Thomas Raith

Name: Thomas Raith
Character LJ: raith_rogue
Player: Jess
Original canon: The Dresden Files (books)
Age: just a bit past 50, though appears to be late 20s-early 30s
Race: White Court Vampire
Housing Situation: A swanky, high-rent apartment where he lives alone, full of expensive and uncomfortable furniture in black leather and stainless steel and all the latest gadgets and toys. Everything is immaculate except his bedroom, where the slob that Thomas actually is becomes more apparent in the usually unmade bed and the randomly strewn articles of clothes around the room. The fridge generally holds little more than cold beer and condiments, the freezer filled with neat rows of frozen dinners and ice—and that's about it. The door to the spare bedroom is kept locked.

Job: Thomas is a successful hairdresser and business owner, running a salon and adjoining coffee shop which he recently relocated to Axon Tower.

Physical description: Pale with dark curly hair and blue-grey eyes that turn silver and glow when he's hungry or when he uses his powers, extremely attractive and in excellent physical condition, a couple inches shy of 6 ft tall. If he bleeds, his blood is a few shades too pale to be mistaken for human.

Abilities: As a White Court vampire he has the ability to both feed off of and enhance/cause feelings of lust in people. He also can call upon the demon within him to increase his speed and strength, though it increases his hunger to do so.

Personality: Thomas' moods are mercurial; he can go from playful to despondent to flirtatious to homicidal at the drop of a hat. At his salon he plays the part of the flamboyantly gay hairdresser, using it to hide behind and put his female clientele at ease around him, making it easier to develop the intimacy level that makes feeding satisfying. It's a charade he intends to continue, at least in public, and this is the "Toe-moss" that most people will meet. However, in the company of those he trusts he'll let the act drop, though the emotional walls always stay up. There are a few topics that will shut Thomas down completely and instantly—among these are Justine, Harry, and his current status with his family.

Personality-wise, Thomas is something of a chameleon. He is extremely adept at being what others expect him to be as a form of self-defense. The underachieving playboy his family knows him as is no more the true Thomas Raith than Toe-moss the gay stylist. Even Justine and Harry, the two people he trusts most in the world,only get to see certain facets of who he really is. And of course, the way Thomas sees himself is not entirely accurate, either. He considers himself a monster, not someone capable of ever being the good guy, the hero, though he tries to make up for his darker side whenever and however he can. Harry is a good influence on him in this way, because Harry sees Thomas as the god person that he is, rather than the monster he perceives himself to be, and because Harry believes in him, Thomas does his best not to disappoint.

Background: In the supernatural circles Thomas moves in there are three Vampire Courts. The Red Court look like rubbery, batlike creatures beneath the beautiful "flesh masks" they wear and their saliva contains a powerful and addictive narcotic, making it easy to enthrall humans, to earn their loyalty while staying fed. The Red Court turn others to their cause in a two step process: the first step creates a bloodlust that is hard to fight, and if the victim gives into this and takes a human life, the transformation from human to demon is complete. Those who are strong enough to resist the allure of human blood can remain in a half-turned state indefinitely, but the struggle is constant, and there is no known cure.

The Black Court are the truly undead: dessicated, rotting creatures with super strength and speed, the turned corpses of who they once were. These are the Bram Stoker-esque vampires, the ones so many are familiar with. These are the creatures who fear sunlight and garlic, who sleep in the ground and kill to increase their numbers; these are the vampires that rise from the grave.

And then…there is the White Court.

