Hope Born to Germany in the heart of the War of Austrian Succession in 1745, James was a ward of the state with no official parents until, at age 14, he was picked up by a wealthy noble couple who were in need of an heir. His subsequent schooling went by at an accelerated rate, and it was soon apparent to both his parents and teachers that he possessed an uncanny intelligence and adaptability unmatched by his peers. His training began to prepare him for a life in politics, and his involvement in the talks regarding the peace of hubertsberg gained him a sudden publicity. His life seemed certain to include all the best in life; power, money, and prestige.
Tragedy In the fall of 1775, James left his wife and six children with his parents at their home while he traveled to Munich for a business engagement that would last several months. Just as the first bronzed leaf of the season touched the ground, a wandering cinder from the fireplace started a fire that eventually consumed the home. All that James lived for was torn from him in the space of 15 minutes. When he returned to the site 3 weeks later, the house had been demolished and in its place stood a graveyard.
Aftermath James fell out of the public spotlight as his life devolved into a survey of whorehouses and alcoholism. In his despair and melancholy, he became increasingly obsessed with bringing his loved ones back from the dead. Sworn off by friends and colleagues, James sold off his impressive fortune and took his studies underground where he began investigating the occult. In order to facilitate his studies, James began collecting other like-minded souls to help him in his investigation. After several years had passed, this secret society of believers began to unravel some of the most closely-held secrets of the world. James eventually became aware of a ritual that could awaken his dead family from beyond the grave, but when he made his way to the gravesite, he was attacked by a group of his followers. Their blank faces revealed no emotion or hint of intent as they pinned him to the ground while a pale member of his entourage gracefully approached him and then feasted on his blood.
Born Again Initially rejecting his fate, James roamed europe for a number of years, feeding on those souls unfortunate enough to cross his path, spending the daylight hours in whatever hole or grave he could find. Eventually, he was discovered by a group of tremere near the London chantry. They immediately recognized him as one of their own, and also saw in him the same spark of intellect that his teachers noticed so many years ago. As before, he was trained in the arts of his craft, though this time he studied subterfuge, stealth, and manipulation. His talents were put to good use, and soon James was a rising star in the eyes of the mystic guild. To celebrate his newly rekindled interest in life, he renamed himself Janus after the two-faced roman god of beginnings.
Carpe Noctem Over time, Janus came to accept his new life and even enjoy it. He spent his time making alliances and rising in power, and soon found himself the personal assistant of the London primogen, Mr. Kazelbar. Although he welcomed the assistance at first, soon Mr. Kazlebar became worried that Janus was a bit too ambitious, and plotted to be rid of him by sending him on an impossible mission: to assassinate a mage and bring back a vial of his blood. While in the midst of his manipulations, Janus realized the plot as it truly was, an attempt at murder, and so struck a deal with the mage in question wherein they together killed Mr. Kazelbar. Afterwards, Janus assumed control of the London tremere, and an outstanding order was given to cut all involvement with the mage. Janus ruled his clan there for many moons, but as always, wanderlust eventually took hold of him and he traveled to the New World to make a name for himself there as well.
These Nights Adaptation has always been the key to Janus’s success in life (and indeed unlife). His ability to meld into his surroundings and make them a part of him, his talent of making each new situation into something he can manage with ease is central to his good fortune in amassing and keeping power. During the American Revolution his weapons plants enjoyed orders both from the French and the English. In the civil war, he had ownings both in southern plantations as well as metropolitan business. In time, Janus learned that it is not best to be on the winning side, but to be on both sides, as there are always profits to be had in the reconstruction after a conflict. While his competitors got stuck in one area (or even era), Janus always moved forward with the times.
:Personality: Janus, as his name suggests, is a man with two faces. As a friend, partner, father, or lover, Janus can be more loyal than any mortal. However, as a businessman or politician, his ruthlessness knows no bounds. Deceit and betrayal are the points at which the two faces interact, though this is a rare (and relished) occurrence. Janus aims to be the most knowledgeable and powerful of his peers, but he more than anyone knows that success such as this must be on the backs of others. As such, he rarely betrays a confidence or stabs a friend in the back. Such would lead to a lack of respect, which is what he relies on to maintain his position. The flip side of that coin is that Janus relishes an act of betrayal like a wine connoisseur enjoys a glass of 1787 Chateau Lafite.
