At just over three hundred years old, Randolph Lyall is the oldest werewolf in his pack, and one of the oldest in his country. He was changed, in his version of England, shortly before King Henry absorbed the supernaturals into the British government, ending the so-called Dark Ages and beginning the Renaissance or, as the werewolves and vampires called it, the Age of Enlightenment. He doesn’t speak much of what he was before he was given the bite, but given his love for and interest in the breeding habits of sheep, speculation suggests he was a shepherd-- quite possibly one who disapproved of his eventual first Alpha helping himself to some of his sheep.
Whether he was turned at his own request or not, he survived the experience and was taken into the pack. At some point, his capabilities at organization and handling an Alpha, as well as his cleverness and ability to hold onto that cleverness while in wolf form, led him to the rank of Beta: second in command of the pack. His job from then on out was to help keep the pups in line, help support the Alpha in his leadership, and to question the Alpha as much as possible in private. He also wound up taking a position within the government, in the branch known as BUR: Bureau of Unnatural Registry. He does quite a bit of paperwork and also quite a bit of investigative field work, being more mobile than many other BUR agents. He enjoys the work, and while most werewolves do military service-- he himself holds the rank of lieutenant colonel, from an earlier term of service-- Lyall winds up devoting most of his professional energies to the bureaucracy and local investigations instead. He maintained a small laboratory on Woolsey grounds, when the pack lived there, and helped the locals raise and breed their sheep.
Lyall has lived as Beta for three Alphas-- by the end of the canon, he made it to four with a fifth in the planning stages-- presumably all with the Woolsey-London area pack. Of his first, presumably the one who gave him the bite, not much is ever spoken. Of his second, he prefers not to speak of him at all. The previous Woolsey Alpha was old, and sometime in the eighteen-forties, in his old age and power, he "went bad"-- that is, vicious and insane, and always hungry in more ways than one. To protect the rest of the pack, Lyall took on the brunt of the problem, allowing himself to be badly and repeatedly abused so that none of the others in the pack would know just how bad things had become. The only one who actually guessed was his Gamma, Major Channing, the third-ranked member of the pack and an off-again-on-again friend and ally.
Then, in the eighteen-fifties, his beloved, who happened to be both a preternatural by birth and a supernatural hunter by training, tried to take on the maddened Alpha werewolf and was killed. Only then, with revenge and grief added to the motivations of self-preservation and the protection of the pack, did Lyall finally decide enough was enough. He spent four years working out a complicated plot to lure a new Alpha to the pack to dispose of the current one: a man named Conall Maccon, originally from a Scottish pack centered at Kingair Castle. He arranged for that pack to betray him, forcing him to abandon them and, rather than become a loner wolf with no pack, find another Alpha to challenge. By design, the nearest was Lyall’s, and the challenge was both messy and successful, leaving Lord Maccon in charge of the Woolsey pack and inheritor of all the previous Alpha’s titles.
Twenty years later, in the eighteen-seventies, his new Alpha-- quickly becoming his favorite and the one he supported the most, despite his arrival being surrounded by subterfuge-- married a young and rather difficult preternatural named Alexia Tarabotti. Ironically enough, this was Lyall’s former love Alessandro’s estranged daughter. She took to the pack as an Alpha female, albeit a human (or preternatural) one. Despite the connections to her father, Lyall was actually rather pleased with the situation, and as readily bows to her authority as he does Conall himself.
Over the course of that acquaintance, life became much more exciting. First, Alexia became pregnant and was forced to flee the country for a time when the local vampire hives tried to kill her because of her unborn child. Then Conall had to turn a vampire’s drone into a werewolf to save his life, and that whole kettle of fur had to be dealt with. The lady Alexia discovered his duplicity with regards to luring Conall to the pack, but promised not to tell her husband. Then the whole pack wound up moving to London when a vampire hive took over their manor, through something of a mistake on Alexia's part. It was the first time a werewolf pack became entirely urban, and Lyall supposes if anyone’s pack should, it would be theirs, though leaving the original manor that had been his home for at least a century or two was decidedly painful.