legal loopholes to push them through. Most of his businesses aren’t actually reprehensible, they were just going about things the wrong way before he stepped in. His honesty has cost him political connections before but endeared his companies to the public who understand when they make a claim, they come through. After his devouring, subterfuge has become a necessity for Artorias, but he still finds it distasteful all the same. As such he’s honest even when discretion might be the better part of valor, and never breaks his word if he can at all prevent it.
Dragons are the apex predator in any domain in which they reside. The one Artorias embodies is no different, it lords over the ancient city at the heart of it’s lair, eager for the prey that comes seeking riches, heroes are it’s favorite meal, but lesser warriors will do in a pinch. It hunts relentlessly sometimes toying with it’s food, letting them run, letting them think they’ve found shelter, but always, It comes. Standing over 20 ft. tall, it has raven black scales and blue-green wing membranes that extend down to the base of it’s tail and picks up again at the end. Since Artorias had his devouring he’s found himself hunting more often to sate the hunger of his horror, and yet, he enjoys the edge he gains when he lets it go hungry. Artorias has also found himself being relentless in his actions, things that he used to let go, suddenly he must have his way. This has been a double edged sword for him in business, propositions where he should have cut his losses and let go now cost him significantly more before he drops them, however at the same time, this boldness has landed him many lucrative contracts or ownership of companies that turned out to be huge success. He feels compelled to dominate other predators in his region, sometimes in business, but more often physical prey. This crystallizes in his desire to merge with his horror and become the apex predator incarnate.
Heart: The heart chamber is a 4 tiered city at the center of immense cavern filled with lava. Throughout the cavern lava flows from holes in the ceiling and into the lake below. 4 of these lava falls land in basins at the summit of the city and flow from there along channels to every corner of the city providing a warm glow and intense heat. The only other structure in the cavern is a courtyard jutting out from a cavern wall that is attached to the city by a bridge. This is the only exit and The Door is sealed at all times except for Artorias. The city is completely symmetrical with one half reflecting the other, the only way to distinguish which side your on is the bridge at the end of the southern ramp, four of which exist in the city. Placed at cardinal directions, each begins at the first tier and go up to the fourth tier. The last row of each tier hugs the wall of the next one up and every street corner has a statue standing watch. The first tier of the city is laid out as follows: row of buildings and gardens boarding the city edge, streets, double row of buildings with fewer but larger gardens, street, row of buildings and ramps up to the second tier. The second tier is laid out as follows: the outer layer is one massive park/garden, street, double row of buildings(inner half are markets), street, row of markets, ramps to the third tier. The third tier is laid out as follows: the outer row is theaters and other high end entertainment structures, street, a single row of higher end buildings, street, four sprawling manners whose boundaries each end at two of the four ramps to the summit. The fourth tier is laid out as follows: between each ramp at the outer rim is a basin that collects lava falling from above and flows out in channels to the rest of the city, gardens, street, and than the coliseum, lining the streets from the ramps are sentinel statues that border each garden. The coliseum is 8 stories tall, the last four of which are used for seating. The cardinal streets each lead to one of its gates at the bottom level. Artorias’s horror can usually be found sleeping within the coliseum atop a pile of treasure, with more piled to the sides of the arena.
Sorta the city
Burrow: The tunnel from his nightmare’s beginning with a less ornate set of doors at the other end.
Second Chamber: The second chamber is a jungle at twilight. It sits at the base of the mountain that contains the heart and resides in a large valley between mountains.To the side of the door is a small lake made up of the runoff from the mountains snow melt. The only exit to the valley is a mountain pass that becomes blocked off by an avalanche if approached by anyone but Artorias. He discovered this chamber while traveling the world, thinking it particularly beautiful, he decided to add it to his lair.
Burrow: A thin strip of jungle through the mountain pass. The pass ends at the gate to a carnival: The Far Shore
Third Chamber: While on a business trip passing through Kansas, Artorias happened upon “The Far Shore” carnival. He stopped on a whim only to sense a chamber around the place. After examining the chamber in the Primordial Dream, he discovered that several local teens had been the victim of a vampire that moved with the carnival. After spreading some money around he figured out it was the guy who ran the haunted house at night. When he confronted what he would soon come to know as the Gangrel vampire William, they had brief bout of fisticuffs followed by a very enlightening conversation and new friendship. They promised to keep in touch. “The Far Shore” Carnival was home to many attractions. Rather large by carnival standards, it contained the following: a roller-coaster at the northwest end, a Ferris-wheel at the northeast end, a big top at the center of the park, a carousel at the southwest end, bumper car ring at the southeast end, and dozens a smaller rides in-between them all. Along with the rides were dozens smaller games, prize booths, dunk tanks, and food stands. The Haunted house was found at the north end, the tunnel of love at the east end, and the fun house at the west.