:Motivation: As has been his pattern thus far, Janus aims to become a powerful figure in the Kindred world of NYC. Having attained the position of Primogen was a wonderful first step, but his eyes are on the coveted position of Prince, a variety of power he has yet to savor.
:Allies and Enemies: Janus has several allies in the major businesses of New York (most notably the New York Times), as well as kindred in positions of power at local universities (Rutgers, NYU, Vasser, and Cornell) and museums (most notably the Museum of Natural History), giving him access to many rare and ancient occult texts. Additionally, he maintains some ties to the old world, especially in Vienna and London. Unfortunately, being in such a position of power has earned a bit of hatred from some of those around him. Most notably, the anarchs of the city have begun to wage a near-open war on Janus and his fellow tremere.
:Appearance: When in the company of fellow kindred, Janus has a flair for the dramatic. A top-hat, cane, and cloak are common apparel for him in such situations. While amongst mortals, however, he tends to scale back the look to long coats and clothing that has a renaissance feel. When acting in a position of great power, such as when meeting as a primogen or as a representative of his clan in tremere events, Janus wears a trademark white mask that adds an air of mystery and intimidation to his look. Most striking about Janus are his uncannily blue eyes that seem to glow as he speaks.
Home Janus lives in a great mansion in south Staten Island. This living space features over 100 rooms, a full live-in service staff (a mix of ghouls, blood dolls, and normal humans), several state-of-the art security systems, a commercial-grade fire-deterrent system, an underground “vault” that houses many of the bedrooms, as well as several secret rooms that only Janus knows of. This mansion serves as the Chantry for the Tremere of New York city, and as such all tremere are allowed sanctuary there. Home Features: -In addition to mundane security measures (alarms, sensors, camera, etc), Janus has the chantry fortified with thaumaturgical safety as well as a force of 10 heavily-armed guards on premises at all times (all guards are ghouls). -Janus maintains a vast library available to any tremere who wish to peruse it. In fact, Janus himself can often be found reading through the various texts. -The underground sections of the mansion can be sealed via remote. Additionally, all windows and doors of the mansion are equipped with hidden reflective panels that can be deployed with the push of a button. -Although each bedroom in the house is equipped with a key-lock and deadbolt, Janus can manipulate these devices remotely. -The garage is fully-stocked with three limousines (all treated with bullet-proofing and light-proofing), over a dozen sedans of various types, and a selection of motorcycles. -The armory houses a wide variety of weaponry, from finely-crafted katanas, to mundane pistols, to customized rifles and shotguns suited to fire phosphorus or silver rounds.
Personal Equipment: Through the centuries, Janus has collected a number of rare items that he values very highly, and so is rarely without.
Ruby Dagger- This finely-crafted blade appears at first glace to have a grip constructed of sold ruby. Closer inspection reveals that the grip is actually hollow, though this seeming design flaw does not appear to cause any great weakness in the frame. When this dagger punctures the skin of any creature, it will automatically remove one blood point worth of blood and store it in the hilt of the weapon. This blood can then be easily drained by unscrewing the bottom of the hilt.
Cloak of the Abalone- Although this appears to be nothing more than a mundane cloak of unremarkable origin, when the interior is exposed, it reveals a beautiful swirling of colors and patterns that can easily transfix those unfamiliar with the effect. Mortals who see the cloak are much more easily Dominated, while Toreador who gaze upon the spectacle are absorbed into the beauty as per their clan weakness.
