From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
"No conscience, no remorse... no doubt an easy way to live. You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done... and to care."
The Old World Ventrue Seeking Redemption
"I don't wanna share my feelings. I don't wanna open up. I wanna find the guys that tried to kill Smiley, and I wanna look them in the eye."
"Then I'm gonna share my feelings"
-Conversation between Angell and Dr. Kazz
David Angell's personality is difficult to describe at best. Mutli-layered, complex and enigmatic. Considering his age and past, it is quite expected. However, Angell has a deep-seeded inner torment, the likes of which only those close to him ever experience. On the outside, he appears quietly confident. His stance is straight and erect, his shoulders back, and his chin up. His eyes scan the room when he enters. His hands never rest in their pockets, showing to the observant that he is ready for anything. He is an old warrior, experienced and ready; and he knows it. Very rarely is he caught off guard in a confrontation. This confidence makes him intimidating, even without having to actively use Presence. Rarely, if ever does he use his Dominate ability. When he was Sabbat, he found it much more satisfying to mentally dominate someone through sheer force of character, intimidation and subtle manipulations, not through the use of some blood-born discipline. Now, he views it as evil, invasive and manipulative to Dominate another and won't let himself ever use this disciple, even if the situation direly needs it.
Behind the warrior however, is a mind in constant conflict. Having lived as Sabbat for over 150 years and performing an uncountable number of horrific acts, Angell is constantly at odds with himself, wondering if what he's doing now is right. He was a monster, and he knows it. His only hope is to atone for those sins, one good act at a time. But sometimes even this this isn't enough, and he can often be found in long stints of quiet contemplation. Being cursed doesn't help matters much either. As part of the curse, David will lose his conscience if ever his soul is at rest, and return to being the monster he once was. David is aware of this, and will oftentimes remove himself from situations or relationships in order to keep himself unhappy.
Due to this trait,along with his long period of time in isolation, David is not as eloquent as others Ventrue. This is not to say he is verbally clumsy, however. David can be articulate and quick-witted in a conversation, and can still manipulate things to his favor with words alone. However, in conversations about his feelings, his past or his character, he can become increasingly awkward. Especially if the conversation goes on for too long.
At heart however, David is both a Defender and a Penitent. He's seen firsthand the atrocities that his kind can wreak on the world and believes that since he possesses the strength to do something about it, it is his duty and his duty alone to protect the helpless.
Powers and Abilities
David was a natural scrapper and pretty tough when he was human. Also, while he was a ghoul he underwent the Ventrue rite of agoge, then later in life some pretty itense Chinese martial arts training. All this would make for quite a powerful fighter among humans, but as a vampire, he has even more working for him:
- David makes liberal use of Potence and Fortitude in combat, making sure he's hitting hard, and not taking alot of damage in return. Since he's come to the Ilses, he's taken alot of hits that have made his teammates cringe, like having a car dropped on him, being run through but a Thorn Tree Vine, and even been stepped on by a Zeus Class Malta mech. He's also gone head-to-head with a cyberneticly-enhanced Super Troll and didn't manage to back down. David has shown such sheer power in both these disciplines, that most feel direct combat with him to be suicidal.
- David also tends to use Presence to give himself an edge in combat. With this power, he makes himself seem like the most dangerous foe on the battlefield. This works two ways: first off, it allows his enemies to ignore his friends and only notice him, but this intimidating manner also tends to make his opponents fight less effectively than they would normally. David also has been known to strike fear into his enemies, leaving them cowering where they stand or strike them with awe, leaving them unable to fight.
- With Auspex, David's senses are unnaturally heightened, and he oftentimes uses this power to eavesdrop on distant conversations, or to track down a query. Oftentimes his alertness is credited to this power, and though does have a knack for understanding peoples emotions and picking out other supernaturals around him, it is not known whether he can see Auras or not.
- No one has ever seen David use Dominate, so it is unknown how powerful or adept he is with this discipline.
