professorwolf: (gentleman)
P L A Y E R;
NAME: Gail
AGE: 33
PLAYER JOURNAL: cacopheny
TIMEZONE: PST
CONTACT: cacopheny @ gmail, cacopheny on plurk
OTHER CHARACTERS PLAYED: Riddick, Neeshka

C H A R A C T E R;
NAME: Randolph Lyall
CANON: Parasol Protectorate
POINT IN CANON: After book five, and then after a reincarnation into modern America
AGE: 300-ish / mid 30s


APPEARANCE:
In his human guise, Randolph Lyall is a slight, sandy haired man of indeterminate age, sporting angular, vulpine features; hazel eyes; small spectacles; and a very dapper sense of style, for the late 1800s. He is built on more on the "shrub" scale, being slight and somewhat weedy, and he's very used to people thinking him incapable of physical altercations despite being a werewolf-- it's to the point where he doesn't really take offense of it, anymore. Point of fact, he's actually well-muscled despite being small, he merely hides it under unassuming clothing for the most part. His clothing is always of first class design and a sensible material, close to perfect but never quite on the mark, with an expertly tied cravat of a humble knot, and a pair of spectacles he wears for closer vision. Everything about him seems determined to make him over-lookable and harmless.

Lyall's wolf form is equally easy to over-look, at least if one is used to a werewolf. While he's of good size for a natural wolf, he is positively tiny for a werewolf, almost coyote-like in size and build, if a good deal quicker and more graceful, and with a muzzle so sharp he looks more fox-like than wolf-like. His fur is the same sandy color as his hair, with a frosting of black around his neck and face, and his eyes a pale yellow and much more intelligent than those of any true wolf.

I use Peter Davidson as a played-by.

CANON HISTORY:
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-- and given his capable nature for avoiding notice, it's likely he had many more outgoing siblings.

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: the 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. 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 supposed 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.

Two years later, with the pack mostly settled in London and their former vampire drone packmember turning into a surprisingly good "replacement" Beta (among other things; the boy wound up manifesting an Alpha trait on accident and also wound up occasionally sharing Lyall's bed), the secret came out while Conall was away and the new Alpha of his old pack in town. After some payback in true werewolf fashion-- she attacked him, aiming to kill or at least punish for the betrayal-- the particulars of the previous Alpha came out and they struck a bargain: he would serve as Beta in her pack, at least until he could find and train a replacement for her, thus neatly avoiding Conall's wrath, at least until the fellow retired from leading.

CANON PERSONALITY:
Randolph Lyall is everything a good werewolf pack Beta should be: he is supportive of his Alpha, he is mild-mannered except when his authority is challenged, he is the height of organization and forethought, and he is extremely protective of his pack. Always first in his thoughts is how to keep the pack together and keep it safe, for new members as well as old, and he is willing to face incredible personal suffering and the appearance of treason (though without any intention for it to succeed, of course) for that cause. He has done both, over the course of his place as Woolsey-London pack's Beta and second in command. He even stoops to keeping a sandwich on his person, in one of the many pockets of his waistcoat, in case his Alpha or his Alpha's wife become grumpy and require soothing with foodstuffs. Next to everything else he's done in the past, that is nothing.

It takes strong will to be a pack Beta, and Lyall has that in plenty. He's constantly testing it, too, particularly against the pull of the full moon. All werewolves, no matter how much control they have at all other times, will turn into a furious, hunting, killing beast the true night of the full moon, younger werewolves changing every night for several nights prior and even after. Lyall, however, resists the change as long as possible, despite the pain involved, just to see how long he can each time. Some of it is pure pride, as well: he has envied vampires more than once for being able to keep their dignity, while werewolves are subject to the state of the moon, must endure painful shapechanges, and affect the occasional public nudity. Very undignified, all of it, and Lyall is rather fond of his dignity.

Lyall's patience is long, but not endless, and he has been known to lose it with his Alpha now and then, when he is being particularly stupid-- such as drinking through Lyall's entire supply of formaldehyde for his sheep embryo specimens; yes, even as a werewolf Lyall does still interest himself in the breeding of sheep-- and his favorite refuge when annoyed is sarcasm. But he never employs it with someone who actually needs patience, like a new pack member who isn't fitting in as well as hoped. He isn't particularly fond of open spaces, anymore, either, being a creature more of the shadows than the spotlight: that's what his Alpha is for, not him. When he doesn't have comforting walls and a ceiling overhead-- or trees and their canopy, at least-- he can be twitchy and uncomfortable, and is always quick to suggest getting someplace less exposed.

