• Intellectual, devout follower of a syncretistic mixture of Roman Catholicism and West African voodoo, prior practicing witch.
• Medical doctor, prior medical examiner and neurosurgeon over the decades.
• Refined & polite. While he may be a monster, he doesn't have to act that way, if you ask him.
• Fluent in French, English, and Spanish, in that order, having grown up in Haiti.
• Finally, he's also near impossible to kill. (See Ghouls lore)
• To those that don't know him well, he may appear cold & distant. Due to the atrocities he must commit to remain of this earth, he is forced to compartmentalize his emotions.
• Eccentric at times. Spending the majority of your day around dead bodies doesn't tend to earn you many friends.
• A weakness for complicated bedfellows
• He also has a chink in his armor, right over his heart, as all of his kind do. (See Ghouls)
|Played by|| Djimon Hounsou|
|Age|| 269 (June 6, 1748)|
|Sign|| || Gemini|
|Height|| 5ft 11in (180.34 cm)|
|Weight|| 165 lbs (74.84 kg)|
|Occupation|| Owner |
|Employer|| Majestic Mortuary Services|
|Species|| Ghoul |
|Affiliation|| The Cleaners|
Intellectual, refined, polite, eccentric, steadfast
Jacques has been so many different men over the centuries he often loses sight of who he is. Not at his core, for he is a man who knows who he is at a fundamental level, but it's as though he has worn several different skins, donning whichever suits him best at the time, always an actor playing a role.
But whatever role he plays, several truths remain. He may be a monster but he's a decent man. He takes no particular pleasure in killing to eat, as so many of his kind do. He sees his role of predator as part of a natural balance, like a human culling an overgrown deer population. He hunts because he must, because it is his duty as part of this world's ecosystem, but not because he glorifies the pain his victims endure.
Despite his appetites, he is a kind being who cares much for others of his kind adjusting to the life the gods have selected. He remembers the fear and anger of turning, the injustice of it all... and thus he strives to help others cope. He was also taken in by a vampire as a young Ghoul... (See History) For all his faults he will never stop loving Armond.
When Armond became the Centurion of New Orleans, he wasn't surprised. He'd always been a natural leader, all consuming in his charms. So even though their relationship was not born in equality, Armond using compulsion to control him, Jac developed a type of Stockholm Syndrome, although he would never have labeled it that at the time.
Jac fell for him and into his bed, and by the time he regained his anonymity he was too deeply ensnared in their tryst. It took him decades to clear the fog and realize he needed a life of his own, away from the vampire nest that subjected him to a secondary form of slavery. He left on strained but good terms, with a bitter pang in the hearts of both parties.
However, years have past now since he became Armond's Ghoul Liaison in New Orleans. He does what he can to ensure Ghoul and Vampire kind live in peace and secrecy, often acting as a mediator. He keeps his distance from Armond in order to remain a neutral party, to stay out of vampire affairs and take care of his people... but also because he fears being once again ensnared by the charismatic vampire.
Jacques was born in what is now modern day Haiti in the Summer of 1748 to a hardworking female slave on a sugar plantation in what was then the French colony, Saint-Dominique. Those days, the death rate was so high from yellow fever, that it was common for several men to marry one woman. So it was with his mother, and thus he never knew the true identity of his father.
Life on the plantation was bleak. White owners took his mother when their fancy struck. He was beaten regularly. To this day, he still carries his owner's brand on his inner forearm and the scars of lashings across his back. He had several brothers and sisters, and not half of them survived to maturity.
One of his brothers was the result of the nightly union of the white plantation owner's son and his mother. In those days, mulattoes or people of mixed race often had elevated status. Indeed, the light skinned baby was taken in by the owner's family. While he never became an equal among the white family, he inherited freedom, and was educated and taught to read. He had the life of which most African-born slaves like his mother dreamed.
His mother was a devout follower of a synesthetic mixture of Roman Catholicism and West African voodoo, a belief system that was popular among the slaves and implicitly rejected their status as slaves. Jacques grew up watching her, learning to practice magic at her side. As a boy he would often ask her, "Mother, why can't we use the gifts of god to remove our chains, to leave this place, to be free?" She would only shake her head, and tell him "No magic in this universe can remove hate from men's hearts." She often told him he must never use magic for his own gain, how he was better for his suffering, and that only hard work could lift his bonds.
His mother tried to sell artisan works, and voodoo potions and spells so she could buy her son's hefty price of freedom... Since she was from Yoruba, what is now modern Nigeria, it was not easy for her to elevate her position. Yet, she had high hopes for Jacques, who was born in the colony and thus had the chance at a better life. Unfortunately, she would die before she’d raised nearly enough to make this a reality.
