Art by Lawrence Snelly
Talley was boney and angular, with a face like a hound that has just seen the fox vanish once and for all. His hair was white, though his features made him seem no older than thirty. His hands were his most remarkable feature: they were long and slender, and the fourth finger on each was longer than the middle one. In his living days in England, Talley had once been accused of being a werewolf of those remarkable hands; having dealt with any number of Lupines in his time, he now found the recollection amusing.
He used to be a Templar under the orders of the Cardinal Monçada, who commanded him in several assignments. Lucita recalls having met him in 1920 in New York, when Monçada sent him to rid the city of a troublesome vampire named Karl who had been noisily disrupting certain of the archbishop's long-range plans. Unfortunately, Karl was also the Kindred responsible for much of Lucita's amusement at the time, and she took exception to the attempt to remove him before she was finished.
The duel had been long and bloody, sparking a brawl in the tenements and speakeasies to rival the infamous Dead Rabbit Riot. At the heart of it, the two ancient children of shadow had torn at each other with unimaginable fury, cloaking an entire city block in impenetrable darkness. The newspaper reports talked of broken power lines as an explanation, but in truth, it had been Lucita and Talley hunting each other in the dark, fueling themselves with the lives of the hundreds trapped within their battlefield.
Lucita had won, barely. Karl had been wounded but slipped away during the fury of her counterattack. She had later learned that he had fled the country, and had been destroyed by Talley in Vancouver, in 1934. By that time, of course, she had long since ceased to care. Talley himself had left the scene exhausted but relatively unscathed, leaving her with a mocking bow and an expression of regards for her sire. And she had stumbled out of the tenements, weary but more or less triumphant, and thoroughly convinced that Talley was, if not her equal, then at least one of the more frightening opponents she had ever faced.
In 1999 Cardinal Monçada once again commanded Talley on a mission, but this time to protect Sascha Vykos, Borges, and Francisco Domingo de Polonia from an assassination attempt to be performed by his own childe, Lucita de Aragón, as well as protect them from each other during the siege of the East Coast of America. In fact, Talley was not there to safeguard the unlives of the Archbishops, but to search for the traitor who was pulling those strings – he was not supposed to destroy Lucita, but the Cardinal said nothing about a beating.
In that occasion, Talley took the exact opposite role – a bodyguard, while Lucita would play the assassin. The childe of Monçada eventually succeeded in her attempt at Archbishop Borges with a little opening created by Sascha Vykos. But despite Talley himself being ashamed of his performance, Cardinal Monçada considered his mission goals completely fulfilled.
The majority of the Lasombra do not know enough about that encounter to assess it. But they trust that since the elder still holds a position of honor, the Amici Noctis find his conduct satisfactory, and therefore conclude that circumstances they do not know kept Talley from being a sufficient challenge for Lucita.
After the death of Monçada, Talley appears to have had a temporary crisis of faith, wondering why he put up with serving those he despised instead of using his power for personal gain. To ask for insights on this matter, he sought out Camarilla archon Theo Bell, whom he believed to be in a similar situation due to his hatred for his own superior, Justicar Jaroslav Pascek.
Bell told Talley that he simply did his job because he had decided, for himself, that it was worth doing. Talley, dissatisfied with the answer, deliberately broke the Masquerade to test Bell. He was impressed when Bell decided to put his personal desire to strike Talley down aside in favor of preserving the Masquerade by chasing after a witness.
Later, Talley appeared once more to Bell to admit that Bell had been right. Afterwards, the Hound soon returned to service, becoming a Bishop of the Sabbat.
- Talley is older than Francisco Domingo de Polonia, the former Archbishop of New York.
- The Hound likes to hunt Lupines in the Black Forest during his vacations.
- It is said that even Fatima al-Faqadi respects Talley's abilities, and Fatima had little respect for any Franj (as Crusaders were known in Arabia).
- Talley regularly expresses his distaste for intrigue and his frustration at the Sabbat's disunity. Combined with his apparently high self-control and dedication to duty, it is possible that he follows the Path of Honorable Accord, especially considering his final encounter with Bell.