Deck of Wonder- This magical deck of tarot cards is rumored to have been a gift from the unknown mage whom joined Janus in the slaying of Mr. Kazelbar or for some other type of service rendered. When one of occult learning pulls a card from the deck and speaks it’s true name, the card disintegrates and a specific spell is unleashed, under the direction of the user. Each card in the deck has a different spell locked inside it, the specifics of which are known only to Janus (and perhaps a well-traveled mage). Only 26 of the original cards remain, the rest having been used in nights past to some powerful effect. A few of the cards remaining are Death, The Fool, Judgment, and Tower.
Wakizashi- This finely-crafted Japanese shortsword is easily concealable in the cloaks/long coats worn by janus, and as such makes for a very reliable weapon. The blade is capable of cutting through flesh and bone easily with the correct stroke. In his training as a tremere action operative in London, Janus learned the art of swordplay from the very best of the time.
Revolver- Janus carries a small .357 revolver with him mainly as a tool for intimidation when dealing with mortals or other rabble. He keeps the weapon loaded with silver bullets, a trick he learned after tangling with a lycanthrope earlier in unlife. Although not a master marksman by any means, Janus is competent at firing the weapon.
:Disciplines: Being a scholar of the occult at heart, Janus focuses on the blood magic of his clan as his main discipline.
Dominate: III I. Command - By locking eyes with a weak-willed subject and giving a verbal command, you are able to force him to perform a simple task. II. Mesmerize - You may implant a powerful hypnotic suggestion into the mind of a victim who is not otherwise distracted. III. The Forgetful Mind - Using this power allows you to wipe the memories of others, or even reform them to something more desirable.
Auspex: II Though not often used while in the safety of his chantry, back when Janus was more involved with “active” clan politics, the power to listen in on secret meetings from a block away came in very handy. I. Heightened Senses - All natural senses are heightened (Sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste) II. Aura Perception - You are able to perceive psychic auras that surround all mortals and supernatural beings. This can be used to determine the subject's emotional state and can also to detect otherwise hidden supernatural beings.
Thaumaturgy: IV --The product of centuries of study and practice is the art of blood magic that janus holds so dear. I. A Taste for Blood - By tasting the blood of an individual, you will know his creature type, how much vitae remains in his system, and how old he is. II. Blood Rage - By touching a vampire, you may force them to spend blood against their will. III. Blood of Potency - You may increase the potency of your own blood, making it as potent as a vampire of lower generation. IV. Theft of Vitae - You may draw blood from an enemy up to 15 meters away as their vitae streams forth in a physical torrent.
:Merits/Flaws: Janus has no specific merits or flaws. He does, however, prefer the blood of students of higher education. This is only a matter of preference, and is not limiting like the weakness of clan venture.
:Generation: Janus is of the 8th generation. He was only born of 9th generation, but committed diablerie on then-primogen of London, and thereby lowered his generation.
Outstanding: Charisma- People like Janus, and he likes people who like him. Intelligence- Academic pursuits are always a priority, and inborn talent doesn’t hurt. Manipulation- Getting people do do what he wants has always been easy.
Average: Strength- He’s not all brawn, but still has a surprising bench press for a bookworm. Appearance- Average in appearance, Janus relies on social charms to get him noticed. Wits- Though not dull, he mind does have a tendency to wander.
Poor: Perception- Since childhood, Janus has suffered from poor eyesight and hearing. Dexterity- Clumsiness tends to follow him around like a cloud. Stamina- He was never a runner or a swimmer, and he never will be.
Outstanding: Subterfuge- Concealing his own motives is second nature to Janus. Expression- Janus can make himself as clear or as obtuse as he wishes. Leadership- He has never had a problem getting people to do what he wants. Etiquette- Growing up in a house of nobles has taught him the virtues of social grace. Melee- While an operative for the London tremere, he was taught swordplay by masters. Stealth- Moving unnoticed is very useful in the life of a spy. Academics- Most truths can be gleaned from texts, ancient or otherwise. Occult- Janus has unearthed many secrets of the night. Computers- The modern equivalent to a grand library, when information is power. Language- In addition to his native German, Janus is fluent in english and french.
:Combat Statistics: Offense: 10 (+2 with Wakazashi) Defense: 10