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MATURE RPG


May, 2010... Fantasy became reality. Worlds overlay for the briefest moment. Outworlders became stranded on earth as more than half the human populace vanished. Our World, our universe, was transformed.

Fiction is now reality. Humans and those now bound to this world will either learn to coexist, or battle for supremecy.

Thomas Gallo

Bakkhos
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86 Setting the Bar High

About Thomas Gallo

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned

CHARACTER PROFILE

  • GENDER
    Male
  • PLAY-BY
    Jean Dujardin
  • AGE
    40
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION
    Heterosexual
  • RACE
    Lycanthrope-Werewolf
  • JOB
    Caporegime; Runs Thyrsus Liquor Store.
  • 'SHIP:
    None
  • LOCATION
    New York, NY
  • FACTION
    Bakkhos
  • APPEARANCE
    Tom is nearly six feet in height and solidly built. His short, well-kept black hair is starting to show some light signs of gray. His face is kept clean-shaven or sometimes has a close-trimmed salt and pepper beard. Deep brown eyes reveal a lot about the man. First is intelligence. His eyes appear to slice through whatever obfuscation is presented before him. Second is pain. Tom is not a miserable person; however, joy is never fully reflected in his eyes.

    Tom is usually dressed formally and professionally. If he is not wearing a suit, he is not conducting business. Since he is married to his work, this isn’t often. He wears the silver twin rings encircled by a grapevine that all Capos wear. The only other jewelry he wears is a necklace that has a large diamond-encrusted ring made from his and his late-wife’s wedding bands.
  • PERSONALITY
    Tom is typically calm, calculating and reserved. Before the world went to hell…he was like that all the time. Now he finds that demeanor to be harder to hold on to with certain phases of the moon. His subordinates and peers have learned to predict when his mood will shift and Tom often isolates himself during those times for that reason. When close to the full moon, he is very easily agitated and has been asked to excuse himself by Victor and Angelo more than once due to this.

    When not under the influence of the moon, he is quite pleasant. While he is never truly jovial, he appears to generally be content and unoffending. When conducting business, he is no-nonsense and wants to get to the point right away.

    Tom radiates a personal aura that tends to make those around him uneasy and at times fearful. Not unlike the effect lycanthropes can have on animals, but the austere presence seems to affect people and lycan alike. It isn’t so much a fear as it is a sort of ‘passive-alpha-steer clear’ vibe that can often make people think twice about crossing him.

    No matter when it is in the lunar cycle, Tom has very little tolerance for swearing. As a tribute to his late wife, he never swears and will correct those who do so around him when appropriate. He’d never correct Gaspari, nor would he correct another Capo within their respective domains. However, all but Gaspari have been corrected and told to watch themselves within Thyrsus. When close to the full moon, he has even physically struck those who spoke out of turn.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS
    Owner of Thyrsus Liquor Store

    Sig Sauer P220 handgun

    Tom wears the signature twin-vined ring of a Capo. A keen jeweler might notice that it is not silver. He also wears a necklace around his neck with the fused wedding bands of his late wife's and his own.

    Tom owns a property just outside of the city that has an underground bunker to lock himself within during the change.

    Tom owns a black BMW X5 SUV. Sometimes he drives himself, other times he conscripts a driver. Either way, it is recognizable within the family just whose vehicle it is.

STAFF APPROVED ABILITIES/SKILLS/HISTORY

  • APPROVED ABILITIES
    Human Form
    Lunar Patterns: All the factors that influence behavior/mood/power of a lycanthrope based on phase of moon are tied to proximity to the full moon. Rather than crescendo at the full moon and drop suddenly afterwards, Tom’s were-nature waxes and wanes with the lunar cycle itself. Some lycanthropes are at their weakest the day after the full moon. Tom is at his weakest during the New Moon.

    Enhanced physical attributes: Tom has the increased strength and fortitude typical of lycanthropes in human form.

    Enhanced Senses: Tom’s sense of smell and hearing, and to a lesser extent, vision, are enhanced. The enhanced smell has proven beneficial when checking the quality of the high-end liquor being sold at the Thyrsus.

    Werewolf Form
    Tom’s werewolf form is larger than most. He stands at closer to 8 feet in height and nearly 800 pounds. Simply bigger/stronger/faster than most of his peers, Tom’s were-form is something best avoided.

    Weaknesses:
    Silver: Tom has very low tolerance for silver at all. If he detects the metallic scent of the metal, it is enough to offend him not unlike a man with poor hygiene or a skunk spraying outside. Touching the metal is akin to grasping a rose bush. Silver weapons don’t simply work on Tom. They work exceptionally well.