- Since his encounter with the Thorns of the Thorn Tree and the demon attaching itself to his soul, David has developed some new abilities. First is his ability to encase himself in a blue flame. This flame seems to ward off almost all damage, totally eclipsing his Fortitude when active. During this time, his personality is very destructive and he has to use much of his inner resolve not to succumb to to the demon clawing at his consciousness. Though it is yet unknown, David may have other abilities from this as well.
- David is also incredibly willful and headstrong. Not only can he withstand most mental punishment and torture, but he has a certain drive that just keeps him going, far longer than most others. In addition, he is highly resilient to psionic attacks and intrusions, has the insight to see through all but the most powerful illusions and, as far as has been seen, can not be Dominated by other vampires. Mentally, he is incredibly strong, emotionally...
Almost ironically, Angell's biggest weakness is his emotional state. Having performed so much evil, the goodness in his soul oftentimes feels overshadowed by his past. In addition, Angell cares greatly for his friends, and this seems to be the first area his enemies attack. It is for that reason Angell often secludes himself away from others, keeping himself distant and unattached to those around him. Upon arriving in the Rogue Isles, Angell promised himself that he would remain unattached, remain alone. Fight the good fight, help the helpless, that was his plan. But his weakness has resurfaced again in his friendship with Paola Flusso. Though she was the first that David found himself attached to, many more have followed.
"...there is no guilt, there is no torment, no consequences... It's pure. I remember what that was like. Sometimes I miss that clarity."
David Angell was born as David Galway in Dublin, Ireland in 1727. In his twenties, he developed a taste for alcohol, women, and sloth; though not a bad man, David was a hedonist whose only real ambition lay in seeing the world. For the lazy Irishman, that seemed a laughable dream, especially after he was expelled from home by his father, who labeled him a "terrible disappointment". One night in 1753, the drunken David caught the eye of an affluent woman named Marion. She lured him into an alley, and, promising him a world full of excitement and travel, she ghouled him. Over the next year, she brainwashed him, putting him through grueling tasks that she specifically designed to improve his strength, constitution, and resolve, all the while wiping away his humanity. This is a Ventrue rite known as agoge, commonly used by traditionalists of the clan. By the time she turned him a year later, Marion had turned David to become a killing machine, freeing him to act upon his darkest impulses.
On the one year anniversary of the night he rose from his grave, and in response to Marion's claim that he could have anyone in his home village, he set about slaughtering the entire community. When he came to murder his own family, he found no problem in entering, his little sister Kathy inviting him in without hesitation or suspicion; according to David, "She thought that I'd returned to her. An Angel. She was wrong." Upon killing his father, David told him how he had made something of himself after all. However, when he gloated over his victory, Marion cruelly deflated him, claiming that it was in fact his father who had won because his disapproval would follow David for the rest of his life.
David took the name "Angell", presumably inspired by his sister's mistaken belief that he was an angel. He was also later described in historical volumes as "the demon with the face of an angel," due to his good looks, charmingly sociopathic demeanor and his brutal nature. This too could have been where he took the name, but only he and Marion know the answer for sure. After leaving Ireland, Angell and Marion cut a bloody swath through Wales and northern England before finally reaching London in 1760. During Angell's first meeting with Marion's sire, he openly mocked the older vampire despite his power and authority, showing no fear despite his greater age, putting Marion in a very uncomfortable position. However, She was won over by David's words and chose to live with Angell, abandoning her master's leadership.
In the early the late 1800s, David sired a Puritan by the name of Wren, who mimicked David by wreaking havoc on his father and killing his family. Over time he began copying David's "signature" of carving a upside-down crosses on the faces of his victims in order to spite God. In 1880, in an act of pure sadism, Angell killed a Brujah and blood Bound it's childer to him. This Brujah would later mimick Angell in many ways, including taking on a new name to build a reputation with, Spike. Spike would stay with Marion even after her and David's path's separated, and even after his bond to Angell had subsided.
