Realm of the Dead
Thugish Caitiff Bounty Hunter
The vampire Gabriel Black was actually born Matthew John Jenkins to John Jenkins and Dr. Elizabeth St. Claire in Kansas City, Kansas. His father was a beat cop and his mother was a professor of law at the University of Kansas. Something of a prodigy, Matthew graduated high school at 15 and traveled to New York City to pursue coursework in Social Work and Criminology at Columbia University. It was here during college that Matthew developed an interest in the occult and met Victoria Gabriel, a promising young pre-med student. The two quickly became best friends and eventually started dating. The two were inseparable and in his last year of his undergraduate work he asked her to marry him. She happily accepted.
Matthew completed his undergraduate work at 18 and then enlisted in the army. He quickly found his way into the army’s Criminal Investigations Command and spent a year serving stateside as a CID special investigator before being scooped up by military intelligence. He spent the next two years serving in a field support role for intelligence operations overseas. When he was 21 Matthew was accepted into the US Army Rangers but was injured on his first mission and shipped stateside for recovery. It was then while stateside that he seized the opportunity to pursue his graduate coursework in Parapsychology under the GI bill while working as an investigative consultant (specializing in violent crimes and the occult) for the FBI. It was during this time that his investigative work and growing interest in the paranormal lead him to discover the ages-old conflict between the vampires of the Camarilla and the Sabat. Unfortunately the Sabat decided this pesky mortal was getting too close
Vampires came to his home looking for him. They found Victoria instead. Seeing an opportunity, the vampires believed they could make Matthew their servant by taking Victoria hostage. Unfortunately for them there was a mysterious elder vampire who saw the potential in Matthew as a new ally. She made him an offer the heart-broken young man could not refuse: the power to fight back and knowledge enough to find them. Matthew John Jenkins gave up his mortality to save the woman he loved. It took him months to track the vampires who took Victoria, taking every ounce skill and cunning and every dollar the young vampire had. They were always just barely ahead of him but managed to pick them off one by one before finally tracking the leader to London.
He was too late, finding a gloating smile standing over the body of his fiance. In his fury he made short work of the older vampire.
With nothing left of his old life, he alerted the authorities to the location of Victoria’s body to give her family some closure and set out to start a new unlife for himself. With very little knowledge of vampire society, he began traveling the world to find some sort of meaning for his new existence as a vampire. He took the name Gabriel Black so he would never forget his greatest failure that cost his fiance her life. Gabriel spent months traveling through Europe, the Middle East and Asia learning whatever he could from sympathetic older vampires. Every so often the vampire who embraced him would inexplicably appear out of nowhere with a bizarre request or tiny bit of advice before, just as inexplicably, vanishing again. It was during his travels he became something of a vigilante, feeding almost exclusively on mortal criminals and doing his best to protect the innocent, especially children. For the most part, Gabriel has put his past behind him, suffering only occasional nightmares about Victoria.
Eventually he found his way back to London where he set himself up doing what he did best – finding things. It was hard at first, especially being a young “pup” of a vampire. Gradually, very gradually, that changed as Gabriel solved a few mysteries, surviving a few run-ins with the Sabat,, all while thumbing his nose at the Elders. Gabriel had started to prove himself useful, if annoying. Cunning, resourceful, more than a little combat experience and a small anger management problem, Gabriel found himself becoming less of an investigator and more of a bounty hunter or “troubleshooter”. But Gabriel is not subtle. Where some operators are like scalpels used with secrecy and finesse, Gabriel is more like a cruise missile. When he finishes a job, he usually does so by kicking down someone’s door (in the loudest, messiest way possible), shooting the place up and setting the building on fire. Indeed several times has his operation been bumbling, ungraceful, often ridiculous but hey – it works.
While his demeanor serves him well when he’s out pounding the pavement, looking for clues or shooting someone in the face, it doesn’t serve him so well socially within vampire society. Vampires laugh at Gabriel behind his back or outright don’t trust him. Local Camarilla leadership have begun to see him as reckless, insubordinate and a possible threat to the Masquerade. Some would like nothing more than to take him out of the equation but the cold, hard truth is that when things go to hell, Gabriel is a guy you want backing you up. More than once a Sheriff has pointed Gabriel at the Sabbat only to sit back and gleefully watch as he stomps all over their plans like an angry gorilla. The Sabbat likes to paint him as a vigilante psychopath while secretly trying to recruit him to their side. The truth, like most things, lies somewhere in the middle. The few vampires who have actually worked with Gabriel see him as solitary, dangerous but ultimately honorable. And many people, vampires and mortals alike, have under-estimated Gabriel’s intelligence.
In his last ten years or so as a vampire operating in London Gabriel has managed to earn some status and respect and as such, has carved out some territory of his own in London. Gabriel’s territory encompasses Canning Town in the Borough of Newham in London where he acts as a shadowy guardian of the area (when he’s not pursuing cases, that is). He makes his main haven in well-hidden abandoned city works area off the Jubilee rail line in Canning Town with an out-of-the-way entrance hidden under an overpass.
Gabriel has taken it upon himself to protect innocent mortals (especially children) within his territory and, to a lesser extent, London itself and refuses to feed on anyone he deems innocent. In the last year or so Gabriel handled (stumbled into) a case for the Prince, which ended in the well-publicized (if also well-covered up) end to a powerful Sabat agent. This earned him a certain amount of reluctant respect with the city’s vampire leadership, especially the Prince, while also establishing himself as a competent (if still a new) operator.
Recently Gabriel’s mysterious mentor appeared out of nowhere again to suggest that he head to Paris immediately.