Manners and all the polite strictures of society are very important to Lyall: they show he is civilized despite the incivility of turning into a mad, hunting beast every full moon, and they form a comforting ritual of how to get by with other people. Practicality, organization, and routine are his favorite things. He is very much a creature of habit, much less spontaneous and outgoing than many werewolves, and prides himself as coming across as intelligent, urbane, and sophisticated despite his supernatural inclinations. His clothing and hair are never in disarray (if they are, that usually means he is feeling very harried, indeed), he very rarely loses his temper, and everything about him is calculated to convey the sense of harmlessness.

It doesn't hurt, either, that he is not a big man. His current Alpha is easily twice his weight, and he is both slight and slender, very used to being completely underestimated when it comes to his fighting prowess. It's to the point where he simply assumes people will immediately ask, upon finding out his rank, how the blazes he managed to get there and hold the position, as werewolf politics usually includes physical battles. Lyall is quite capable of fighting when a wolf, for all he hates it-- not because of the pain, but because it's so messy, with all that blood everywhere-- and he is more clever and quick than strong, using the strength of his enemy against them.

Most werewolves in Britain instinctively recognize Lyall's rank, though they might underestimate his ability to keep it, and thus afford him with at least some measure of respect. He has no problem asserting rank, either, if need be, able to bark an order at a loner werewolf or growl a warning when another member of the pack gets above themselves. Order, after all, must be maintained, and rank is deeply ingrained in a werewolf. Even a quiet Beta is still to be obeyed, and even an abusive Alpha is still an Alpha.

Politeness and his habitual control over his emotions is also of use as a mask for when things get too difficult, or too messy, or too personal. They are his refuge from the period of time, twenty years back, when his position as Beta and drive to protect the pack led to his suffering painful and humiliating abuses at the hands of his then-current Alpha, Lord Woolsey. That stillness and harmlessness he cultivates is as much a defense mechanism as it is a means of interacting with the world, a balancing act to keep any extreme movement from causing pain. It isn't a time he talks about unless he has no other choice. He no longer shies from thinking about it and can even discuss it with some level of detachment, it has been long enough for him, but that doesn't mean he wants to dwell on it.

POINT OF DEPARTURE:
This version of Lyall lives in the modern era, in the USA on the east coast, for the AU memory-regain game [community profile] savetheearth. Born Randall ("Randy") Lyall, the former werewolf was an only child of two rather intellectual parents in Iowa who encouraged reading more than sports or socializing. Wearing glasses from an early age didn't help his bookish reputation, and he didn’t have a whole lot of friends growing up. He did love animals, though: dogs, cats, horses, even sheep, in all their silly, fuzzy glory. That, his and his parents' intellectual bent, and a genuine curiosity about life led him into studying science.

Originally he considered engineering, but though he loved gadgets and simple mechanics, computers tended to stump him beyond their simple use, and technology seemed to be going in a silicon direction rather than a clockwork one. He wasn't good enough at math for physics, he didn't get along well enough with people to be a doctor, and being a veterinarian didn't appeal when it included euthanasia, so with some general experience with animals behind him, he wound up studying DNA, genetics, and biology in general in college, with an inexplicable focus in sheep.

Unable to find a graduate school interested in his research, he gave up on higher education and instead got a teaching credential in biology and health. He worked at Locke High in New Jersey for seven years. He liked his job and loves his students with a sometimes fierce protectiveness, even if he didn't have many friends and he was always a little nervous that someone might find out he occasionally dates men as well as women.

Then the pink lights started appearing around the world, starting in Locke City, and everything changed. He started getting memories of another life, another person, and strange abilities that came with it: a powerful sense of smell, a keen sense of hearing, extra strength, and the ability to turn, at night, into a wolf. Even worse, he started getting attacked by strange monsters. If it hadn't been for the mystical network that sprang up about the same time, and all the other people it connected him to, he is pretty sure he never would have made it. That led him to making a lot more friends than he'd ever had, meeting up with former students again, meeting and hooking up with Nick Burkhardt, and getting into all sorts of trouble once things got too public to hide, generally in the form of aliens and giant monsters attacking the city. He even lost his job over it, to his great dismay and disappointment.

The latest events in-game see him living in Germany, within a new “echo-boundary” there that allows him to keep his memories and abilities, studying up on the language to get a job in the fall and teaching English part-time in the meantime. He lives with Nick, his now long-term boyfriend and close friend, and is far more public a figure than he’d like to be, after some rather fruitless attempts at creating good PR for him and his other reincarnated friends. He has to be locked up every full moon, or else leave the echo boundary, but it's a small enough price to pay, he supposes, for remembering everything about who he is, and being able to turn into a wolf when the sun goes down.