In 1882, a young woman called Aria from London, England caught the attention of David. Aria was "cursed with the sight,” an awakened Mage, something her mother saw as an affront to the Lord. Aria and her sisters were all virgins, and Aria was described as having been "sweet, pure and chaste." While posing as her priest to torment her, David killed her family, which caused Aria to flee to a convent. On the day she was to take her holy orders, David massacred the convent. After having sex with Marion and a host of nuns right in front of Aria. David finally pushed her over the edge, driving her insane before he finally blackmailed a Malkavian into siring her. Aria was David's "masterpiece," an everlasting example of his finest cruelty, as her immortality meant that her torment would never end. This was the event which finally gained him the notice of Amanda Kelly, a powerful Tremear in London. After a brief confrontation, Angell and Marion fled England for Romania, leaving Amanda to deal with the mess they left behind; Aria.
In Romania, 1898, Angell slew an entire tribe of Gypsies while the eldest and leader among them watched, helplessly. To avenge their death, the Gypsy Elder cursed him, selling his own soul in return for afflicting him with a conscience and condemning him to an eternity of remorse for the crimes he'd committed. The feelings of guilt and dread overwhelmed David, and for weeks, he didn't know what was happening to him. Driven almost to the point of madness, he was visited by the Bhaali who had placed the curse and told what was happening to him. In this conversation, David was also told about how to end his curse: if ever he was able to put his soul to rest, his burdens relieved, and made to feel true happiness, his curse would be lifted along with those burdens. In a frenzy, David attacked the Bhaali, but was horribly defeated. Instead of killing him, the Bhaali simply told him that he had to live, that his "Lord" had plans for him [David].
During the Boxer Rebellion in China, Angell met up with Marion and Spike again. He did his best to hide the way he was feeling from them, but while Hong Kong burned, David helped a family from a burning building. Marion saw this and was enraged. She descended upon Angell and the two of the fought until she had almost killed him. Then with the sound of metal sliding across wood, a flash of light,the cool breeze a sword leave behind, Angell looked up to see what he'd only heard about in legend: an Asian Vampire, a Kui Jin. This is when Angell lost consciousness. What happened next is unknown to any except Angell and the Kui Jin who had just saved him, but Angell wasn't seen again until Ellis Island, 1902. After that, he seemed to disappear.
After this, Angell would only be seen occasionally in passing. In South Jersey during the Depression, In New York during the seventies, and Santa Monica in 1998. It was there in Santa Monica that everything changed. Angell was living a life of self-loathing. He was hungry, alone and desperate. In an act of desperation, he watched as a late-night diner was being robbed at gunpoint. In the blur of it all, a waitress was shot. He could smell her blood from outside, she was his favored prey. He lost control. He could have stopped the robbers, but instead, he fed on the waitress, snuffing out the last bit of her life as she bled to death on the floor. He had done it, he had breached the Masquerade, he had killed again. Realizing he could no longer live with humans, he lived among the monsters in the sewers, trying to feed on rats, making deals with Nosferatu to survive. Little did he know, this would be the turning point in his life...
Somehow Xiang Lao's words made sense to Angell, and he was able to feel something he hadn't felt since he was mortal: hope. The next two years, Angell spent living with Xiang Lao,learning the ways of the Kui Jin, the ways of the warrior, the ways of a Champion. He even started to per scribe to their way of thinking, that the undying are meant to protect the living. That they can use their infinite time and wisdom to reach new levels that normal mortals could never hope to, and to use their powers to save them from the others that would do them harm. For the next two years, David underwent taxing training under the tutorage or Xiang Lao. He trained in hand-to-hand combat, weapons fighting, and even studied meditation and learned of Chi. During this time, he also spent much time studying and learning ancient lore and history to better combat the forces of evil. It was during this time that David learned about the Knights of the Blood and will do almost anything to learn more about them.