Artorias Eboncross was born into old money. If he wanted something, he got it. His parents, Amber and Solair Eboncross, doted on him endlessly. Video games? He had all the newest systems and every game as they came out. Movies? They had their own private theater in their mansion and saw advanced screenings before they became public. One week of every month was spent visiting an exotic part of the world. Truly the world and it’s wonders were at his every beck and call, and yet, and yet it felt hollow to young Artorias. His father always espoused the virtue of being honest with others and yourself, and if he was honest with himself, he hadn’t earned any of these things. But he wasn’t honest with himself, at least not until age 10. When The Nightmare began.
After a week in which his parents were unable to console him and every luxury at his fingertips failed to relieve him of this nightmare, Artorias came to the startling revelation that he was weak. None of these things were signs of his ability or talent, for he had earned none of it. The lies we tell ourselves and others will travel half way round the world before the truth has it’s boots on, but once it does, it hits hard. Artorias began to rapidly change, to improve himself through sports, he took his studies more seriously than ever, he requested self defense courses because his parents and their money might not always be there to protect him. His nightmare had taught him that the only person in this world you can truly rely on is yourself, and Artorias was determined not to let that lesson go to waste. Each night in his nightmares he got just a little closer to the end. Each night he learned a lesson about discipline and self reliance.
While waking his parents were delighted this new phase in their child, Solair began to take Artorias on hunting trips, being able to put his new found athleticism to use in the hunt was more fulfilling than so much Artorias had done before. Amber began to teach Artorias about the family finances, and the laws that governed how such things were handled. Here he discovered a new talent in himself, his Eidetic Memory came to the fore as he soaked up knowledge like a sponge. At age 14 Artorias was enrolled in a private school and had a personal fitness trainer that he saw during his gym classes. At 16 his parents died in plane crash, the funeral took place during Christmas break. In a very dark place, he was put into the custody of his grandmother Maria. Maria was a globe trotter with a fascination for the strange and the bizarre, besides all the obligatory gifts on holidays Artorias had seen very little of her in his 16 years. It would be another 2 before he saw her again, as after the funeral to which she didn’t show up, he was sent right back to his private school.
This only impressed upon him the importance of self-reliance, Artorias excelled in his school work, what he lacked in raw intellect he made up for with a quick wit, his sterling memory, and hard work. Graduating at 18, Artorias returned home to his newly inherited manor, the one that had stood empty for two years after his parents passing. Standing in the foyer was his grandmother Maria. Apparently she had been away when his parents died and couldn’t make it back for their funeral. She felt afterwards that it would have inconsiderate to come into his life so suddenly after that. They spent the rest of the day telling stories about his parents.
Soon Artorias was off to an Ivy league university. There fueled by his ever present nightmares, he threw himself once again into his studies and got his law degree after only two years instead of the usual three. Returning home once again, Artorias found himself lacking purpose. It just so happened that Maria had returned shortly before but that she was leaving again in the next few days. She encouraged him to go with her and see the world, explore it’s mysteries, and find himself doing so as she had decades earlier. Compelled by her sincerity, Artorias did join her. During the next year Maria showed him wonders and terrors, occult secrets he hadn’t thought possible. Having returned home after a year of seeing the world and what it had to offer, he felt that finally, he was ready face his parents home, the place he’d been avoiding for the past three years.
His first night back in three years was also his last. That night Artorias had his devouring, strengthened by time and his travels around the world, he was finally able to face his inner fear, as a result, he became it. Fearing what Maria might think of him, Artorias proceeded to study his new found condition on his own. In time he learned of other supernatural creatures and how they interacted with the world. A business trip to Toronto had him meeting others of his kind. Striking up a quick, if not friendship, than at least solid business partnership, Artorias joined The Collectors, and maybe in so doing, found a new home.
His Business Portfolio: Artorias inherited Eboncross construction, one of the largest construction companies in North America, since coming into his family fortune, he has expanded into the medical field. He owns 4 medical companies( 1 hospital, 1 biotech development company, and 2 pharmaceutical companies that research longevity among other things).
His favorite quotes: “We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.” “Finding the lost treasure, catching your white whale, that’s not the hard part. The hard part is letting go.” “Nobody is perfect, those who try to be shall fail. It is not a shame to fail, and it is not a waste to try.”