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Character Name: Thomas Raith
Series: The Dresden Files
Age: early to mid 40s, looks in his 20s
Species: White Court Vampire
Appearance: Just shy of six feet tall, Thomas has been alternately described as looking like the lost Greek God of Body Cologne or the High Priest of Bowflex due to the combination of his well-defined musculature and effortless good looks. He has the same stark cheekbones and sharp chin as Harry, but on Thomas the edges are softened slightly, more inviting. His eye colour varies from blue to shades of grey to white depending on how well fed Thomas is (among other things), and he has slightly curling black hair (length varies depending on who/what has shot at him lately) that manages to look at once carelessly tousled and heinously expensive. When in public, Thomas dresses stylishly, but in private, Thomas opts for more comfortable clothing: jeans, bare feet, no clothes at all. That sort of thing. When Thomas is drawing deeply on his vampire nature, his skin emits a faint glow and the air around him grows cold.
Personality: As part of his upbringing, Thomas learned early on the importance of masks, and is almost always wearing one. For a very long time, Thomas came across as a flaky, smart-assed, ambulatory penis, and those who've met him before might find it hard to shake that initial impression, he's played it so well. Beneath that superficial act, however, Thomas is a deeply caring individual, stubborn almost to a fault in his willingness to risk life, limb, and then some for his family and loved ones. However, due to events detailed below, Thomas has become more jaded and cynical, more willing to discount his human nature as misguided optimism. In reality, this newfound self-loathing and cynicism is yet another mask, hiding Thomas' shame, confusion and internal conflict about his nature and the things he's done from those around him.
History: Born to Lord Raith and Margaret LeFay, Thomas is the only of Lord Raith's male children to survive to adulthood, the others all having been murdered long before reaching adulthood by methods that cannot be traced directly back to Lord Raith. He and his lover Justine meet Harry Dresden at a masquerade thrown by a Red Court vampire, Bianca St. Claire, in Chicago. Justine blackmails Harry into rescuing Thomas when the party goes sour for both Harry and his friends and Thomas and Justine. Within the next several years, Thomas continues to appear at seemingly random events, which turn out to be due to Lord Raith's continued attempts to murder his son and Thomas' knowledge that Harry is his maternal half-brother.
While Harry is investigating a case on Thomas' behalf, Thomas overextends his abilities to the point of death and nearly kills his longtime lover Justine during a feeding. Though Justine recovers, Thomas never forgives himself for the fact, even though their mutual love gives Justine protection against being fed on from any White Court vampire. His connection to Harry revealed, Thomas continues for several years as Harry's sidekick and backup, attempting to live a human life despite his vampiric nature. Eventually, Thomas appears to strike a balance between his Hunger and his desire not to hurt humans by becoming a hairdresser, allowing himself to sip lightly from many different women in order to satiate his demon.
However, when Harry asks Thomas to help protect the accused traitor Donald Morgan, a skinwalker captures Thomas and he is tortured for days. The experience forces Thomas to come to face-to-face with his demonic nature, and he is changed by the experience, claiming he was foolish for thinking he could live a human life. He cuts ties with his brother, who (along with Justine) disapproves of his new lease on life. Thomas gives up his salon and returns to the Raith family home, though he still takes Harry's calls, and demonstrates that he cares for his brother by accompanying Harry on a mission to rescue Harry's daughter.
Supernatural Abilities: Like all White Court vampires, Thomas' symbiotic relationship with the Hunger, a spirit presence within him, grants him superhuman strength, speed, and senses. Said abilities are significantly stronger than human, but they are nowhere near as powerful as the Black or Red courts. The more Thomas uses his supernatural strength, speed, and senses, the more power he must draw from the Hunger, and the more often (and more deeply) he must feed to replenish it. The Hunger also allows him to heal from injuries at an accelerated pace, but the same limitations are present.
Aside from the physical enhancements, the Hunger also lends white court vampires like Thomas a certain subtle magnetic attraction, an unearthly beauty that draws in those susceptible to their kind's manipulation.
In Second City, Thomas' supernatural abilities are limited in the same way that they were back in canon, namely that he has to feed on humans if he uses his abilities. The fact that Chicago now seems to be much more sparsely populated may prove to be a problem...