However, this rigorous mental, physical and spiritual training would suddenly halt. Xiang Lao one day explained to David that there was no more he could teach him, that his destiny awaited him. He told David he must travel to the Isles of Evil and face his trials there. David didn't take this warning very seriously, and when he awoke the following night, Xiang Lao and all of his things were missing from his studio apartment. With no master, no friends and no where else to go, David Angell hopped a ship to the Rogue Isles, the only place that Xiang Lao could have meant.
Life in the Isles
"St. Martial. You see it at night and it shines; a beacon. People are drawn to it. People and other things. They come for all sorts of reasons. My reason? No surprise there. It started with a girl..."
RYNO and Ghost Hound
Contrary to popular belief, David Angell is not an operative of the Mercenary Oragnization known as Ghost Hound. Angell simply found himself fighting back to back with a very large, green man with a southern drawl, trying to stop the Freakshow and Circle of Thorns from raising the Leviathan. This large green man was called RYN0, an ex-military Super Troll and co-founder of the Mercenary group, Ghost Hound. RYN0 and David developed a certain mutual respect for one another and often share jobs and information when they feel they could benefit from one anothers' combined muscle. Both have capitalized on this relationship on more than one occasion, the most notable being when David hired Ghosthound to help rescue an orphan.
Major Weber and Ascension Foundation
Shortly after making contacts in Ghosthound, David was approached by yet another vampire. Her name was Sarah Weber, she was obviously para-military. She wasn't a Prince, but did she ever act like one. Didn't like Elders just 'showing up' in her town out of nowhere. Gave him the full twenty questions. By this time, he was sick of it. He'd already gotten it from the Prince's Childer, and Amanda Kelley, even the Deputy Sheriff. And of course, she told him if he didn't stay in line, she'd kill him. As if everyone he'd gone through this with already hadn't told him the same thing. By this time, he'd gotten quite sick of explaining himself, so he told her the truth. Told her why he was in town, and why an Elder was working with a bunch of cyborgs and mercenaries. And she seemed to accept it.
After a few more chance meetings between the two, Weber started to become more friendly. The two discovered that they both came from the same clan, and both had similar views about the rest of the Ventrue and the Camarilla. Both of them were warriors and leaders, not greedy politicians and merchants. This bond, coupled with the fact that David had no loyalty to any of the sects of other Kindred convinced Sarah that she should bring Angell aboard with Ascension Foundation.
David discovered that Ascension Foundation was actually a para-military unit, hiding behind a legitimate charity organization that helps inner city youth. Though it focuses on the Mythos, it dabbles in all sorts of conventional and unconventional threats to civilization. Without being bound by any international law, as it is mostly self funded. David fit in well with Ascension, his strength and unwillingness to back down gaining him quick respect. He's has been fighting the good fight with them ever since, and it was while attacking the Tree of Thorns along side the Foundation's head, Commander Adam Moone, that Angell had first real demonic run-in. When attacking the Tree of Thorns, the Tree launched a barrage of thorns at Moone. David intercepted them, one penetrating his heart. David began manifesting some new powers, which remained even after the thorn was removed. Just as the Circle of Thorns gained power from piercing their heart with the Thorn Tree's Thorns, so did Angell gain power as well. However, the price being that one of the Circle's demons has now attached itself to his soul, leaving him yet another(if less metaphorical) demon within himself to fight.
