Israel Stoughton

A thin man with 7 day grey beard and white hair that is just a little to long to be smart but it's kept under a hat most of the time. A wrinkled friendly face with a glint of wisdom in the eyes.

Description:

A tall man but physically unimpressive. Most of the time he wears a very stained doctors coat, that may have been white at one point. When out with his female ghoul companion or in the public eye, he dresses smartly yet still manages to have a dishevelled look. Something about the way he looks just doesn’t fit. He wears a pair of round glasses though he has no need for them, a habit maybe but he swears he cannot see strait without them. He always seems to look past objects or through people and his face can be a twisted image of confusion then a sea of clam in a blink of an eye.

Bio:

I was born in the year 1685 in Ipswich, Massachusetts and named after my grandfather. My mother died in childbirth but I was assured at a young age by my father, William Stoughton, that is was god’s will. He giveth and taketh away, and it seemed on occasion he did so at the same time.
At the age of 7 my father was too busy to help with my education so I received private tutoring. As per my fathers instructions I was taught the ways of good christian science, and mainly how to protect against the devil and how to identify a witch. My father said I must be knowledgeable in the trickerys of Satan and his whores. He was Chief Magistrate in various witch trials in which it seemed the Devil was rampant. He happily regaled stories of the witches he put to death, and rightly so.

One of my closest friends in Ipswich, a young girl Mary, the daughter of the housekeeper, was tried and killed along with her mother for witchcraft. It just goes to show, may father told me, how Satan can trick you. As kind and caring Mary seemed to be, she was really a puppet of Satan. I only had the briefest of arguments with him until I learnt the error of my ways.

When I was old enough I was sent to Harvard College to follow in my fathers footsteps to learn the ‘wonder of christian science’. I learnt the ways to use science and reason to identify witches and evidence of the Devil. I did not want to be ‘caught out again by letting a witch get so close to me’.

In 1701 my father died, He left his land in the trust of Mr Joseph Dudley, with instructions that I continued my education.

When I was 18 (1703) I left Harvard College and moved to Boston to be tutored by Father Jothan at the First Church of Boston. Father Jothan was a very devout man who had no time for my ‘insolent’ questions. No one under his tutelage, argued with Father Jothan, his bible was his work book and his disciplinary tool, particularly if his cane was not to hand. I was taught ‘Science through the Bible’ for 3 years and was father Jothans prize pupil. This did not reduce the ‘discipline’ I would receive should I falter in my work.

After all the years of my fathers education, Harvard’s education and Jothans education, I learnt many things, but mainly I learnt that If you have authority, you have power to do what you want. I also learnt that all my own ideas were wrong unless they agree with the ideas of the Church.

I passed this thought on to my tutor, he was not best pleased to say the least. Let me tell you it is hard to write scripture as punishment if you can see the bones of your knuckles.

Shortly after this, close to the end of my final year, Father Jothan disappeared. It was well known that I was his prize pupil, so I was offered his position as a tutor. I was even offered his home as lodgings.

Now with a full time job, I contacted Mr Dudley, the trustee of my family estate, with news of my new position. He was very pleased, and informed me that once I was married I was entitled to take over the family land. He knew the perfect candidate. His friend Samuel Sewall was living in Boston and his eldest daughter Sarah was now old enough to marry. Mr Sewall was also a friend of my late father. Sure enough Mr Sewall was overjoyed when I offered to marry his daughter. Sarah and I got married in November of 1707, it was cold.

Over the course of the next few years I continued to tutor and Mrs Stoughton bore me several children. Our first was not long for this world and died of cot death. However our next 6 children were healthy and grew well. I did not have a lot of time to spend with them, but like my father I did well by them by making sure they knew their bible and were educated properly while I was not around. My wife then suffered many problems with births and we lost 2 more children. Despite her pleas I would not allow a midwife witch to ‘help’ my wife. No whore of Satan would go near my children.

In 1725 I tried all I knew to help my wife during childbirth, but I was no doctor. I could not balance her humours and keep her fever down. We sat and prayed together for gods help in saving our baby. My prayers were not heard. Both Sarah and our child died, praying did not work, god was not listening to me.

Sarah was 31 when she died. It was 1726

I decided that if god was not going to help, then I would have to help where I could. I set up a hospital where families could come, where the pregnant mothers would be looked after with scientific methods. It was my belief that a combination of god and science would be needed to help sick mothers and babes. Luckily for me my children now lived in Ipswich on my family estate so I could throw myself fully into helping people and my hospital.

