• Ruthless || Though there was once a time when Graham felt remorse, shame, or guilt about surviving as the creature he is, those days are long behind him. Many who encounter the vampire now would be quick to attest that there is no humanity in him. He has been described as cold, aloof, pitiless as a snake, mercilessly cutting down those who oppose him with detached indifference. In short, he is void of conscience. When it serves him to kill, he does so, without hesitation or a second thought.
• Investigative Skills || Formerly a private investigator, the skills honed during that point in his life have been preserved, even if the memories of how he came to acquire them have been erased. Virtually nothing escapes Graham's notice. He is able to recall dates, facts, figures, and quotes with startling accuracy, having trained his eye to remember everything, no matter how seemingly obscure or insignificant the detail. This would be the cruel irony of his predicament, to possess a memory that is sharply focused and yet be unable to recall any of his past.
• Trained in Numerous Combative Styles || During his travels after being turned, Graham studied several different forms of martial arts, including, but not limited to: traditional karate, boxing, kick boxing, judo, tae kwon do, and muay thai. He has expanded his repertoire since then, making him a lethal fighter, though his wiry frame might deceptively imply otherwise.
• Controlled by His Maker || The Conductor is not one to break sire bonds to his fledglings. Those he chooses to turn are considered meticulously prior to being added to his collection of musically gifted vampires. They belong to him, they are his ensemble, and he is not inclined to give them the freedom to leave him. As such, Graham, like his vampiric siblings are all under his control, only capable of disobeying for a time, before his command overrides free will.
• Lack of Memory || Graham spent the first several decades of his vampiric life evading, then hunting down, his sire. His plan was to track and kill him in order to avenge the murder of his family, but his plans were thwarted by his nest, who protected him. A witch contact was then utilized to erase Graham's memories, leaving him dependent upon his maker and eliminating his drive for revenge, at least at first. He has no recollection of who he was, or of the events leading up to the moment he awoke in the nest house. Though he now knows the Conductor is not nearly as ignorant as he pretends to be.
• Loyal || Though perhaps one of his more honorable traits, loyalty is considered a weakness in Graham's case, as once a person earns it, they have it for life, for better, and often for worse. Should he find himself indebted to another individual, he voluntarily imposes a life sentence upon himself, and will be by their side whenever needed, regardless of how unsavory the favor or task.
Even those closest to Graham find him difficult to gauge. One minute he can be charming, gregarious, joking jovially with a person, and the next they could be dead. He is particularly frightening in that way, evoking fear from humans and vampires alike, as he will kill both mortal and immortal without warning or mercy. He is incredibly manipulative, silver-tongued, and sly, capable of twisting the emotions of others to obtain the results he desires. A brilliant strategist and a deadly fighter, he is as resourceful as he is clever, responsible for the deaths of over 20 vampire hunters nationally. These aspects of who he is have perpetuated his legend, but it doesn’t even begin to skim the surface of what lies beneath.
Privately Graham is pensive and quite tortured. There is so much of who he is that isn’t understood. He can read and speak fluent French, yet doesn’t know how. He can play the guitar and piano, but has no idea where he might’ve garnered such skills. That is because all of his memories prior to 1921 are inaccessible to him. As a result he can be brooding and sardonic, viewing the future with a sort of bleakness. He is horrifically pessimistic, bordering on depressed, to the point he’s considered ending his existence on numerous occasions. He feels fragmented, sensing deep down that who he has become is not the person he was meant to be. There is a disconnect within himself that is incredibly troubling when he opts to dwell on it for any length of time. Thus he keeps himself busy, distracting himself with work, using his talent for investigation to earn reward as a bounty hunter and pet procurer.
More than anything he desires to know who he was and it is this that motivates nearly everything he does. With his memories in tact, there's absolutely no way he would willingly serve the Conductor, and often he finds himself weighing whether regaining that sense of self is worth what he puts him through. These contemplations are typically brief, as an eternity wandering around without any knowledge of his past, isn't one he can fathom, and yet it is a very real possibility. While he despises his maker, the Conductor maintains control by constantly assuring him that without him, he will never find the missing pieces to his past. Unbeknownst to him, he is both salvation and damnation in one.
