Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Character Profile: EZEKIEL BLAKE

My character profiles are based on Jenna Moreci's template described in her YouTube video "How to Create a Character Profile." I tweaked this template for my own profiles, but if you wish to see Jenna's original template, you can read one of her character profiles here.

Note: This profile includes terminology unique to the vampire lore in my novels. I'll provide brief definitions of these terms in [brackets].

Illustration by Leo Featherstone © 2016.

Basic Info

Nature: Third scion [generational hierarchal position] vampire.

Species: Homo sapiens sanguinarius.

Gender: Cisgender male.

Birthdate: February 17, 1580.

> Death: July 20, 1620.
> Transcendence [rise from the dead]: August 13, 1620.
> Age: Almost 420.
> Physical Age: 40.

Birthplace: London, England.

Culture: England, circa 1600 CE.

Known Ethnicities: English.

Religion: Uncertain. Puritanism originally.

Lifestyle: Affluent merchant and artiste. Ezekiel was originally a carpenter in life, and though he wasn’t an extremely wealthy man, he and his family were fairly well off. Carpenters were typically middle class in 17th century English society, and Ezekiel’s successful business situated his family comfortably in the upper middle class. Ezekiel has gradually accrued his wealth over the centuries working as an art and antique dealer.

Appearance and Presentation

Height: 6’6”.

Body: Broad-shouldered and muscular from working most of his life as a carpenter and joiner. Ezekiel was initially employed by his father, often assigned the arduous tasks of cutting, sculpting, and carrying beams and joints. Ezekiel continued woodworking after his father died, and the labor kept him fit right up to his Anointment [transformation into a vampire].

Face: Square chin and a strong aquiline nose. He has a scar running down his right cheek, inflicted by Tobias’s claw before Ezekiel was Anointed.

Hair: Shoulder-length, straight, glossy, brown hair.
> Facial Hair: Full, medium-length, pointed beard with a handlebar mustache.

Eyes: Sapphire-blue eyes that twinkle when he’s pleased. A vampire’s eyes glow red if the vampire is excited, and the pupils will thin into snakelike slits if the vampire is angry.

Skin: Deep tan. A vampire’s complexion will turn deathly white when the vampire becomes excited or angry.

Demeanor: Refined walk and dignified posture.

Voice: Low baritone with an Oxford English accent.

Typical Attire: Double-breasted suit with pinstripes, sateen dress shirt, silk necktie with a tie clip, black-and-white spectator shoes, and black leather gloves. His favored hat is a black fedora. Will also wear full evening attire with a top hat and a black opera cape with red satin lining.

Mannerisms and Habits: Strokes his beard when thinking, prefers to leave suit jacket unbuttoned when relaxed, and his favorite term of endearment is “darling.”

Additional Notes: Ezekiel’s appearance is often compared to Renaissance depictions of Christ. Vampires have sharp fangs, pointed ears, small vestigial tails, black claws, and dark fur covering their hands and feet.

Relationships

Family: Ezekiel loved his family, but his overzealous Puritan ideals often put him at odds with his more moderate family members. His father, a carpenter and joiner named Zachariah Blake, was a more open-minded fellow and often got into heated arguments with Ezekiel over religion and justice. Ezekiel now realizes his father was right and regrets how he treated him. Ezekiel’s mother, Constance Blake, was a paranoid schizophrenic and religious fanatic who gave her son a human skull when he was a child as a reminder to be good and avoid going to Hell. Ezekiel’s relationship with his first younger brother, Solomon Blake (b. 1588), was strained. Ezekiel was idolized by his second younger brother, Jeremiah Blake (b. 1596). Ezekiel’s youngest sibling was his sister, Mercy Blake (b. 1602), who he doted on. Zachariah, Constance, and Solomon died of consumption in January 1608, leaving Ezekiel to raise Jeremiah and Mercy on his own. Ezekiel married Lydia Doty (b. 1597) in 1615, and they had a daughter, Abigail Blake, around 1616. Ezekiel and his family immigrated to Holland in 1617 to escape Anglican persecution. In 1619, Mercy married a non-Puritan Dutchman named Dominicus Vogel, and Ezekiel disowned his sister for marrying outside their religion. Ezekiel returned to London with his wife, daughter, and brother in 1620 to try and join their fellow Puritans on the Mayflower, but Ezekiel fell ill with consumption, and his family chose not to risk his health on the voyage. Ezekiel was separated from the remainder of his family when he was Anointed in mid-1620. Lydia passed away not long after (Ezekiel assumed of a broken heart), and Jeremiah and Abigail left London in 1630 after Ezekiel had a brief encounter with Abigail. Meanwhile in Holland, Mercy had two children, Dominicus Vogel II (b. 1624) and Margaretha Vogel (b. 1632). Mercy and her husband passed away in the 1640s, and Ezekiel met his nephew and niece in 1650, an encounter omitted to prevent spoilers. Additional family members omitted to prevent spoilers.