Angell also averted his first Apocolypse while with Ascension. When Adam's's old mentor Alice returned, she manipulated the Foundation and ended up using the Malieus Mundi to destroy every living thing except for seven people, Weber, Paola, Robin and Chloe among them. The seven of them entered a portal to The Shadow Shard to retrieve the Malieus Mundi and change history. There, they met the keeper of the book: Shade Nefarius. After a short battle, David and the survivors managed to win, but at the cost of Robin's life. After Paola performed the ritual to change a single moment in time, keeping the book out of Alice's hands, The fortress they were in began to fall apart. David stayed behind, using his strength to hold the collapsing building up while the rest of the team escaped the dimension.Paola Flusso, an orphanage owner in Sharkhead Isle. Angell isn't sure why, but she took an almost instantaneous interest in him. She too gave him the twenty questions, but it didn't seem like she was asking out of paranoia or concern, but out of a genuine interest to understand him. She was also the only person that put him through the 'New Kindred in Town Interview' that didn't finish it with telling him she was going to kill him. Also, through this encounter, David learned that she too was Ventrue, and that she wasn't part of the Camarilla. She, like him was Autarkis. This definitely caught his attention, and so he started to open up just a little to her, and gained some affection toward her in the process.
David has since fallen into a place as Paola's strength. He's a been a shoulder to lean on, and has even helped her by supplying his muscle in a fight or two. After one particularly fateful night which he has never talked about, David has grown quite fond of her. He has even gone so far as to use his mercenary connections to help her in retrieving one of her orphans from a Hunter. With all the time he's spent with her, David hadn't quite realized his closeness with Paola until watching her being staked sent him into a Frenzy. His Defender Nature has definitely shown itself concerning her.
David's biggest concern with being around Paola deals with his curse. He can't let himself get too close to her, can't let himself feel happy around her. If he does, he could break his curse, losing his conscience. This only seems to amplify David's feelings of isolation and loneliness.
David has managed to make a couple more friends since he's come to the Isles. If something bad ever happened to any of them, Angell is likely to do something stupidly heroic. Something along the lines of leaping off a the top of a building to punch a Great Old One in the face. Nothing too drastic.
- Alan Smilevitz - Also called Smiley, David has never had much of a like for Malkavians, however this one somehow managed to hit a soft spot in his heart. Alan is one of the few people that can cause Angell to lose his cool composure. Angell has gotten in more fights defending Smiley than anyone else in the Rogue Isles.
- Sky-Scar - At first, David wasn't very impressed by Paola's Ghoul, but over time, has built a respect for the boy and his intelligence. Unfortunately, the boy isn't very wise, and David finds himself looking after him time and again.
- Chloe DeBeauchamp - After something important was stolen from Ascension, she was the first person David questioned about the incident. After an experiment they both agreed to, the two of them have developed a quick bond. David has gone to lengths to protect her on more than one occasion.
- Saaliha - Angell isn't sure how to react to this Assamite. He has a respect for her as a warrior, however keeps himself weary. Her over protectiveness of Paola, and her jealousy combined with that Angell has been having a hard time understanding her on a psychological level, makes him oftentimes uncomfortable around her, forcing him to keep his defenses up. In addition, if the two were to ever fight, Angell isn't sure he would be able to beat her.
- Gunsang - David and Gunsang's friendship has grown virtually out of nowhere. They keep ending up in the same place at the same time, and they keep ending up on the same side of the battles that take place around them. David now considers him a friend, he doesn't feel he has much of a choice.
- Aiden O'Connor - The Camarilla's Deputy Sheriff and Angell seem to have a silent respect for one another. Though the two are very similar, they are different enough that they are definitely not friends. The two have developed a bit a of a "silent rivalry." Things seemed to have peaked recently when Angell inadvertently came to Aiden's rescue, something Aiden won't admit to.
- The Vegans - Though Angell hasn't met all the Vegans, he's never had good encounters with them. However, he didn't consider them enemies until three Vegans threatened to kill Smiley for completely inconsequential reasons.
- Shade Nefarious - Though being a demon is enough of a reason for David to dislike him, he probably wouldn't have cared too much about Shade and just let Ghosthound take care of him. However, trying to kill him in Paola's Haven and threatening to kill Robin (Sky-Scar) has managed to change Angell's mind. Angell now knows he can beat the demon, because he managed to do so in an alternate timeline.
"If there's no great glorious end to all this, if ... nothing we do matters ... then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today."
