The Leandros Lair
Caliban Leandros “Cal” of the Clan Vayash is half human-Rom and half Auphe, or as he’s derisively labeled himself—half-human, half-monster, all attitude. He is a mass of snark, dark sarcasm, angst…no, he doesn’t write in a diary…and would shoot a monster in the back without a second thought. As his brother, Niko, says: “there is no honor in battle—there is only survival.” Cal would translate that to, “What the hell…the bastard had it coming.” He is the result of a genetic experiment conducted by the Auphe in an attempt to produce a half-breed capable of traveling in time as well as space. Cal, however, can only travel from one place to another by ripping a hole in reality. This tends to bring out the Auphe in him, something that makes Jekyll and Hyde seem like a toddler’s bedtime story. While he looks all human, Cal is far from it, and he’ll always be the first and last person to tell you so. He loves his guns and he loves his brother. Screw with either and he may be the last person to tell you anything at all.
Niko Leandros of the Clan Vayash is Cal’s older brother. Despite the dark blond hair, a result of centuries-past intermarrying with Northern Greeks before the clan traveled to America, Niko is considered a full-blooded Rom. He has raised Cal from birth as their mother, Sophia, was ill-equipped to do anything but drink, cheat marks, and have sex with a monster worse than any nightmare to produce a child…for the right price. Niko has known about the Auphe since he was seven years old…when they only watched through windows and from the shadows. Not only has Niko raised Cal, but he’s trained nearly his entire life to protect him from the Auphe and from himself. There was Alexander, Genghis Khan, Hannibal, Caesar, Sun-Tzu and then there is Niko. He can hold his own against any foe and is the only human respected for his skills among the supernatural underground. He considers his body a temple, training to be more essential than breathing, and is proficient with a majority of weapons although he does prefer blades in all their forms. His rare defeats happen when he deals with Cal’s profound laziness and fondness for the porn channel and enormous quantities of junk food. He also fights a constant battle with Cal’s inner certainty that he is as much a monster as what created him. Niko knows better and would spend his last breath telling his brother so. Niko has unmatched morals and scruples, but he has killed and will kill in the future to save his brother. If the choice came to save Cal or save the world, he would tear down the world himself to keep his brother alive.
Robin Goodfellow is a member of a race of identical tricksters that is the seed of the puck and Pan mythology. He doesn’t remember how old he is, but it’s well over a hundred-thousand years. Caesar, Caligula, the Biblical Salome, Rameses, Bacchus, Socrates, Freud…he’s known them all and more. He was in Pompeii a week before its destruction, attended every orgy thrown in Rome, and thrown more than a few himself. When he refers to himself as totally puckable, pansexual, and the co-author of the Kama Sutra, he is not exaggerating. He currently makes his living as a used car salesman, a perfect role for a trickster, and is shunned by the other supernatural races for his lying, stealing, tricking, and general fun-loving ways. He was among the more lonely creatures alive until he befriended Cal and Niko. Although it was almost completely against their will in the beginning, he did impress them with his ability to talk non-stop in the face of death, and now he is the only one, outside of each other, that they trust.
Delilah is a Wolf (werewolf) in the Kin and Cal’s former friend-with-benefits (as Goodfellow has said, “Once you go furry, you never have to worry.”) Now, after arranging the deaths of her Alpha and pack, she is the first female Alpha of an all female pack—the Lupa. Respected by the Kin for her absolute ruthlessness, Delilah does what Delilah wants with no other considerations beyond her own ambitions. She is considered amoral and to be feared even by Kin standards. She is also a member of the All Wolf, a cult dedicated to the return of wolf form and only wolf form—to be cleansed of their human taint. She finds Cal intriguing despite his human side, not because of it. In her world, predators are only drawn to other predators and she sees clearly in Cal what those closest to him would deny.
The Kin are the werewolf version of the Mafia. Nothing illegal in the supernatural community in NYC happens without their permission or at their instigation. Whether it be drugs, strip clubs (popular for their eight-breasted dancers), kidnappings, theft, or the supplying of sheep (humans) to creatures too lazy to hunt for their own meals, the Kin have a paw in every pie. There are several Alphas with their packs in the city, Delilah and the Lupa being among them. With the exception of Delilah, all Alphas are high-breed Wolves who, as a rule, have little respect for the All Wolf cult. They can appear completely human or completely wolf and have no preference in which form they’re in when they rip their victim to pieces. Contrary to Cal’s taunting, they rarely hump legs—instead they tear them off with one snap of their jaws and watch with dark glee as their prey tries to drag itself away. Unlike natural wolves, the Kin enjoys the spectacle of pain and hopelessness.
Salome is an undead mummified cat re-born of the power of Wahanket, a mummy who resides in the sub-levels of the New York Metropolitan Museum. She has ‘adopted’ Robin Goodfellow and while she does not eat, she retains the natural cat desire to kill whatever runs, walks, or staggers past her view—with a predatory ability multiplied greatly by the mummification process. Although keeping Goodfellow’s penthouse fresh with the pleasant smells of embalming spices, Salome has (debatably) the highest kill count among all the heroes, anti-heroes and villains gathered here. As a result of sharing a residence with She-Who-Cannot-Be-Owned, Goodfellow has learned the strategic art of disposing of dead Great Danes down the incinerator. The best advice to be given upon seeing Salome or hearing an oddly rusty and murderous purr would be: Run, you unlucky bastard! RUN!
The Auphe were the first killers to walk the face of the earth. They are nature’s most efficient creature and its very worst mistake. Murder incarnate, they live to maim, mutilate, and destroy at every opportunity. Humans tell their children about the bogeyman under the bed. The supernatural tell theirs about the Auphe. Nothing could match or defeat them–except time itself. With unknowably long lifespans, their reproduction is consequently low, so low that in the blink of an Auphe eye humans had evolved, bred, and covered the planet like a stifling blanket. Now virtually extinct, the Auphe have had many designs to return to their former domination. Their last one failed with Cal. To hear an Auphe speak is to hear every syllable soaked in blood, death, slaughter, and carnage and know it is meant for you. To see an Auphe is to see your own personal executioner, your own personal massacre. If one Auphe survives, no one can ever assume to be safe. If one half-Auphe survives…Cal doesn’t have the answer to that question yet.
Wahanket is a mummy, although not necessarily a human mummy, who lives in one of the sub-basements of the Metropolitan Museum. He was a steady source of information for Robin Goodfellow as tricksters like to keep current on all gossip, potentially lethal or not. He now also occasionally passes on that same information to Cal and Niko. He has tried to kill the two brothers and Goodfellow once before, but that’s not unusual behavior for any supernatural informant. Minus losing his hand, he was given a free pass on that occasion. He pulled the puppet strings of many a pharoah in his day, mummifies and re-animates various animals, especially cats, to guard his home hidden among the thousands of dusty and discarded crates of various antiquities, and has a love for technology of all kinds. If he is to ever be the power behind the throne again, he knows that is his only way. He nurtures a deep hatred for Goodfellow and Niko for treating him as a common informant—a commoner at all. For Cal, Wahanket harbors a deep avarice for the power of the Auphe blood in him. Just as the mummy can give life to the dead, he can take life as well. With Cal, he is biding his time but growing more and more impatient.