White Court vampires are vampires only in the loosest sense of the word. They don’t drink blood; they can go out in daylight; holy symbols, crosses and holy water have no effect on them. But they too must feed on humans to keep their strength up. Rather than blood, White Court vampires feast on energy, on emotions and the essence of the soul, if one believes in that sort of thing. Unlike the other two courts, White Court vampires are born, not turned. There are three branches of the White Court currently vying for power: House Malvora, who fead off of fear, the Skavis who thrive on despair, and house Raith, devourers of lust. To this end, the White Court has the ability to affect human emotion to some extent, planting subliminal messages which nudge their prey’s thoughts in the right direction. In Thomas’ case, this direction is desire. He can make a person crazy with lust, make them all but tear their clothes off and beg him to fuck them. This power, as well as his enhanced speed and strength, enhanced senses and even the ability to drink a person’s energy are all linked to one thing: the demon dwelling within each White Court Vampire. The demon drives them to be what they are, and awakes within them around puberty. Should a White Court vampire find true, requited love before they feed upon their first victim, the demon within them will be forever vanquished, and they can go on to lead perfectly normal lives. These are the lucky few, however, for pure, /real/ love is more rare than most realise. For most, the manifestation of their Hunger leads to the victim's death, as the Hunger rages beyond their control more often than not, the first time they experience it.

Thomas is the only living son of Lord Raith, rule of the White Court. Unlike all of his brothers, who got themselves killed by showing too much ambition, Thomas was content to go through life in a chemical-induced haze, sleeping with whoever he pleased--or at least that was the image he projected. In reality it was a careful strategy concocted to keep himself alive under his father's roof. Ambition would have been a death knell and Thomas knew it--as a firsthand witness, in some cases. So he played the black sheep and played it well, and to tell the truth he enjoyed it more than a little, at least at first.

By the time his path crossed Harry Dresden's, the facade was starting to wear, however, and he was more than happy to help the wizard, for his own secret reasons, as well as to alleviate the boredom and take potshots at dear old dad. His loyalties slowly started to shift, and by the time Harry helped save his baby sister Inari from not only a supernatural serial killer, but also her own succubus demon, he was utterly devoted. He soon revealed a good part of why; he and Harry shared a mother, and for the first time in his life, Thomas had a brother he trusted, someone he could count on to not be scheming behind his back. It was nice, and more than that, Harry saw potential in him that no one else had ever seen, a glimmer of a hero, a hope that Thomas could be more than a monster. Harry's belief in him made Thomas believe in /himself/, at least a little. When his older sister Lara overthrew their father and took her position as the secret leader of the White Court, she had no choice but to exile Thomas, to keep up the charade that Lord Raith was still in charge, otherwise the other houses would have sensed weakness and pounced. Thomas turned to Harry, moving in with him and trying to assimilate into normal society, taking menial jobs to earn a buck and starving his Demon. It didn't go as well as he had hoped. Thanks to the demon he lost job after job as women (and men) threw themselves at him—which was frowned on in positions at the local fast food restaurants. For a while he lived on his brother's charity, but that was never a permanent solution.

That's when Thomas came up with the perfect plan. He took a job as a security guard on the graveyard shift, minimizing his contact with the public, and used his earnings to take classes in cosmetology in secret. Once he'd become licensed, he opened a high-class salon and coffee shop, where he works as Thomas (Toe-moss) the flamboyantly gay, flamboyantly French hairdresser and proprietor. Not only does the salon allow him to earn a salary that brings him closer to the lifestyle he was accustomed to, but it also allows him the chance to feed without sex and without endangering his victims. The intimacy of a shampoo lets him feed the Hunger in small sips, sustaining him without the torture of starving himself but in a way he can live with.

Of course, Harry found out about the salon and Thomas' upward mobility eventually, after Thomas moved out of Harry's crappy basement apartment into a swanky high rise apartment with no explanation—but not before suspecting him of stalking and killing women he was actually saving. The misunderstanding was cleared up, as was Thomas' innocence, and the salon is doing a brisk business these days, keeping him busy. Not too busy to help his brother if he's needed, but that's another story.

Recently, the White Court ran into a little trouble with a sorcerer, part of a bigger problem dubbed 'The Black Council' by Harry. Harry and Thomas helped them win the battle (though the war is far from over) and for this, Thomas was welcomed back into House Raith's good graces (and their expense accounts), though he chooses to continue his life apart from the secret world his family dwells in.

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