    Rage: Tom appears to be exceptionally affected by the rage that most lycanthropes feel. While every lycanthrope has the fury inside…Tom’s ferocity is an unruly tenant that seeks to come out whenever possible. Tom believes that his inability to process his grief for his wife’s passing and the latent anger that remained within him because of it during the Resonance Event contributed to this. Whether he is right or not, Tom has a stronger well of rage within him than most other people. It is a constant battle to keep his temper in check and remain in charge of his behavior.
  • APPROVED SKILLS
    Business Acumen: Tom has an uncanny ability to conduct business and almost always seems to make the “right decision at the right time”. Equal parts spontaneous insight and relentless study, Tom ensures that whatever business he is focused on becomes the best at what it does.

    Social engineering: Tom had become a master at leveraging the right person to do the right thing at the right time to further his agenda. While not a sly and silver-tongued person, he has a gift at discerning people’s motivations and a tactical mind to leverage that when useful. Whether it is deciding between the carrot or the stick with his subordinates, or knowing what ‘sacrifices’ are required from him in order for the other party to act in good faith, Tom has a keen eye for detecting what will work best.

    Tom is not an expert fighter, but he has had a modicum of training in kickboxing and wrestling. If a physical altercation were to present itself, he finds that he prefers to go hand to hand, even if appropriate weapons are available.
  • APPROVED HISTORY
    Thomas Gallo grew up in New York with his father Frank. Tom’s mom died when he was a young kid. Frank did his best to raise him, and did a fine job, but a single father in New York was not an easy task to have. Despite this, Tom never grew up lacking. His father always seemed to have enough to provide for all needs and most wants. He would spend some summers in California with his great uncle Julio at the Gallo Wineries. This helped foster his curiosity for business. His summers at the vineyard studying with his extended family gave him insight into the business that would come to help him in the future.

    When Tom was 13, it was impossible for his father to hide his connections. Tom was a quick study and realized that their lifestyle didn’t equate to his father’s wages. It was then that tom learned that Frank was “connected.” Frank gave up trying to hide the connection from his son and educated him about the families. Frank was always careful to keep his son sheltered from the darker aspects of “family-dealings.” He knew he couldn’t keep Tom in the dark any longer, but he could keep him sheltered from the darker aspects. For a time, anyway.

    Tom attended NYU and studied Finance and Business Administration. Frank insisted that he pay for his college, but Tom was savvy enough to know that he was attending on a “family scholarship”. He was an ace student and after graduation, quickly found his way to trading on the commodities market. Tom seemed to have an uncanny insight into the markets and was quickly regarded as a “wizard” of the market. This led to him becoming “connected” of his own accord. His father was not exactly opposed to this, but he wasn’t overly proud either. Having lost his wife, he was afraid of losing his son as well.

    Frank’s anxiety would simultaneously abate and grow with Tom’s betrothal. Tom had asked Jacqueline Strollo to become his bride. By this time, Tom was deeply connected. He didn’t have an exclusive relationship with the Strollos, as his father had taught him to not put his eggs all in one basket. Jacqueline changed all this. She was everything to him. On the day of their wedding, not only was Tom the happiest man on earth, he had also become the newest member of the Strollo family.

    Jacqueline’s impact on Tom cannot be overstated. She was a force of nature. Having “grown up in the mob” Jacqueline was not some delicate flower. She had a strong personality and one would be hesitant to cross her…even without her family connections. Anyone who had a clue knew that her strength did not come from her family, but from within. That is why when she chose her husband, it was met with little resistance, as “Ol’ Jackie can take care of herself.” One thing she did not tolerate in her presence was cursing. This was an odd thing to pick to be sensitive to, especially in a crime family, but she brooks no foul language in her company. Even Carmine tried to respect this…even though he was not at all compelled to behave this way. Jacqueline was not so foolish as to try to insist on this behavior from those who were obviously higher than her in terms of station, however she was often given a great deal of respect over and above her “rank” in the family.

    She wound up correcting some of the unpleasant habits that Tom still had. His foul language was the first and quickest to change. “No man who speaks that way has anything intelligent to say and shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you wish to speak to me, then you shall do so properly, as a man. Not as a school boy thug!” As all wives do, she began coaching him in his appearance, mannerisms, and all the things that most men find unimportant but women find vital. He was already a competent professional, but now he was better. She made him better. She made him his best.

    When Jacqueline died, Tom was devastated. She had hidden her sickness from him as long as she could. Eventually, it was impossible to obfuscate any longer. She had developed pancreatic cancer and had known that her time was limited. As selfless as she was strong, she had learned of this diagnosis while Tom was in the midst of his best performance. She knew she was terminal and had resigned herself to this fate, however Tom was making more money than he ever had before. She didn’t want to derail this current success to worry about something that could not be fixed. Just as Jacqueline feared, when Tom learned the news, he immediately stopped trading. He could not accept that there was no hope for his wife. He liquidated everything he had to gather as much capital as possible to find a cure for his beloved. She died mere days later.

    Her last words to him were simply, “Remember me. In all that you do, remember me, my love. I love you.”