Some of the more observant will eventually notice that Angell does not cast a reflection in mirrors. Chances are, this is a side effect he received from his Sire. Minutes prior to Angell's Embrace, Marion diablerized a Lasambra Elder no only in order to decrease her own generation, but also to transfer some of that power onto her new Childer as well. Her hope was to cross-breed the two bloodlines, but as a side effect, David and she no longer cast a reflection, she even going so far as to no longer cast a shadow as well. Both of them also show diablerie in their auras, even though David has never actually diablerized another vampire. David did inherit one of the Lasambra Disciplines, but it wasn't the Obtinibration as Marion had hoped.
David was cursed with a conscience in the year 1898 when a Gypsie sold his soul to a Bhaali. Though most would see this as a blessing, the truth is far more perverse. The fact that Angell killed, maimed, tortured and raped thousands in his 150 year reign of terror and now feels the remorse and pain of his actions. Now he must live with what he has done, and live forever. This curse alone not being enough, the Bhaali amended a way for David to lift the curse. If at any time, his soul is at peace, and the burdens of his sins lifted; in that moment of happiness, the curse will be lifted with his burden, turning him back into the monster he once was. This puts David in a piteous predicament. In order to keep his humanity, he must sacrifice his own happiness. This is perhaps the part of his fate that weighs the most heavily. Even though he fights to atone, he knows that in the end, he will not and can not ever be happy, lest he forfeit that which makes him human. It is this causality that makes his destiny so interesting.
Xiang Lao informed Angell of a prophecy which the Kui Jin believe him[Angel] to be the subject of. The prophecy is over five thousand years old, and details what is popularly believed among the Bodhisattvas of the Kui Jin to be the coming of Kin, or Cane. The Kindred call this time Gehenna, and it is foretold as the time when Cane's Blood has grown so thin, that the Kindred can no longer reproduce their kind. The interesting correlation comes in how similar the "Champion" in the Eastern Prophecy appears to be to Angell, as well as how the Western Prophecy places the timing of Gehenna to a time when Angell is still alive, and just as he is coming out of isolation. This causes too many coincidences for both good an evil to feel comfortable, and so the Kui Jin had Xiang Lao teach David their ways. This is in a hope to combat what the Bhaali are working toward. The Prophecy only tells of a Champion that will be instrumental in deciding which side will be victorious at the end of this cycle. It does not explain which side this "Champion" will fight for. The Kui Jin's goal is to keep David on the path of righteousness, while the Bhaali seek to use his curse against him, and bring Angell to their side. Even Lord Recluse seems to have taken an interest in Angell and has gone to lengths already to ensure he stays alive. And now, since a demon has attached itself to his soul, the part of the prophecy refering to Hun and Po is much more clear than it used to be. Could this be why Xiang Lao sent him to the Rogue Isles in the first place?
Also, the final part of the prophecy leaves room for interpretation. It states that the "Champion" will be rewarded with syr, a word meaning (in it's ancient context) either death or birth. Could this mean that after all his fighting, that he will live through Cane's Judgment? Could it be that he will regain his mortality, and be free of the Bhaalli's curse? Or could it mean something far more sinister?
After all, Angell is currently presumed dead after stopping the impending Apocalypse. Is this the reward the prophecy spoke of?
In Depth History / Storylines
How many warriors slated for the coming Apocalypse do you think are gonna be using that hair gel? Don't get me wrong. You're out there, fighting ultimate evil; you're going to want something with hold.
- Last thing Smiley said to David before he disappeared
- Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? Coming soon - a short story that outlines a period of David's life during the 1950s, in the McCarthy era. Racism, paranoia and contempt are running rampant in the country. What happened in Angell's life that was so significant during this time period?
- Hell's Journey - WIP - David sacrificed himself to save his friends when they changed history to save the world. He remained trapped in The Shadow Shard... what happened while he was there? Please feel free to add comments and suggestions on this one under the discussion tab