In personality, he's drifted closer to his original self over the past two years since his first memories of his "other fellow" started coming back, but he's still more relaxed about rules and deportment in general, after living in the midwest and New Jersey for most of his life. Victorian Lyall would, after all, never be caught dead in blue jeans and a simple t-shirt. He also grew up much more alone than his canon self, leaving him a bit less than impeccably socialized and a lot less able to hide his emotions, and though some of that self-control came back via memories of his older self he tends to lose his composure far more than the 300-year-old werewolf ever would. Also, lacking the premier status of being second in command of a large pack, and basically being at the standing of minor nobility simply due to his immortal status, he is lacking in his original's utter confidence in himself. Finally, at this point, he only has a vague inkling of the abuses his "other fellow" suffered, so that doesn't affect him as much as his original self. It's possible these memories could be unlocked in the future, as they are still a part of him, but for now, they're not part of his awareness of self.

ABILITIES:
~Sense of Smell: Lyall's sense of smell is much, much keener than that of a normal human's, in fact keener than even most other werewolves. He depends on this sense by now as much as sight, after two years with it.
~Sense of Hearing: Lyall is capable of hearing at multiple times his human level. This makes living in a metropolis difficult. He's gotten used to this, on the whole, but it can still be painful at times.
~Healing: This is a slightly limited version of his canon ability to heal. Broken bones will heal in an hour at most, instead of over several weeks or months. Minor to moderate cuts and bruises heal within a few hours, rather than the minutes a true werewolf would heal in, and bad cuts and gunshot wounds heal within a day or two. Injuries caused by silver weaponry will not heal unless thoroughly cleaned and all traces of remaining silver are removed.
~Shape-shifting at will: So long as the sun is down, Lyall has the ability to change into a wolf. Unfortunately, he can't talk like this, and the transformation is terribly painful, not to mention horrible to witness and listen to.
~Fighting with Soul: This is the ability to keep his mind and memories while in wolf form. This is only partially in effect, and only functions when he is changed willfully (i.e. not at the full moon), and not when he is in combat. He can be returned to himself after combat if he exerts willpower, however, or has particular reason to do so, such as being in the presence of someone he knows well and does not want to hurt. He can be talked back. This may get easier for him with time and experience, like any other werewolf's would.
~Full moon shape-shifting: Lyall is forced to shift into wolf form every full moon, and he will lose his mind to the hunting urge for the duration of the night. Due to his more limited healing ability, he will also be out of commission for an hour or two after changing and changing back.
~Experience: Lyall has three hundred some-odd years of experience behind him, which, while he cannot access it directly at this point, gives him some measure of confidence and keeps him level-headed in tense situations.
~Supernatural Strength: After dark, Lyall is now much stronger than a normal, mortal human, able to toss small pieces of furniture and rather easily break down your standard doors, not to mention lift people without too much difficulty.
~Supernatural Speed: After dark, Lyall has a surprising amount of speed, comparable to a vampire's in his previous incarnation, and well beyond that of a mortal. This is still an extremely new change, and he doesn't have it under control just yet. It's easier when in wolf form, but not by much.

INVENTORY;
~Alessandro's Journal: Dated 1848 - 1850. At the start, this book was mostly blank, with only a few entries, fairly early on and revealing nothing particularly incriminating (clothing choices, trips to the theater, and a record of a conversation with a friend about a pair of socialite ladies of their acquaintance). Further entries were added gradually, until the book is now about two-thirds full. Many of them describe seeing "him" with a bruises and various other abuses. In the final entry, the writer decides to do something about it.
~Glassicals: For Christmas (2013), the Earth gave Lyall back his glassicals-- or, more accurately, his monocular cross-magnification lenses with spectra-modifier attachment, which resemble a cross between binoculars and opera glasses. He's worked out how they function, by now, and finds them quite handy, even if they do make him look ridiculous.
~Waistcoat of holding: Not actually a magical object. This tastefully understated, brown pinstripe Victorian waistcoat has a myriad of little pockets inside, perfect for carrying small odds and ends if one wishes to be prepared for all occasions.

ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW?
He's coming as a pair with Nick Burkhardt, once his mun gets her app up :D

S A M P L E S;
ACTIONSPAM SAMPLE:
A conversation on the network with a former student and now-friend.

PROSE SAMPLE:
The last scene we played out in his previous game.
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Professor Randolph Lyall

July 2015

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