    He did just that. He had taken his wedding band and her ring and had one of the city’s finest jewelers forge them into a single ring that he wears hanging on a necklace. By this point, Tom had established himself as a loyal and valuable member of the family. His entire passion and drive now had a singular focus. He was a driven and relentless machine for the family. Two weeks later, the Resonance Event occurred. The world had changed.

    Rage. Tom had never dealt with his grief over Jacqueline’s death in a healthy way. He buried himself in his work and channeled his grief and anger into his work. It was a temporary fix…like a deer being chased by a wolf. Running buys some time…but it all ends eventually. It wasn’t immediately evident to Tom what was happening to him. He had gone home for the day when the event occurred. That day had been a particularly frustrating one, as nothing appeared to be going right. Shipments were missed, payments not collected…it was ‘one of those days.’ He had poured himself a drink as he sat on his couch, looking at his wife’s portrait hanging above the mantle.

    A sudden grief had overtaken him. As with a lot of men, grief and sadness quickly turned to anger. This anger was different. It was a torrent of rage the likes he had never felt before. He threw his glass across the room and roared with fury. He started tossing glasses, books, chairs, and even couches and tables. As the event occurred, he had succumbed to the most blinding rage anyone could imagine. His form grew large and hairy. Claws sprouted from his fingertips. Fur grew all over his body. Snout extended with finger-length fangs in his maw. He WAS rage. Howling in fury, Tom’s last memory of that night was pain. Pain and rage.

    Tom woke up somewhere in what was left of Manhattan. Naked, blood-soaked, and afraid…and angry. As quickly as he could, he made his way back to the Strollo house to make sense of what had occurred. Apparently, it wasn’t just him that experienced something new. The world had changed in an instant. The family would have to change along with it.

    Tom made his way back to his home and, miraculously, his security footage remained intact. He viewed the footage from the event and was mortified. He watched as he transformed into this massive wolf-like monstrosity and destroy anything nearby before he left the house. Was he a werewolf? It was the only thing that came to mind…but those were children’s stories. Right? To be safe he fled the city before nightfall. The idea of hurting more people made him terrified…which in this present state, made him angry. He headed as far upstate and got to a place as remote as he could before nightfall and waiting. He suspected that another night of chaos and bloodshed awaited. He was right. This time, however, it appeared to be limited to wildlife. Once the moon-cycle had passed, he felt it was likely safe to return to the city. There was work to do. It began now.

    The chaos that came post-Resonance created a lot of loss and opportunity for the families of New York. When Tom had cashed out of the markets to fund his wife’s recovery, it became an accidental boon for the post-Resonance world. When Gaspari had united the families, even he didn’t know the size of the cash-cow that was quietly coming in the form of Tom Gallo.

    When Gaspari reorganized the families into one, united family, Tom had been placed under Victor’s wing for a while. Tom’s past history in working with the Gallo vineyards in California had given him a reason to be paired with Victor. Gaspari had integrated the families together in the various “sectors of business”. That way any sort of “tribal loyalty” held by the original smaller families could never grow. This is why the wine and booze market was controlled by Nuzios and Strollos together. Also, Victor had been similarly affected by the Resonance…forming yet another bond with which he can relate with someone. Once Thyrsus had been established, Tom found himself being named Capo, supervising the ins and outs of everything within the walls of this establishment…legit or otherwise.

Profile Fields

  • Typist's Role Play History
    AD&D 2e until present. Played on another PbP forum-driven site off and on for the last 20 years.
  • Role Play Sample
    “I’ll be back on Tuesday,” Tom growled at Roderick, the manager of the upstairs portion of Thyrsus.

    “But Boss,” Roderick began to retort hesitantly, “4th of July weekend is gonna be huge ‘round here. You are gonna be missed. What am I supposed to say?”

    Tom resisted the urge to round on the man and grab his throat. He was, after all, just doing his job. It was 4th of July Weekend in New York. All the Bakkhos clubs and establishments were looking to do record business. This should be a time where Tom was all business and making sure everything ran smoothly. Unfortunately, it was also the three days in the month where he was a savage, blood-thirsty beast at night. It was best that he leaves.

    “They will know why I left, but they may be none too pleased about it.” Tom’s jaw clenched and he slowly released the balled fist he had made. “Tell them that I trust you to manage while I’m away.”

    Tom forced a smile. He knew the effect he had on people around this time. He didn’t like scaring those who worked for him. A small dose of fear is healthy, but Roderick and some of the others knew of Tom’s sometimes over-the-top temper near the full moon and were outright terrified if Tom didn’t keep himself in check.

    Keeping the smile on his face, he clapped Roderick on the shoulder. “While I’m gone, you speak for me. I trust you to handle business.” He walked toward the exit, and before he exited, he added, “And if you don’t, remember…I’ll be back on Tuesday.” This time the smile was a nearly feral grin. Roderick was somewhat accustomed to this…he’d been working for Tom for a while now. It was, however, impossible to become comfortable.