Colony [group of vampires]: Ezekiel's former colony included his Anointer [vampire who turns a human into another vampire], Tobias von Habsburg, and Tobias’s two other acolytes [vampiric “offspring” of an Anointer], who are omitted to prevent spoilers. Tobias turned Ezekiel into a vampire against his will, which Ezekiel eventually came to resent. Ezekiel and Tobias were lovers for many years, but Ezekiel believed his love for Tobias was supernaturally induced, which strained their relationship. Their romance ended when Tobias did something omitted to prevent spoilers. Ezekiel restricted his diet to villains, but the other vampires in his colony often devoured the innocent, causing Ezekiel to gradually distance himself from the colony. In 1775, something happened that is omitted to prevent spoilers. This incident led Ezekiel to abandon his colony altogether, but Tobias sought to force Ezekiel back into the colony. Ezekiel’s last encounter with the colony was in 1900, an incident omitted to prevent spoilers.

Friends: Ezekiel has tried to find love and friendship over the centuries, but the people he cared about suffered at the hands of Tobias’s colony or because of Ezekiel’s mistakes. One particularly horrifying incident occurred in the year 1900, omitted to prevent spoilers. The incident traumatized Ezekiel so much that he had a psychotic break and isolated himself for ninety-five years. He spent the intermittent century carving portraits of all the people he’s lost and teaching himself how to sing. He founded an art and antique dealership in 1920, which he still owns, and has kept a distant and professional relationship with his management team. He arbitrarily decided to try out for the lead role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1995 and met a talent agent named Prudence Hughes. Their relationship had a rocky start, but Prudence soon became a close friend of Ezekiel. She knows nothing about vampires or the supernatural. Ezekiel developed an attraction to Prudence that was not reciprocated, but they remained friends. Prudence is currently Ezekiel’s only friend, and the plot of the first novel revolves around Ezekiel’s budding relationship with Angela Thorn and her uncle, Corin Montagu.

Romance and Eroticism

Orientation: Bisexuality.

Sexual Experience: Growing up as a Puritan, Ezekiel was not supposed to have pre-marital sex, but he ended up having a few dalliances with women in his late teens. When he reached adulthood, he took his religious beliefs more seriously and didn’t engage in sexual intercourse again until age thirty-five when he married Lydia Doty. He was attracted to both men and women, but due to his homophobic culture, he hid his desires for men and harbored internalized biphobia all throughout his mortal life. Since becoming a vampire, he’s had three more sexual partners: Tobias, James, and Eilwen.

Romantic Experience: Was infatuated with the young women from his adolescence, but he did not actually love them. He did love and has never stopped loving Lydia, Tobias, James, and Eilwen, although Ezekiel believes his love for Tobias is merely the product of vampiric enthrallment and not real. Ezekiel also developed romantic feelings for Prudence, but she gently turned him down. He is presently single.

Additional Notes: Ezekiel is attracted to people who are intelligent and creative—artists, musicians, thespians, and authors. He’s also aroused by the smell of flowers, the feel of silk or satin, and the way hair ripples and coils as it blows in the wind. Vampires don’t experience lust the way most people do. Regardless of what their orientation was in life, a vampire’s sexuality is potentially limitless, going beyond physical appearance. They can fetishize any body part, inanimate object, or situation that catches their interest. Their sexual attraction to another person often has nothing to do with said person’s physical beauty or gender, but instead has to do with their demeanor—what they’re wearing, how they walk, talk, and their temperament. Their desires also have a dark side. As expected of creatures that subsist on blood, vampires are aroused by the smell and taste of blood.

Aptitudes

Skills: Was an expert carpenter, joiner, trim designer, and cabinetmaker in life. Since his mortal death, Ezekiel has become a talented woodcarver, painter, opera singer, actor, pianist, flutist, and violist. He’s also skilled in retail due to his work as a merchant.