Born Tobias Scott Langdon in 1844, Graham was renamed by the man he would come to unwittingly serve, all in the pursuit of the memories he had stolen from him. Growing up in Fox Lake, Illinois, Tobias was the son of the town’s only preacher and his French wife. The eldest of seven children (4 boys and 3 girls), there was a lot of expectation placed upon him from the time he was quite small. He was to be a role model for his younger siblings, as well as a help to his mother and father in any area they deemed appropriate. While his upbringing consisted of strict religion, structure, and hard labor, Tobias was a dreamer. He loved music and possessed a natural affinity for just about any instrument he came in contact with, teaching himself to play by ear. This would eventually lead to him playing the church organ during Sunday service. He was exceptional, gifted beyond his years despite a lack of formal training, but his father considered such talents, unless being utilized for the glory of God, a waste. He discouraged Tobias from writing his own music, certain his proficiency would turn to pride.
However, there was someone who took notice of Tobias’ talents; a German man, who visited their church for a nighttime service one evening when he was thirteen. He approached him after the sermon, praising him for his abilities, which Tobias quickly downplayed. But unlike his father, this stranger would not allow him to verbally diminish his giftings, insisting he needed to cultivate them, regardless of what others might say. This encounter would stick with him and he would begin writing his own music despite his father’s disapproval. This would be a common theme throughout most of his life, for there was little about him that his father seemingly approved of, including who he chose to marry.
Rebecca Finch was a soft spoken girl, meek mannered and kind. She stole Tobias' heart the moment he laid eyes on her during the town’s annual May Day festival. Sure, there whispers that she and her family were witches, but back then people said those things if you sneezed in church. Besides, Tobias had never been one to pay much attention to gossip, especially when as far as he could tell, there was nothing more to Rebecca than light and goodness. Unlike his father, she encouraged his love of music, nurturing his very soul in the process.
However, music alone wouldn’t put food on the table (especially with he and Rebecca's first child on the way) and having all but rejected the church and his father’s chosen profession, Tobias opted to go into business for himself. He’d never been the sort to submit to a higher authority, thus it only made sense for him to be his own boss and answer to no one but himself. He’d read about Eugene Francois Vidocq, a French man who’d gotten into hot water over his business endeavors. He’d opened the first private detective agency in France, opting to take on cases the police were either unequipped or unwilling to see through. It was suspected he was later set up by law enforcement, who didn’t appreciate him stepping on their toes. Tobias found his research on ballistics and criminology fascinating, devouring all of his writings, or at least those that were readily available.
Following a similar path, he opened his own private investigation agency in Chicago in 1869. The timing, it would seem, couldn’t have been more right. Bodies were piling up around Illinois, washing up along the shores of Lake Michigan. The number of deceased wasn’t nearly as stunning as their condition, which baffled local police. The bodies were drained of blood, the only clue as to how this might’ve been accomplished, two or more puncture wounds, usually penetrating arteries. After months of no progress, desperate loved ones began taking their cases to Tobias, begging him to find out what happened to their family members. It was his agreement to do this that would ultimately seal his fate.
It was 1872, he’d been gathering clues for close to three years, each one bringing him closer to the answers he sought, closer to a resolution for those who’d placed their faith in him. He’d followed up on every lead, no matter how ambiguous or seemingly inconsequential. While the police had all but dismissed the incidents as the work of some sort of animal, Tobias was rapidly coming to a completely different conclusion. It was information given to him by a local panhandler that would guide him to the truth one chilly December evening. Along the docks of Lake Michigan, he would discover creatures he could only liken to the demons his father preached about from the pulpit. Out of sight, he observed a trio of these monsters feeding from a streetwalker, too distracted in the midst of their meal (or so he thought) to catch onto his presence.
Unsure what to do, but certain intervening would most assuredly get him killed, Tobias returned home to his wife and four year old daughter. Despite Rebecca's worried questioning, he would not share with her the things he’d seen, but later that very evening, she would come face to face with them herself. The knock on the door so late in the evening should have been a warning, but Tobias had remained in his study, pouring over papers and scribbling notes, trying to document everything. It wasn't until he heard Rebecca scream that he shot up from his chair and went to investigate. Work it seemed, had followed him home, and now his family would pay the price. By the time he stepped outside into the darkness, they were already dead, his child's lifeless body cradled in the arms of a dark haired woman boasting inhuman beauty.
He was left helpless to do anything against the pale skinned creatures who maimed the ones he loved, but that did not stop him from trying. He fought against them, only to find their strength far surpassed his own. Then the oldest man, the leader who seemed oddly familiar, sunk his needle-like fangs into his throat and began to drain him of his blood. Disoriented and weak, he could hardly resist when an open wound was forced up to his mouth. Commanded to drink, Tobias swallowed gulp after gulp of the coppery liquid before his body slumped to the ground. His veins burned as if on fire, his heart racing so fast he could scarcely breathe. With what remained of his strength, he crawled back toward the house, dragging himself through the open door where he fell unconscious in the foyer. He expected to die in the same manner as all the others whose cases he’d pursued. Instead, he woke up the following day with a dry thirst unlike any other, unaware that the protective wards his wife placed on their home barred entry to those who sought to do harm.