    Tom jumped into his car and drove north. He had 10 hours until the sun set and he wanted to be as far into the norther wilderness as he could manage before the turn. He knew that he should lock himself in the cellar that had been built for him. It would keep him around during the day to have some face time, but he couldn’t. He rationalized it that it would be too dangerous. Too many people would be around in case he got trapped in public before the sun set. I mean, who leaves on the 4th of July weekend BEFORE the fireworks? It was bad optics. It was too dangerous.

    These are all true, but it wasn’t the truth. Tom could not go in the box. Not this time. He had to run. He had to hunt. No. He could not go in the box. He knew it was dangerous and perhaps a bit reckless, but he had to run. He had to hunt. He had to sate the beast. He was not going in the box.
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  1. Thomas Gallo

    Poison in the Well

    Really? Tom didn't think Cassandra could read minds, but the petite Arma agent appeared to respond to an unwitting summons. He'd have growled if the cold hadn't clamped his mouth shut. The badge brandished with the unwritten words, 'We're going to talk.' popping from it. "I know why you are here. Please come inside." Tom held open the door to invite her in. Tom and Cassandra had helped each other in the past. She had been chasing a fugitive that happened into the doors of Thyrsus, assuming that it was some sort of criminal sanctuary. It had seemed like a simple calculus to not stand between a criminal and a police force full of mages. The collateral damage was not likely to be worth it. The fact that this fugitive wound up hurting women and children regularly made even easier. He was fairly certain that Tom was 'left alone' due to this unofficial cooperation. Maybe she could help him with his magic-poison investigation. Once inside, he nodded to Roderick and said, "We'll be in my office. Unless Gaspari himself wishes to speak to me, send whoever comes away." Tom then entered his office and stood behind his desk while motioning to a seat in front of it. "Please, assume I am wrong. What can I help you with, Cassandra?"
  2. Thomas Gallo

    CLASH OF THE TITANS

    Seeing Matteo focus his attention on the small woman, Tom turned his attention back to the patrons and the unexamined bottles. He spared a glance for the television to see what was happening. The large brute had been growing increasingly sloppy in his pursuit of the smaller blaster. Tom shook his head. So long as the blaster could keep from being hit, he would win in time. The brute lacked discipline. Simultaneously he heard the order for a coffee and smelled another were. Turning to the new patron, Tom assessed the man. This man radiated barely contained violence. Noting the scars on his hands, hints of others peeking over the collar and the straight murder in his eyes…Tom knew this wasn’t a simple fight viewer. He turned his back to get the man’s coffee and couldn’t help feeling that was a terrible idea. That man was itching for violence. He heard a female’s voice order an espresso, and he prepared it before turning around again. He brought over the drinks and quickly assessed the newcomer. He immediately recognized her as a known police officer. He had noted several among the crowd and was not surprised about any of them. Of course they would be here. He was confident that most of them were bored. Bakkhos took security more seriously than even the police it seemed at times. He couldn’t help but note the familiarity between the two newcomers. Setting the drinks in front of the respective patrons, he was able to take in the man’s mood more keenly. He was a were on the brink of violence. Like Tom, he kept that under tight control, but Tom was too familiar with those struggles to not notice the tightness around the eyes…the tensed forearm from a clenched fist, and the seemingly tangible vibrations of rage radiating from the man. Clearly this particular lycanthrope cycled with the moon like most of the rest. He was two whole weeks from his most docile…whereas Tom was at his most. If there were a time for a shrewd enemy to take a shot at the capo, it would be now. The beast always wanted out, it was just easier to contain it during the New Moon than it was during the others. The man staring death at him from the other side was enough to provoke the beast to press against the cages of Tom’s will. The combination of restraint and dominance Tom showed the drunk man earlier was not likely to occur if things got to that point with this man. This man at the bar was dangerous. Tom willed the beast back in its cage. For now. He first addressed the lady who requested the espresso. “Day off or subtly working today?” Before she had a chance to answer, Tom leaned in close to the fellow lycanthrope. He spoke in a low, barely perceptible whisper that he knew he would hear, and only those others with enhanced hearing could possibly hear. “Are we going to have a problem with you and your beast? Or will you be able to keep it together?” Tom wasn’t sure if there was an opportunity at a relationship here, or if he was going to have to subtly deflect an enemy. He hoped that this didn’t escalate into an impromptu combat…but there was that part of him that wanted it to.
  3. Thomas Gallo

    CLASH OF THE TITANS

    Tom continued inspecting the bottles. He didn't expect to find anything, however he took his time checking them as he was observing the interaction between Matteo and the small woman. He paused a moment to observe the bartender. She had been working nonstop since the venue opened and the signs of fatigue, while well-hidden, were noticeable. Go get something to eat and take a break. I'll hold things down here for a bit. It was more an order than permission, however she appeared to be relieved. He then proceeded to tend to orders and, a bit slower, tended to the needs of the patrons. She'll be back soon, everyone, but for now you have to put up with me.
  4. Thomas Gallo