As the years passed Jac became a petulant and impatient boy. The amount of Maroons -- runaway slaves -- began to increase. Some would hide in forested regions while others fled to urban areas and tried to blend in with freed blacks and mulattoes. Whispers of rebellion circulated. Then, a leader emerged, a charismatic Haitian voodoo priest, François Marsenat. He united the Maroons and established a network of secret organizations among plantation slaves. It was through that network, and his ties to voodoo that Jacques first learned of the rebellion.
By that time, he was growing into quite the little witch. In his teen years he was initiated into his mother's coven and furthered his knowledge past that his mother alone could teach him. He utilized his mother's connections to local voodoo practitioners, to learn more and more about Marsenat and his rebels... Dreaming of a day he would be old enough to join in the fight, despite his mother trying to discourage such aspirations. But his hopes were dashed in 1758 when Jac was 10. He heard Marsenat had been captured by the French and burned at the stake, a devastating blow.
It wasn't until the late 1784 that Jacques joined the rebels at the age of 26. His mother had taken ill and passed away. While he missed her, the guilt of her pacifistic principles no longer hung over him, and thus he escaped to the wilderness.
At age 33, he became a driving force in the Haitian Revolution of 1791. In 1804 the revolution was successful, and Saint-Dominique won independence. But Jacques never saw that day. Like many of the man who fought on both sides of the revolution, he succumbed to yellow fever in a dusty tent in 1796 at the age of 48. By then, a hardened general, he would have much preferred to go out at the slash of a blade. But the voodoo roots still ran deep in the revolutionary camps. He was taken home, and there a dear friend of his mother’s and voodoo priestess rose him as a Ghoul.
While he should have been thankful, according to the coven that raised him, he was anything but. He wanted to return to the warfront, to his men, but if he would have, he would have torn them apart, ripping into their flesh. No one could know what he had become. Thus, Armond, the vampire that had assisted in the ritual that made him, compulsed him away from the war front, into modern day Dominican Republic.
Taken from his homeland, forced to eat living people, he descended into madness. It was only the kindness of his vampire maker, if you could call shackling him to a wall so he wouldn’t kill himself ‘kindness’ that kept him alive in those days. He shut out the entire world, and even when he grew into himself, shaking off the compulsion of his vampire, he did not return.
He was ashamed of what he had become. When he finally did return in the early 1800s, he found a colony desolated, economy in ruins, people barely able to feed their families. Blacks fought mulattoes for control, the death toll of the war having left a huge void. They had their freedom, but at a cost.
He returned to the vampire that had helped created him, Armond Coquière and together they followed the wave of refugees, fleeing the island for the Americas. At the time, the U.S. was afraid of the Haitian Revolution and that ex-slaves migrating into the country would spur unrest amongst their enslaved people. Thus, they entered the country with the white vampire posing as his owner, and settled on a small plantation in Louisiana with a group of other vampires. Jacques often did errands for the vampires during the day, and while he was technically "free" he could not live as a free black man. While America's economy was booming and conditions were much better than his homeland, it wasn't freedom. Never the less, he learned much while living among the vampires: how to read and write chief among them. He learned for the first time that he was smart, his thirst for knowledge almost as great as his desire for flesh.
Over the years, attitudes changed at an achingly slow pace. They traveled around every few decades to avoid detection, heading north as popular ideology grew more progressive. He met other ghouls like himself. When the civil war came, and slavery was eventually abolished, he parted ways from his vampire nest, striking out on his own, even leaving Armond who had become his lover.
In 1868, when Howard University opened a medical department, becoming the first school to have a medical program for blacks, he was practically storming down the door to get admitted. He might not have been able to practice magic anymore, but he could get pretty darn close. He was fascinated by the mechanics of the human race, after long ago coming to grips with his role in extinguishing life. He cycled through several specialties over the years, earning more than one medical degree, but getting a job as a black doctor wasn't easy. So most of his work was research, psychiatric hospitals, or morgues. He was always careful not to have his picture published on any of his articles.
Death always held his fascination. He had seen so much of it over the years, feeding from the human race. He became a respected medical examiner, and then one day Armond came calling. He had again made a home in Louisiana and become the Centurion of the area. He wanted Jacques, once so loyally at his side, to return and bring order to the large Ghoul population in New Orleans, which had recently been causing trouble with several sloppy murders... So in the 1970s, with Armond's help he came to New Orleans and opened Majestic Mortuary Services, Inc. He took up post as Ghoul-Liaison and brought the local Ghouls under his wing.
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