It all started well and many wealthy families chose my hospital to have their children in. It was unfortunate that I missed Church more increasingly as I had to spend more and more time at the hospital. My works into ‘The health of a Mother and her Child’ were going very well.
In October in 1728 I suffered a string of deaths at my hospital, a lot more than usual. It seemed that the patients were being over bled and they did not have enough sanguine humour. On one or two of the deceased odd marks were found on the thigh or neck. The fact that these persons were found in the morning after being well the night before, told me one thing. There was a witch attacking the patients at the hospital. I informed the staff and families and I prepared some of the rites of protection to keep the witch out. We also searched for poppets, hex bags and any other signs of witch craft, though none were found.

After the next string of deaths the husband of one of the deceased accosted me outside of my hospital and accused me of being a charlatan. As our tempers raised we had a physical altercation and the man managed to trip and fall. I offered him my hand and as he took it he let out a scream, I assumed he had damaged his hand as he fell, but the crowed that had gathered looked at me with questioning eyes. I thought nothing of it until the next evening when I heard ranting outside of my hospital. When I stepped out to look the man from the day before was limping around waving his arms and shouting about his crops. When he saw me he pointed to me with his hand (it was now purple and swollen) and shouted the word “WITCH”.

No matter how I defended myself I was condemned. All the evidence was stacked against me. I no longer went to church regularly, signs of witchcraft were found in my hospital, my patients were dying, the rites of protection I used to keep out witches did not work, which apparently is what I intended. To top it all off the man I touched yesterday, after arguing with him, was now cursed and deformed, and his crops had all withered overnight, which was also apparently my doing.

I quickly closed and locked the hospital door and as the mob grew outside I slipped out a window. I had to sneak out of my own building, in my town, because the stupid, stupid people thought I was a witch.

I do not know how, but I like to think through destiny, I found myself walking towards ‘the well’.

Then it dawned on me, like a flash, how foolish these witch hunts were, what utter drivel I had been taught all these years. Unless I was a witch of course, could you be a witch and not know, could Satan take your body without you knowing? No, I was well versed in the ways of witches, you have to offer your soul.

I walked next to the well, the well that had the body of father Jothan festering at the bottom. Only I knew he was there, only I knew how he got down there. I thought to myself ‘maybe there are no witches, maybe there is no Satan, maybe there is no god. Or maybe, this is why I’m being punished?!

As I peered over the edge of the well eyes peered back, and I was taken into the dark. Drained to the point of death my body thrown into the well. Where I died.

My time in the well is a mess of images and feeling, I do not recall them well.
I woke when the pain of expulsion took me. Dark again.
I woke wrapped in the sodden robe and mostly decayed body of father Jothan. I had the fur of rats in my teeth. Dark again.
I woke feeding on the insects and vermin that shared my fate at the bottom of the well.Dark again.

When I was more myself I realised some how I had not drowned yet. I learned many things about my new self in that well. The sun burnt, I hungered for more than rats and insects, my flesh healed quickly, I no longer needed to defecate, and most importantly I was damned. There was a God and he cast me out for my murder. I was in Hell.

After about week I got out of the well. Climbing out of the stonework and lying on the solid ground was like a rebirth to me. In an odd way I felt alive. And so did the first person I came across, they were very much alive.

And now I’m here. Greetings.

The time between.
(Information for Fluffy and Alex about Israel’s nature and ‘eccentricities’)

Yes Israel is unbalanced and yes Malkavians are insane by nature but his insanity is quite restrained or at least that’s how it comes across. Israel knows he is not mad in any way, it is everyone else with a misguided view of reality. He does try to help people see his real reality when he can. Because of this Chris and I thought it might be a good idea to put something here about Israel’s ‘reality’ so when he does something ‘peculiar’ everyone will see why. Hopefully this will help remove the ’he’s fucking mad and a liability, kill him!’ issue that apparently happens quite a lot when dealing with Malkavians.

Over the last 15ish years with Israel you have learnt many of his foibles and have a better understanding of how his mind works(or doesn’t work depending on your view point!).

1. No Sire.
Israel was left to survive on his own when he was embraced and has had to work a lot of things out for himself therefore his knowledge of the Kindred is quite limited. Over the course of his existence so far, the only contact he has had with other vampires has been short and unpleasant. Because of this he always sticks to the Barrens and keeps himself to himself.
His views of the Kindred are odd at best but he has managed to keep himself out of trouble thus far.

2. The Devils joke!
When he was living Israel had many, many years of Christian ideas being crammed into his head. Most of the views and ideas he had when he was embraced have not changed, and many of them have been reinforced since then.
Israel knows that he and other vampires are vessels of Satan or his demons and the grand joke is that it seems most of the vampires don’t even know it.