    CLASH OF THE TITANS

    I mean… you could have just stayed in the Bakkhos box… hiding in the dark…. sniffling into your snifter…wallowing in self pity. Tom chuckled softly. As infuriating as Matteo could be, his seeming endless ability to never take Tom seriously was refreshing at times. One of the few people who still saw him as simply a man…not some terrifying monster to be feared and tip-toed around. He ducked behind the bar and was systematically taking one bottle down and opening it to sniff it quickly before returning it to the counter. The bartender glanced at him a second and nodded. She had been used to this routine by now. I’ve come to accept that hiding is outside of my abilities anymore. Sad as that may be. He grinned slightly to convey that he wasn’t being mopey. After he spoke, he noticed a small woman at the bar. Something was…off. Like many, she wasn’t what she appeared. She appeared to be studying the crowd, eyes glowing faintly. Tom locked eyes with Matteo, and one of the security guards and motioned his eyes towards the woman. Not to initiate action, but to simply keep and eye on her. He resumed his analysis of some of the booze behind the counter. He glanced at the screen and shook his head. The brute was taxing himself. If he didn’t slow down and just work the blaster into a corner, he’d probably exhaust himself before being able to finish the fight. A part of Tom was disappointed in this. Part of him wanted to go blow for blow with the brute. Maybe some other time…
  5. Thomas Gallo

    CLASH OF THE TITANS

    Tom was watching the fight from the floor level VIP seats for a moment. He was expected to appear and be seen at Satyr as one of the champions. He watched the back and forth with Moren and Kirren with some trepidation. Kirren was doing his best to blast the hulk around and avoid getting caught, but if Moren ever got his hands on the bomb-tosser, it would likely end very quickly. As long as he could keep moving, this fight would last a while. Tom found himself studying the movements of both men more than enjoying the show…brooding over what he felt was an inevitable future confrontation with one of them. Roderick, sensing his bosses brooding mood, elbowed him in the shoulder. “Relax, boss. You get to be the audience for once.” Tom smirked, surprisingly. Was Roderick tweaking his mood? He wouldn’t blame him if he had been. Tom had been even less jovial than normal these days. His new arrangement with Eris had put some extra stresses on his plate that, while seemingly small, he couldn’t help shake that there was a hidden catch that he had not yet detected. He stood up after a particularly loud blast from Kirren rang too loudly in his enhanced hears. “I’m going to walk around a bit, enjoy the show, Roderick.” Tom stood to walk and shook hands with a few fans who hesitantly garnered his attention. He had to maintain friendly appearances, even if he was building a reputation as a brutal combatant. He made his way towards the Bakkhos Minor club to see how things were going up there. He wasn’t worried about security. It was a new moon, so any weres were as even-tempered as you could hope for. Not to mention, nearly all hands were on deck for this night. At any one time he could pick out 4 or more security, uniformed or otherwise in the crowd. Instead, he was worried about that rogue poisoner. There were still occasional, if less frequent, reports of poisoned booze making it into his shipments. All leads to track down this source had been fruitless. His increased security and control of shipments had reduced the number of incidents, but the occasional one slipped through. He was going to do a quick check of the supply at the bars upstairs. As he worked his way through the crowd, his little invisible bubble of personal space remained, even if a little smaller due to the amount of people in the stadium. Tom had grown accustomed to that uneasy feeling people had around him that caused them to give him space. It certainly helped his mood in these large crowds where every noise and smell were amplified. Which is why, when he heard a loud, “HEY GALLO!” coming from ahead, he was quite shocked. A large man, a good head taller than Gallo himself, approached him directly. He was built like a strongman. Barrel-chested, giant…just a very large man. He stopped right in the path Tom was taking to head upstairs. The man reeked of what must have been gallons of beer and alcohol. Any innate fear perception of the man had been drowned in spirits. “You are the champ everyone’s been talking about? I’d like to fight you next!” Tom spotted five security personnel making their way towards the man, but Tom subtly waved them off. A crowd had gathered now. If he were saved by security, then the attraction would wear off. Curse Matteo…he had Tom thinking about theatrics now instead of business. He’d talk to him about that later. He had a drunk buffoon to put back in place. Tom up into the giant man’s eyes. Nothing about this man smelled exceptional. Just a naturally gifted human athlete. Tom then looked to gauge how many people were watching this impromptu spectacle. Dozens. What he did next was sure to make it to the rest of the city. “I think you are mistaken, sir. You are not looking for a fight with me.” The tone in his voice was polite, professional, even friendly. Roderick must have done something to him. The large man guffawed and poked his finger stiffly into Tom’s chest. “Yes. I. Am.” He looked poised to pounce on Tom right there. Tom closed his eyes for a second, took a deep breath, and nodded at the man. “I think we can set something up.” He extended his hand to shake the other man’s hand. When they clasped hands, Tom squeezed tightly. “Although, I suspect you may wish to reconsider. Which I would totally understand.” Tom continued to squeeze the man’s hand until bones began to pop and the large man was brought to his knees. Tom leaned in close to the man’s ear. “I hope you learned something today.” He released the man’s hand and motioned to a pair of the guards nearby to take this man out of here, and without looking back, kept on his path towards Bakkhos Minor to inspect the wares behind the counter. Upon reaching the club, he noticed Matteo at the bar and clapped him stiffly on the shoulder. “You are making my life more complicated by the day, you know that?”
  6. Thomas Gallo

    Countdown Begins...

