Tennyson protects himself behind a façade of hardened, desensitized indifference and sarcastic wit to disguise his fear of the Things That Go Bump In The Night, the dark underworld which he has been unwittingly thrust into. Fortunately for Tennyson, the act is so convincing that he's even managed to convince himself. The greatest vulnerability he shows is his compassion for others, which is to say his compassion for "Others". Tennyson prides himself on being a good judge of character, and will go to great lengths to help those he deems as "good people". Perhaps due to his own early history, Tennyson has a soft spot for strays, which is ultimately how he came to share his apartment above Cat's Cradle with a staff of brúnaidh obsessed with BBC television (particularly post-Edwardian period drama), and a vampire named Liam.
Once Upon a Time
Thirty years ago, during the last surge of Wild Magic, the man who would come to be known as Andrew Tennyson was born. While the wee bairn slept in his crib, his parents and older sister stayed up late one stormy night to watch Johnny Carson, never suspecting that they had been targeted by a group of ritualistic killers. These killers broke into their home, tied up his family, and spilled their blood in a clumsy and ineffective attempt to summon dark powers. With Wild Magic about, their ritual permanently bonded magick to the child's soul.
Mystery surrounds how the child survived that night and came to be found by Agnetha Tennyson, a young witch who named the child Andrew. Agnetha successfully adopted young Andrew, raising him with one foot in the world of man, and one in the Witchery Way. Following a dreamwalking, young Andrew chose the black cat as his skinwalking totem. When Andrew became an adult (and began insisting that others address him as Tennyson), he combined his adoptive mother's knowledge and his biological family fortune to purchase a shop in Los Angeles, which he dubbed Cat's Cradle. While the "front room" sells such mandane supplies as incense, candles, oils, extracts, books, phony talismans, and a "juice bar", Tennyson maintains a "back room" where he sells legitimate magical goods to those with the talent to put them to use. Tennyson's back room business also caters to the odd job and temporary work needs of the Greater Los Angeles supernatural community.
Carson Carson is a brownie, and is the head of the brownie troop residing at Cat's Cradle. Like his entire troop, Carson is enraptured by the television show Downton Abbey. As such, his troop has patterned their behaviour on the servants of early 20th century English aristocracy, even naming themselves after characters from the show. Carson is summoned by an old-fashioned bell rope, and can manifest doors within the walls of Cat's Cradle for ease of transit.
César César is a wererat, twin brother of Ramon. Though nearly impossible to tell apart in human form, in rat form they can be distinguished by the patch of grey fur César has on his chest. César's rat form is also slightly larger and stronger than Ramon's. César and Ramon are procurement specialists, keeping Tennyson stocked with magical ingredients in exchange for room, board, and a wage. César is bilingual in English and Spanish. He is a talented mechanic and engineer, sometimes cobbling together gadgets for Tennyson's jobs.
Deuce Deuce is an entity of unknown origin who dwells within Tennyson's smartphone. He can see through the phone's camera, and hear through its microphone, but for some reason he chooses to speak to Tennyson through text massages rather than through the phone's speaker. It is presumed that he does have the capacity to speak, but it is unknown why he chooses not to. Deuce spends the majority of his time surfing the Web, and has some degree of technomagical talent which he uses to maintain connectivity and bandwidth.
Liam Siodhacháin Liam is a vampire born in 19th-century Ireland. He came to America to seek his fortune in the "Wild West", Americanizing his name to "William Sheehan". William was a successful gunslinger, earning the nickname of "Whiskey Bill" for his Irish-born tolerance for spirits. Whiskey Bill's luck ran out in a "house of ill repute", which resulted in him being sired as a vampire. Liam is very private and does not speak of his Maker, so it is unknown if she is among the unliving or has been destroyed. Liam has decided to try to live a life as close to human as he can, as a way of warding off ennui. As such, under the name of Will Sheehan (legally William Sheehan III, an alleged descendant), he currently works as a phlebotomist, using his charm and weak hypnotic power to hide the "extra" blood he takes (and consumes) from each patient. As such, Liam feeds regularly enough that he doesn't feel compelled to prey on humans. He does not judge vampires who drink "directly from the source"; he sees it as though two actors are choosing different motivations to play similar roles. Liam met Tennyson through undisclosed circumstances, and the friendship the two of them struck led to them becoming roommates (though Tennyson has warded himself against vampires).
Mrs. Hughes Mrs. Hughes is a brownie, and is the second-in-command of the brownie troop residing at Cat's Cradle. Like her entire troop, Mrs. Hughes is enraptured by the television show Downton Abbey. As such, her troop has patterned their behaviour on the servants of early 20th century English aristocracy, even naming themselves after characters from the show. Unlike the characters' respective relationship in the show, Carson and Mrs. Hughes are married. Mrs. Hughes is an expert at healing magic.
Ramon Ramon is a wererat, twin brother of César. Though nearly impossible to tell apart in human form, in rat form they can be distinguished by the patch of grey fur Ramon has on his right hip. Ramon's rat form is also slightly smaller and quicker than César's. Ramon and César are procurement specialists, keeping Tennyson stocked with magical ingredients in exchange for room, board, and a wage. Ramon speaks English, Spanish, and Mandarin, and has an eidetic memory.
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