Dreaming of America
Mikhail "Black Wings Beating in the Night"
Name: Mikhail Popov
Player: Jason the Dubious
Chronicle: Dreaming of America
Camp: Children of Crow
Charisma 4 (Commanding Voice)
Manipulation 4 (Trustworthy)
Animal Ken 1
Pure Breed 1
Truth of Gaia
Cold Voice of Reason
While Shadow Lords cannot take the mentor background, most nonetheless need to receive instruction of some sort before they can learn to be effective manipulators. For two points, you gain a mentor as described in the main werewolf rules, but no matter his Rank you will never receive more than occasional instruction from him. He will never come to your aid, nor will he ever take responsibility for your actions. You will find yourself serving him more often than the reverse, but if you are canny and clever you may learn more than you ever dreamed possible. For three points, your mentor is particularly well known and feared within your sept (and perhaps within the tribe at large). His influence is such that you gain one additional die to all social rolls with members of your tribe, but you also inherit at least one enemy from your mentor’s past. In this case, as is the case with a normal mentor, your mentor doesn’t do much to come to your aid, and can’t be called a friend or ally. He is simply terrifying enough that others fear you, regardless of how your mentor himself feels about the subject.
My family has always been close. Uncle Aleks, cousins Ivan and Andrei, my sister Katerina, my mother Galina, my father Grigor, my grandfather Sergei and I had always lived together. In fact, i’ve never truly known anything else. When I was given the gift of transformation my family ushered me away to a small village just outside the city. Their ways were strange. All the politicking, all the lies, all the rationalizations — i had always thought there had to be some better way of doing things, but eventually I came to the conclusion that this was the way life was, that this world never changes.
Then one day all of this changed. I’ll never forget that night. It was late and the clouds were dark; heavy with rain and threatening to pour down on us as they had for the last week. I was walking home along one of the old dirt roads scattered around the outskirts of the city, mud climbing up the side of my boots as I sloshed forward. I pulled the sweater my mother made for my birthday close, the wet fabric clinging tightly to my skin. A chill breeze rushed past me when I saw Swords in Shadows, an athro in our sept carrying something over his shoulder. I left the beaten path to see what he was up to and our eyes met. His face was grim and I understood when i noticed that the limp figure slung over his shoulder was a woman. Her body had been torn and shredded. The heavens crashed and the rain began to pour in sheets over the grotesque scene. I could do nothing but watch as he quickly turned into the nearby woods and disappeared in the darkness.
I returned from my stupor to the sound of my grandfather’s stern voice. “What the hell are you doing here!” he cried. All i could do was point a limp hand towards the woods as my mouth hang open in shock. He struck me with a blow that would uproot a tree and the next thing I remember was being dragged by my wrist into the woods. I was pulled over broken trees and through the thick brush until we came upon a small clearing and I nearly fell when my grandfather let go of my arm. At the other side of the clearing Swords in Shadows was packing the wet dirt with a shovel. An angry exchange of words that I can’t quite remember snapped back and forth between the two as the murderous scene unfolded. Lightning arced across the sky illuminating the two hulking wolf-men as they prepared to set upon each other. In an instant there was a crash to my right and then a dark figure stood over my grandfather holding a rock high over his head, his two-handed grip preparing for the final strike.
“HOLD!”, came Swords in Shadows’ voice commanding the other werewolf. Swords in Shadows walked calmly behind the other garou and picked him up throwing him into a nearby tree and instantly knocking him unconscious. I knew enough about the man to guess what had happened. His son had killed the woman by mistake and he was covering up his tracks. Disgust welled up within me and I demanded to know what was going on. He confirmed my suspicions and spoke of keeping this matter “our little secret”. Something snapped inside me and I answered his plea by punching my fist through his chest. Now ironically I found myself burying his body as I vowed to punish all who would so grossly violate the law in such a fashion.
My grandfather was ok, thank gaia, and the next day he brought my case before the rest of the sept. Swords in Shadows was well respected within the sept and my story met with a sour reception. They declared us exiles and so we left our home to find a new one in America. Since then we have been traveling around the country finding whatever work we could. We joined a traveling circus and my grandfather says that my passion has caught a number of the elder’s eyes. I don’t exactly know what to make of that but my grandfather has told me not to think too much of it, that many of them just want to keep me busy so that I might not discover their indiscretions. On top of that I have been placed with a pack of cliaths, many of whom have only recently undergone their first change. Some of them look to me for guidance and support. Though it pains me to admit it, the truth is that I have no more experience than they when it comes to fighting the Wyrm. While I am passionate as any garou about fighting the Wyrm, my main interest is in the other garou. Few are as dedicated as they ought to be and many are impure in some form or another. There is much work to do but thats just fine by me, i eagerly await it.