James Benison Hodge
-J. Benison Hodge
-Prince of Atlanta
Benison grew up in a pious and hard-working family on a plantation near Georgia. His father tutored him in all the skills that he deemed manly and demanded that his sons would be well-versed with the bible. Later, Benison moved to Richmond to his aunt and later joined the American Civil War (whom he stills refers to as "The War of Northern Aggression").
His bravery and military abilities made him a decorated war hero famous for his complete disregard for his well-being amidst battle. In contrast to many of his fellow plantation owners, he didn't see slavery as the only way, preferring sharecropping and feudal methods. When he received the Embrace, he began to see himself as a great warrior-king and was eventually made prince, a position he disliked for the politics, but still worked hard on. Benison had some allies among the local anacreons in the Shadowlands, enabled through his lack of fear of death.
Benison imposed a harsh rule on the city of Atlanta in the wake of the Blood Curse, taking desperate measures to repress the anarch movement. As Prince, he managed the city with his wife, the Ventrue Primogen Eleanor, who soothed his temper once the man was notorious for his complete lack of fear and violent outbursts. In 1999 the archon Julius was sent to Atlanta by justicar Pascek in order to confront the ex-Confederate prince Benison because of his harsh actions against the anarchs of the city and their Brujah leader, Thelonious.
Archon and the prince nearly came to blows at the Elysium, but their altercation was interrupted by a massive use of the discipline Obtenebration and a swarm of Szlachta ghouls. The pair joined forces to drive off the Sabbat attackers, and were marginally successful for a while, but the surprise strike had been too well coordinated to be beaten - as such the elders could only retreat to fight another night.
In the struggle that ensued, the prince's wife and Ventrue primogen, Eleanor, was destroyed by Greek fire while trapped under a colossal door wooden door, shattering whatever was left of the Malkavian prince's sanity. His subsequent use of Dementation warped reality around the battlefield, and many Tzimisce Szlachta were killed in the mayhem. The prince’s derangement had forced itself upon the world, had claimed the Sabbat ghouls and allowed him to escape.
Benison did survived the Sabbat onslaught in the solstice night and took refuge in a secondary haven located in a townhouse of Avondale Estates, Georgia. There he laid on the verge of torpor, with wounds that were less physical than emotional. The loss of his beloved Eleanor was the clarion that kept him moving, yearning, and even existing at all. He was driven by the need to avenge her, and if others thought him mad before, then they would shrink to behold his terrible nature now.
Benison took note that even his feelings regarding the Brujah archon Julius, were somewhat different after the two of them had fought for survival side by side (being the cause of ninety percent or more of the casualties the Sabbat had suffered that night). But without that bond created by extreme circumstances, there probably would have been bloodshed between them.
The injuries to Benison's psyche and physique accquired on that fateful night would not heal by even the supernatural means available to his kind. After nearly two months of torpor he began to have cryptic dreams with the vampire prophet Anatole, asking him for the "Robe of Nessus" (the robe that had killed the Greek hero Heracles), that belonged to Hannah, the missing Tremere primogen of Atlanta. The former prince felt strangely compelled to aid his clanmate in this endeavor although he did not understood why.
Benison finally acquired the robe, which was collected in his haven by Anatole himself. While the pair were having a conversation, Benison perceived a secret observer following Anatole's footsteps (the Nosferatu spy Jeremiah). Benison could not prevent himself from warning the Malkavian prophet about it, but before he could act on it, Anatole anticipated his action and brutally attacked, ripping Benison's neck nearly in half and diablerized him. Such a telling blow would not have been possible without some complicity on Benison's part, however.
In that moment Benison knew that Anatole knew what Benison was about to do and say. However, the dying Malkavian had seen something in Anatole in that split-second that he never expected to see in such a man hardened over the centuries by failure and resentment: dread. Something in the revelation Benison could not have stopped himself from sharing would have caused material harm to Anatole, and the former prince humbly met his Final Death rather than threaten his clansman's future.
With the last firing neuron in a blood-deprived body, or perhaps the last ghost of consciousness in a spirit subsumed by Anatole, Benison realized he had indeed empowered, if not truly witnessed, his vengeance against the Sabbat.
J.Benison Hodge, Prince of Atlanta
Sire: Aunt Bedelia
Apparent Age: 36
Physical: Strength 6, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Talents: Alertness 4, Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Dodge 4, Empathy 3, Intimidation 4, Leadership 5, Subterfuge 1
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Drive 2, Etiquette 3, Firearms 2, Melee 6, Performance (Music) 1, Stealth 5
Knowledges: Area Knowledge (Atlanta) 4, Bureaucracy 1, Computer 1, Finance 4, Investigation 2, Law 4, Linguistics 2, Medicine 1, Occult 3, Politics 4, Spirit Lore 3, Science 2
Disciplines: Auspex 4, Celerity 3, Dominate 6, Fortitude 3, Obfuscate 4, Potence 3, Presence 4, Protean 3
Backgrounds: Herd 3, Influence 5, Resources 3, Retainers 4, Status 5
Virtues: Conscience 4, Self-Control 5, Courage 5
Morality: Humanity 6
Derangements: Fearless, Haunted