Natural Abilities: Thomas is a seasoned hand-to-hand fighter, specializing in bladed weapons and firearms. He is handy with a variety of small hand-held guns, but favours a Desert Eagle when stealth and size isn't an issue. Without his demon-enhanced senses, Thomas is a good shot; with supernatural enhancement, he's nigh deadly. His other weapons of choice are bladed weapons, usually an antique calvary saber and a bent-blade knife (either a kukri or a falcata). He is very practiced in the use of his weapons, and even without supernatural strength is a formidable fighter. Pushing the limits of his demon-enhanced abilities, Thomas has been known to be able to stop a Black Court vampire cold and hold his ground against an onslaught of enhanced ghouls.
Possessions: Upon arriving in Second City, Thomas has on his person: a Desert Eagle (fully loaded) tucked into the waistband of his pants, two (loaded) spare clips (7 bullets each) in his pocket, a keyring containing the keys to a white Jaguar and a white Hummer along with house keys, a sheathed falcata, a sword belt holding his cavalry saber, and a bag containing a submarine sandwich and a package of Oreos.
First-person POV journal sample: Some days it's easier than others. Some days I almost feel normal, like I'm just another guy reading the latest pulpy best seller in a coffee shop. No hunger that a fast food run can't fix, nothing in my world besides a latte and whatever crime of the week Nikki Heat is solving. Days like that I can imagine, for a few moments, that when I finish the book, I'll head home in my too-expensive car to have dinner with the woman I love.
Some days it's harder. Some days it feels like there's nothing in the world except that gaping emptiness, that whispering darkness that sees the girl across the room as a snack, a little nibble to tide me over. Those days, there's a lot of liquor and a very long drive around the lake, with nothing to distract me except the water and the wind whipping through the car's windows. Days like that, all I want is to go home, to find the one woman I've ever loved, and feed her to the gnawing hunger, to drain every drop of her life and revel in how good it feels to be whole, just for one minute.
I just wish I knew what sort of day today's going to be.
Third-person POV RP sample: “Must be a pretty absorbing book. I don't think I've seen you move in hours.” The teasing, feminine voice cut through the background din of coffee grinders and chatting teenagers, catching Thomas' attention. He looked up, dark, softly curling hair falling into his eyes, and laughed.
“Compelling characters will do that,” he replied, marking his page with a finger as he closed the book and turned his attention to the friendly barista. She smiled at him, glad to not be rebuffed, and the demon rose, reaching for her with instinctive desire--
She was a shy, quiet girl, having just plucked up the courage after a week of watching him come in and read to ask about the book. Desire ran deep in her veins, hidden beneath layers of responsibility and a lifetime of deferring her own needs to those around her. The doe was sweet and untouched, with little knowledge of her own desires. She was young, healthy, capable of satiating them for years. And she could be molded, taught to crave every dark desire they could teach, to succumb in quaking, abject surrender to their whims...
The Hunger's knowledge echoed through every fiber of Thomas' being, calling up the memory of immeasurable pain washed away by pure, sweet life. It whispered to him a seductive promise of an end to pain, an end to the aching hunger that was always at the edge of his mind. Thomas stiffened and tried to push the dark presence back down into the corrupted shreds of his soul; it was harder now, after the Skinwalker. His demon rose quicker to tempt him, and every day it seemed harder to push it away. Some days he didn't, and those days were filled with ecstasy and loathing. Other days it was simply a struggle, a soul deep ache that did not lessen even when he won the wrestling match.
“Richard Castle? Did you like his Storm series?” His mind filled with his demon's whispers and the scent of the young woman, Thomas barely heard her question. He clenched his fist, fingernails digging into his flesh, focusing on the pain rather than the demon's desires, and shook his head.
Effort strained his voice, but only those who knew him well would have heard it, and Thomas forced his smile to remain light, friendly but impersonal. “Could never get into them. Storm was a dick,” he answered, casting his eyes about for a distraction, some way to send the doe, the girl, away so the heat rising from her skin, the scent of her, would not be so tempting. “Heat's a much better protagonist. She's got heart.” His gaze fell on the nearly empty coffee cup at his elbow, and he nodded at it, careful not to look in the young woman's eyes, lest he yielded to temptation again. “Could I get a refill?”