    …pft…please…. you aint that special Gallo…. Tom smirked and gestured to one of the numerous banners with his face plastered on them. You don’t say… Darius Kayne, at your service! Tom sized up the man. He was indeed eager to be a part of this. Good. Seemed like he was the type of eager that was just glad to be a part of it…not the eager that sought to leverage this for some nefarious gain. Tom shook his head slightly, banishing the thought. Not everyone thought like the families. He shook Darius’s hand firmly and continued to listen as he released. Well, I hear it can help us hold back the lions, tigers an' bears… Tom noticed the smirk. It’s the wolves you have to be careful of…crafty brutes they can be… He followed Matteo and Darius onto the main field. From down here he turned slowly, taking in the view from the field where he’d be before long. It was very impressive. Done right, this would be the most popular attraction in the city. So…we are getting to see what happens if we hit the second barrier?
  7. Thomas Gallo

    Countdown Begins...

    Tom had entered the private viewing box that Gaspari and other VIPs would occupy at Satyr. He had come to Satyr to double-check the chain of custody of booze coming from Thyrsus to Satyr, to ensure that the serial poisoner of his wares had not wormed their way into the supply chain to Satyr. His inspection had proven this supply chain to be clean, however others he had thought were good had turned out to have some poison bottles slipped into the shipments. This was taking too long. Tom had been forced to take more calls of disgruntled clients as they were no longer being satisfied with Roderick fielding the calls. Tom had dispatched soldiers to supervise shipments to several of the clients. Of those that were supervised, none were tampered with. This poisoner was subtle, observant, and worst of all...intelligent. Tom didn't have the manpower to babysit every shipment from now to eternity...he needed to squash this bug. It was time to bring in the rest of the family. Tom took a moment to take in the spectacle of the arena from the VIP box. It was impressive. Quite impressive. He didn't understand the intricacies of the enchantments and magical augmentation to the cages and barriers. He let out a resigned growl as he was certain that he'd be the one to 'test' some of them. Matteo got a sick sort of pleasure in Tom's discomfort. Not malevolent...as far as Tom could tell...it reminded him of brothers enjoying each other's trivial trials. Ass. Tom stepped out of the box and started walking down the stairs toward where he saw Tom and some other man speaking. He suspected him to be another mage or some such. As he got closer, he called down to the two men. "Come now. You didn't have to do all this for little ol' me." Tom smirked at Matteo before extending a hand to the other man. "Tom Gallo, pleased to meet you."
  8. Thomas Gallo

    Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom sensed a small defense get raised again. He had allowed himself to relax in front of someone for the first time in...since the Event really. Roderick and Matteo had seen the best and worst of Tom...but outside of the family...boundaries were always firmly in place. Subtle facial features were the only betrayal that he had slipped back into a more business-like demeanor. Most would miss it. Eris likely wouldn't. Fair enough...he suspected the same sort of thing happened to her as well. It wasn't often you found someone you could relate to in this new world. Best not to disrupt that. “Why, you interested in getting your butt kicked...Which is what the outcome would be." A small smile crept across his face...not a mocking one...but a smile nonetheless. "I wouldn't be all that surprised, honestly. Although I am a slight bit more agile than the car you tossed through my walls." He noted her posture...almost daring to be challenged. Perhaps another time. His absence was certainly noticed by now...not that it mattered all that much. The club was not his to supervise and manage...although this was a Family event and he shouldn't be absent from all of it. "I think we have a lot to talk about." He turned to look at the skyline to reorient himself to his position within the city. He intended to look into this building later. He believed he could trust her...however the old adage of 'trust buy verify' rang in his brain. Eris was not one to play with her cards laid out on the table for all to see. "But not tonight." "Mind telling me more of what you had in mind on the way back to your hangar?" He motioned toward the plane. A quick flare of his nostrils as he exhaled abruptly betrayed the emotion underlying his next statement. "I should be getting back to the club." He didn't want to...but duty...
  9. Thomas Gallo

    Bakkhos Champion??

    Expensive. Yes. Expensive is good. A smirk spread across his face. You know...that Barracuda would be a nice prize...for the winner. What do you think about that...bub? Tom know...everyone knew...that car was something he loved more than anything else...probably anyone else. If there was a way to cut deep...it was to mention that car. He stood up and put his glass behind the bar. Think about it. Could be fun. After all...I am the best in the world at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice. Then Tom clapped Matteo on the shoulder as he left. It as time to grab a few hours of sleep before tomorrow's calamities presented themselves.
  10. Thomas Gallo

    Bakkhos Champion??