Fitness: Undead and ageless. Ezekiel is frozen at his peak physical condition, which was the product of woodworking and construction labor. He has the same physical strengths and weaknesses as other vampires in his hierarchal position (listed in story bible).

Knowledge: Different art techniques, art history, literature, the occult to a limited degree, and exposure to different European cultures. He’s fluent in English, Dutch, and has learned some Welsh, French, and Italian.

Education: Has no degrees, but does have roughly four centuries of avid self-education.

Occupation: Owner of the art dealership Bloodstone Antiquities in London, which he founded eighty years prior under a different alias. He’s also a professional woodworker, creating furniture, wood sculptures, and relief carvings that he then sells through his art dealership.

Hobbies: Art, music, theatre, and literature. Ezekiel loves visiting art museums and attending plays, ballets, and operas (prefers comedies over tragedies).

Powers: Chimerism, regeneration, lust-inducing bite, tenfold strength, reading thoughts, controlling thoughts, tactile transmutation, and working ice. Ezekiel can use transmutation to temporarily shapeshift into other people, animals, or elements; his preferred disguise is mist. His powers have the same limits and weaknesses as other vampires (listed in story bible).

Personality and Character

Introvert or extrovert? Used to be very introverted, but gradually became extremely (sometimes annoyingly) extroverted. He’s very charismatic, witty, and flamboyant.

Masculine or Feminine? Mostly masculine, but not afraid to show his sensitive side.

Creative or Analytical? Mostly creative. He’s artistic, musical, and loves to entertain. Very intuitive.

Strengths: Exceptionally kind and protective (to those who deserve compassion). Ezekiel has a boundless capacity for love and altruism. He also has a light-hearted sense of humor and is an excellent sport, taking ridicule with a smile on his face (so long as the person mocking him is someone he admires). Ezekiel is very sensitive to the feelings of others and will do whatever he can to ease another person’s suffering. He’s artistic, charming, intelligent, conscientious, generous, contemplative, and fiercely loyal to the people he loves.

Flaws: Most prevalent shortcoming is self-loathing, something Ezekiel tries desperately to hide with his charm. As a vampire, Ezekiel derives a perverse pleasure in taking lives, an inhuman instinct that conflicts with his true humane disposition and leaves him with a great deal of guilt, even when he only targets evildoers. He’s very conceited about his appearance and talents; he’s legitimately surprised if someone doesn’t find him attractive. Ezekiel is also a bit cowardly when it comes to stronger opponents, namely his Anointer Tobias. He’s ashamed of his past inability to stand up to Tobias, and though he never honestly dealt with his fears, he'll try to overcompensate by confronting his enemies alone. He’s also prone to the psychological weaknesses that plague all vampires (listed in story bible).

Goals, Dreams, and Aspirations: The thing Ezekiel wants most in the world is friends and family (who aren’t bloodsucking murderers). He’s made some attempts over the centuries to reconnect with humanity, only to tragically lose his loved ones. A century earlier, Ezekiel effectively gave up on finding love and friendship, and he has spent the better part of the twentieth century in solitude. This was the longest he’s ever gone without companionship, and he recently decided to try again to rejoin humanity.

Beliefs and Affiliations: Ezekiel was raised as a Puritan, and therefore believes in God, Christ, and the Devil. He was a devout Christian in life, but now that he’s a vampire, Ezekiel thinks he is unworthy of God and will be damned to Hell if he is ever vanquished. Despite this, he still has faith in virtue and honesty, and he hopes for a chance to redeem himself. This hope for redemption inspires Ezekiel to treat the innocent with compassion.

Fears: The thing Ezekiel is most afraid of is losing the people he loves. He spent the last century in solitude, the isolation almost driving him mad. The thought of experiencing that loneliness again terrifies him. This is the primary drive behind his desire to protect his loved ones, and he takes the death of a friend very hard. He is also deathly afraid of his Anointer and the dangers posed by the other vampires in Tobias’s colony.

Insecurities: Before his Anointment, Ezekiel was a very coldhearted and smallminded Puritan who condemned anyone that didn’t measure up to the unreasonable standards of his religious doctrine. He often worries about how the people he loves would react if they found out what he used to be like, and agonizes over the fact that it took dying and becoming an unholy abomination to make him reevaluate his social outlook. Compound that with the fact that he takes sadistic pleasure in murdering his victims, and he constantly questions if he even deserves friends and family.

What would he die for? His loved ones.

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