He would soon learn what type of monster he’d become. He searched for Rebecca, hoping it had all been some kind of bad dream, but neither she nor his child were anywhere to be found within the house. His stomach tied in knots, he edged toward the front door, images of their lifeless bodies and the ruby hue of fresh blood dancing before his vision. He braced himself to find them lifelessly strewn across the lawn of their family home, but as he squinted through the opening into the too bright day, there was no evidence that they’d ever been there at all. Where had they gone?
Confused, he moved to step outside and promptly winced against sudden pain before recoiling back. The sun’s rays burned his skin, as though he was no longer a creature suited to walk in the light. He was damned, cursed, with a maddening hunger that soon had him rummaging through the cupboards in search of something to stop the discomfort. He learned quickly that normal food and drink did not satisfy. And while in the back of his mind he knew the remedy, knew what was required of him to survive, he ignored the fire in his throat and veins even after night fell. This would turn out to be a mistake, as eventually he would no longer be able to fight his new cravings. He would feed on a random passerby after venturing into darkness, agonizing over what he’d done after it was too late.
He understood he would have to leave Chicago, lest the trio come back for him. And they would come back. He didn’t know how, but he understood this innately, could sense them closing in, or at least sense the gray haired man who’d done this to him. He headed south and for the better part of a year, he would subsist almost entirely on animals, after discovering their blood could effectively, albeit not for an extended period of time, put out the flames. He would hide from the light, seeking shelter wherever he could find it, and avoid humans as much as he could, though this was not always possible.
On such occasions, he found he had no hope of controlling himself, and each life he took weighed heavy on his conscience. The only thing that kept him from seeking out ways to end his existence was the memory of his family, images of his wife and daughter’s faces swirling in his mind, too painful to endure yet too beautiful to push away. He couldn’t allow their deaths to go unavenged. He would find a way to punish those who had murdered them. No matter how long it took. But first, he would have to gain control over the hunger that drove him and he had no concept of how to accomplish such a feat. It was while feeding on a small herd of goats in Louisiana, that his luck would change.
He recognized the other man for what he was, the pale glow that reflected from his gaze betraying him as a creature not unlike himself. “You’re a long way from Puerto Rico, chupacabra.” The man laughed at his state, all covered in the blood of herd animals, amused by his aversion to hunting their natural food source. His name was Zephyr and he, along with his female companions, Eurus and Adina, would take Tobias under their collective wing. They would teach him how to survive, tricks to keep the thirst at bay, and little by little he began to find the restraint to resist his hunger.
Though it became evident after a while that the hope was he’d one day take an interest in Adina, there was no room in Tobias’ heart for anything but hatred and revenge. He would spend the next decade or so traveling the trio, reading, studying every myth and legend he could find about their kind. He would train his body physically, preparing for his biggest case yet: tracking down the vampires who murdered his family. By the time he returned to Chicago to retrace their path, much had changed, but Tobias hadn’t. It was 1921, the year his quest for revenge would begin. He knew what to look for now, the places others like himself hid, and it didn’t take him long at all to learn the identity of the man who’d turned his world upside down. Though he was cautioned by other vampires to abandon his crusade, he tracked him to New Orleans. At last his revenge was close at hand, soon his maker’s blood would be shed as recompense for his loved ones.
But he was thwarted by his nest, which had grown in size. They protected their sire from his attack, delivering him from the hands of fate. In an unexpected twist, the tables were turned on Tobias. And while he expected death, it was not to be. You see, death would have been a mercy for a creature as tortured as he, an end to a life of self-hatred, a reunion with those lost, and the Conductor, as he was known in the vampiric world, was not one to grant mercy so easily. Instead he consorted with witch allies, requesting that they rid Tobias of the memories that seemed to torment him so. He was left with nothing, no tangible memory of who he’d been or what he’d come for, leaving him completely dependent upon the man he’d learned to despise. Graham was born, added to the Conductor’s collection of musically gifted vampires, the final piece of his Ensemble.
Ironically, he would come to hate his creator just the same, memories or not. The intact sire bond that prohibited him from leaving the nest became a point of contention as the years dragged on, the controlling nature of the Conductor frequently colliding with Graham’s need to be independent and free to seek out the past he cannot remember.
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