    Maybe a little….. but ya gotta admit… be a vision in canary yella tights… Tom emitted a low growl...but his smirk betrayed it. Matteo often flirted with the boundary of provocation and jest. In many ways, Tom and Matteo were brothers. A vision...we can call it that. A dream, really. That's all that will ever be. Tom's smirk showed the joke, but his eyes allowed no room for debate. When Matteo explained the prize and asked if Tom planned on losing, Tom chuckled openly. This idea was terrible. Or it was genius. Knowing Gaspari, it was genius...however it still felt...dangerous. Matteo and he were on the same page regarding that, it seemed, however they'd do their best to make it work. No, I do not plan on losing. Tom finished his drink with one last pull and set the glass down. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he shook his head in resignation and added. Just don't insult me. Make the purse big.
  11. Thomas Gallo

    Nighttime is Playtime

    “This doesn’t mean you work for me, this means I work for you.” This wasn't the beginning of a new chapter, this was the start of a new book entirely. He didn't know much of any of the details of the Sheut, however he could tell that something tremendously powerful had just occurred. The gravity of such did not elude him. This was the dawning of a new era. “It’s my job to protect your organization, because it needs to exist in order for the world to come back to life. Your needs become my priority, and threats to your businesses are threats to me.” Tom nodded. This made sense. The shadows of logistics already forming themselves in Tom's brain as she spoke. This would be an interesting venture. This would have to be handled with care. The old men would seek to manipulate Eris in some fashion. That would not go well. Tom would have to take point on this, as Eris desired. He'd have to go nose to nose with Strollo, he suspected. Gaspari would be the only one who could cause a problem that Tom couldn't get in front of. He'd have to go to him directly soon. "You remind me of someone..." Tom smiled ever-so-slightly at that statement. She didn't glower or sneer or speak dismissively when she said this. She respected him. He knew that was currency she didn't trade often. "You remind me of someone as well." Him. She reminded him of himself. She looked better in a dress than he did, sure...but the fury contained within a cage of civility and self-control. The heart-felt desire to look after her charges...they were reflections of one another in a lot of ways. Then the mood shifted. "I hear you're a boxer." Tom actually smiled big and chuckled softly. Not at her...but at the sudden levity. "I used to. I recently started hitting the bag again. It serves to...calm me a bit." As he sat on the ledge, he threw up a soft boxing-guard and said, "You interested in a sparring partner?"
  12. Thomas Gallo

    Bakkhos Champion??

    Tom groaned and shook his head as Matteo made jokes about advertising and spandex. With elbow on the bar, Tom rested his head in his hand as he allowed a small, resigned smile. “You are enjoying this way more than you should be.” When Matteo put on a more serious tone, Tom rejoined him. “Good luck finding an opponent who is familiar with the family. I’m afraid that my…reputation may lead to some difficulty.” Tom wasn’t wrong. Everyone who has ever dealt with Tom has either loved him or been deathly afraid of him. Usually both. His enemies stay clear. His friends love him…but tread carefully. The only likely challenger would be someone who didn’t know any better…or who did and sought to challenge the strength or Tom and Bakkhos. Too many unknowns for Tom’s taste. A thought occurred to Tom. He was sure Matteo had thought of it already, but he wasn’t aware of the specifics, so he had to ask. “If a challenger steps up…what do they win?” Tom then smirked slightly. “What do I win?”
  13. Thomas Gallo

    Bakkhos Champion??

    We advertise the fuck outta ya….. banners on the side of the stadium with your ugly mug on them…. Big gold letters underneath spellin' out "CHAMPION"…. enough to in ya face push so that we push buttons… Tom grunted. He didn't like that aspect of it. He disliked being a spectacle...an exhibit. He supposed it was his price to pay for the outlet afforded him by the arena. Didn't mean he had to like it. He didn't. Still...the extra fame and notoriety could be leveraged for the business too. Yeah...that is probably best. I. Hate. It. But I get it. Not had a lot of luck getting strong recruits for the first fight…. sad thing is Gaspari is probably right in pickin' a Bakkhos to headline. People were waitin' to see what it would really be like… if it’s a hoax or not…. Tom nodded. Gaspari always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the world. Sure this would help Tom with an outlet...but no decision ever served just a single purpose with him. Gaspari was always optimizing. We'll be sure to make it count. You realize this is goin' t' be a total blood sport right? The audience is going to be looking for gladiator games… not a little boxing match…. Tom's eyebrows furrowed as he glowered at no one in particular. He looked up to Matteo and nodded. I'm counting on it. I don't know that I could restrain myself to a simple boxing match.
  14. Thomas Gallo

    Bakkhos Champion??