3. Man of Science!
Israel has spent most of his time expanding his knowledge of his brand of science and medicine. This strange mixture of medieval, modern and superstitious ideas is what he works on most of the time. When asked what he’s doing all you get out of him is “Finding the truth, finding the truth”. When he is into his work very little distracts him.
His mind often wanders off into thoughts of his work, of he gets distracted by ‘note worthy’ things happening around him.

4. Water.
The big one for Israel. He suffers from hydrophobia and hydro-obsession. Over the course of the last 15 years you have noticed him stare into puddles for hours, scream at a bottle of water, attack fish tanks, curse the rain and so on. However he is here in New Orleans and seems content with his place of residence. You may have also observed that when he feeds (as I’m sure you must have followed him at some point!) he discards his victims in a body of water, of which there is a lot about in New Orleans.
The larger the body of water, and the closer to it Israel becomes, the more unhinged he becomes.

How he met the others
In 1996 in Corpus Christi I took my female companion Amy, to some dance evening in a bar. As I like to give her what she desires, and it gives me chance to observe the Kine. Whilst taking my notes I glanced up to watch my ghoul dance with her feminine grace. Watching the Kine watching her, plucking up to courage to move closer, to talk to her, has always amused me. As I looked past her, into the throng of dancing humans I noticed a man looking at me. It took only a few seconds to realise he was a vessel. The fact that he noticed me first gave me pause, was my history about to repeat itself yet again?
But no, he obviously was not hostile towards me, which gave me greater pause. If he was not going to act aggressively towards me, he was bound to ask me the most boring question of “Who are you with?”. But again, as we got to within safe talking distance he did not. How refreshing.
The Kindred calling himself Augustine was most interesting, and most interested in what I had to say, a welcome change. After several nights of comfortable, mutual toleration an accord was formed, and evenings discussing the common misconceptions of reality took place.
The fact that Augustine is quite mad is not an obstacle in friendship for me. We have more in common that I would have thought, he seems less unhinged than others I have met. Both he and I help out communities in the way we pick our food for example. I offered him my hospitality and he had partly accepted. He leaves some personal belongings in my homes as I have a safe room, and he is free to come and go as he pleases. I am confident he will not bring aggressive forces to my door.

After a short while Augustine introduced me to yet another favourable character, a Mr Jones. I was in need of help during my research hours and making another ghoul was not really what I wanted. I’m fussy when I pick my staff. But this gentleman was a great fit. Apparently he and Augustine have things in common, and good for them, but what I was interested in, was his mind and mindset. After a pleasantly silent start to our working relationship it came to light that my new companion shared some similar views to me. What more proof could I need that I was where I was meant to be, two companions found in such a short time. Jebadiah Is almost as mad as Augustine but again has an understanding that seems absent in many other Kindred.

I enjoy their ideas of community, as I myself am here to help. This common ground is refreshing for me.

And so the three of us, so different in many ways, all found how similar we are and comfortably co-existed mostly together for a few years in Corpus Christi.

New Orleans
I decided to move to New Orleans, something in my bones was pulling me there. Another step I had to take. While plans were being made Katrina hit. ‘He’ thought he could dissuade me, all that water! However I am made of stronger stuff than ‘he’ knows and I proved it yet again. I was determined to go to New Orleans and my Ghoul pointed out that real estate in the area would be very cheap, bless her, always thinking with her head. It seemed that Augustine and Jebediah wanted to go there for their own reasons, although I knew it was because they were called there as well.

As a side, I was pleased to hear that the Nosferatu were no longer found in New Orleans, out of all the vessels they are the ones I find hardest to tolerate.

I found three places to purchase in New Orleans dotted around in the Barrens and meeting all my other requirements. As always my daytime ghoul Michael is the face of my properties, he fits the playboy lifestyle so well and can be trusted to hire all the necessary people needed to work on my properties.
My new companions found what they needed in New Orleans too. Not long after settling in, Augustine found a dancing troop that excited his interest. He and Jebediah have also found many ways of helping the ruined community. I also do what I can with helping the Kine population. There are so many opportunities here for me to expand my work and theories, and a real chance to share knowledge with people. It does seem however that I as still to be tested as some of the vampires that form groups are using this place for pointless fighting. I know the need for chaos, but they are obstructing my path, this is not acceptable.

I am here for a reason, and that reason will show itself to me, and the truth shall be known.

Israel Stoughton

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