    Tom nodded as Matteo confirmed what Tom had already knew. He was sure that Matteo had enough sense to not put two transformed weres in the cage. He hated to state the obvious...but it was one of those issues he couldn't leave to chance. He raised his glass in apology for having to say something so obvious. He was sure Matteo understood. When Matteo mentioned other Sheut within the family...Tom had figured out a few since he started working with Eris. It was never important to him, so he paid them no mind. It might be worth knowing exactly who at some point...but for now it was not important. When Eris asked him about Sheut Ka in the arena again...he'd be able to say that he heard it from the horse's mouth itself. When Matteo tapped on his glass for a refill, Tom looked the man in the face and quirked an eyebrow with a hint of a grin. You couldn't afford me as your bartender. Tom topped off his glass and slid the bottle over to Matteo. Well...if there is no getting around it...how can we make the most of it? He was referring back to his new role as Champion. He was obviously not thrilled with the prospect, but there was no sense brooding over the unchangeable. Besides that...he almost looked forward to it.
  15. Thomas Gallo

    Nighttime is Playtime

    “Don’t look at me like that.” When Eris glided to a position opposite him, he was genuinely surprised. He had surmised that she was nervous...as what she was proposing was a dangerous gambit...especially if he said 'no.' This though...there was something else there. He had hit on a nerve unintentionally. Had she thought he was laughing at her? He had laughed at the absurdity of her statement. Tom had never felt so in the dark than he had when Eris revealed the Sheut and everything else. Like a blind person gaining sight...her presumption that he thought himself in full control couldn't be farther from the truth. It was...laughable. Her sudden glide to a defensive posture was equally surprising. It probably shouldn't have been all that shocking...empirically he knew as much. He just had a healthy respect for the new world still. What was more interesting...terrifying...was that it appeared to be nearly instinctual. She was on the defensive. He had pricked a fight-or-flight response from her. She too was harboring a Beast within. Did the vampires struggle with a similar issue that all of his kind fought with? Or was she unique? Tom placed his hands on the ledge as if to scoot back down to his feet in case she lost control of her Beast and he had to defend himself. He was relieved when her demeanor softened and she gracefully strode back to the ledge to rejoin him. Relieved...and a bit disappointed. What was wrong with him?! “Asking you to be in a position in the Nation means I’m tired of being by myself. I need to spend time with someone that gets it. This… rage and refinement all compressed into one. Somebody that I choose, not those that I have to deal with by association. I’m being told I have to build alliances and relationships in my territory. I didn’t ask to be Viceroy. I was told, and because I have unwavering respect for the man that put me here I didn’t argue. Being forced… to build relationships with groups when I can’t even stand to be around people is torture.” So it wasn't merely an alliance of convenience. She wanted him to assume a position within her organization? Or a figurehead that ticks a box on their checklist? So many questions. He assumed he was going to get answers. That last bit explained a lot. What better defense against social anxiety than being a vicious killing machine? Scare enough people and you won't have to deal with them. Tom wasn't scared of her. He respected her and believed that if she intended to...she could probably kill him. But he believed he was an equal in that regard. Even the most socially-terrified people still crave companionship. He was likely one of a very few who could understand her. If he were being honest...he felt the same. “You’re not torture. You get it. That’s why I asked you.” Tom nodded in agreement with her. He got it. He understood. His face softened slightly. She had opened up and left herself to be truly vulnerable. He knew the gravity of this confession. She wasn't trying to play puppet master...not this time. She needed an ally. A true ally. A friend. He nodded once more and slowly, gently extended his had toward her. He remembered her typical disdain about doing so before, but this wasn't a handshake. The back of his hand rested on the surface of the ledge they shared and was held open...an invitation to accept or reject however she chose. Wordlessly he looked into her eyes...deep brown portals of rage, pain, and understanding staring into the near-black depths of rage, pain, and understanding. They were kindred spirits in more ways than either of them knew. He had already agreed in his mind to join her in this new vision. He'd have to navigate his way through the details another time. But for now, with outstretched hand, he just stared into the now-transparent windows to her soul.

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    MODERN FANTASY COLLABORATIVE WRITING RP CATERING TO OLDER PLAYERS (25+) WITH A SLOWER, MORE RELAXED PACE. IN 2010, THE WORLD DRASTICALLY & PERMANENTLY CHANGED BY WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE MULTIVERSE RESONANCE EVENT. IN A SINGLE BREATH, OUR WORLD CROSSED WITH AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF ALTERNATE UNIVERSES, BLEEDING INTO EACH OTHER. EARTH WAS SUDDENLY A REALM OF MAGIC AND MONSTERS. THE STORY IS CENTERED IN NEW YORK CITY BUT EXTENDS ACROSS THE WORLD. IT BLENDS A VARIETY OF GENRES; A MOSAIC OF OVERLAPPING REALMS INCLUDING ELVES, LYCANTHROPES, ALTERED HUMANS AND,OF COURSE, MAGIC.  

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