Character's Full Name: Nicodemus Bell
Created By: JP
AKAs: Over the years, he’s gone by variations of Nicolas Proctor, Nicodemus Booth, Aleister Booth, Nico Crowley.
Character Type: Immortal
Apparent Age: 45
Actual Age: 322.
Build: Slender, muscular build.
Additional Languages: Fluent Haitian Creole and some French
Personality: Nicodemus has a deep faith in what most would consider ‘dark arts’ and makes no effort to hide it now. If he is shown respect and acceptances, he treats people like ‘family’ and once you are part of ‘the family’, he is beyond protective. He is oddly nurturing to those who seek to learn yet painfully honest at the same time. He is quiet for the most part, but outspoken about what he believes is right and has a horrible foul mouth if made angry.
Nicodemus was in 1680 in Massachusetts. His parents were born in England and came to the Americas to be free of laws, taxes and organized religion. They were Christians, but chose to practice in their own manner. Nicodemus bore witness to the Salem Witch Trails at the age of twelve. His parents kept him uninvolved and away from the ordeal as much as they could. That lasted until his father was added to the long list of the accused. The patriarch was quickly imprisoned for his ‘crimes’. During that time, Nicodemus and his mother were shunned by town members and mistreated if they even dared to appear in public. The abuse grew worse when his father was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for his life. He was completely cut off from his wife and child for false ‘crimes’.
Without money or means, his mother and he began to starve. What crops they had were burned by ‘Christians’ and no one would give either work. The sigma followed them even when they moved to a nearby city. With no other choice, his mother turned to prostitution and Nicodemus turned to stealing. Both lost all faith in Christianity, seeing as it destroyed their lives. His mother grew ill within a year. His father remained imprisoned and there was no hope of being able to speak or see him. With no money for a doctor, the woman died a slow, painful death.
Alone at fourteen, Nicodemus changed his name and moved further South with hopes of starting anew. There, he found work and began to investigate witchcraft with the intention of helping clear his father’s name. He became so interested in the ancient texts of Egypt and Babylonia that he embraced the culture.
By fifteen, he was intensely into ceremonial magic, spirituality, alchemy, astrology, numerology, spell casting, hermeticism and necromancy. He firmly believed in the powers of curses and spells but knew the danger of his new faith being discovered so he moved often and changed his name frequently. He aimed to create a spell that would soften the judge’s heart and attempt to get his father a second hearing, but by the time he was sixteen, his father had died in prison. The prison doctor stated it was natural causes but rumors of his mistreatment were abundant.
Nicodemus moved on, quickly and quietly sometimes taking work as a farmhand and more often than not, working as a privateer for British or rebel forces – whoever paid the most. In 1725, he was killed in a small skirmish between the Spanish and the British. He was left in a mass, shallow, unmarked grave by the victorious Spaniards. He awoke with a mouth full of dirt, unable to see. Only the sound of falling rain told him which way was up. He clawed his way past his fellow dead soldiers and mounds of dirt to find the night sky dark with clouds. He thought the Spaniards had left him for dead. He did not truly understand he was actually dead until two years later.
In 1727, while traveling through Philadelphia, he crossed paths with a strange man from the east who stopped him on the street. The stranger never gave his a name, only peaked Nicodemus’ interest with a promise of a tale of secrets if he met him later that night. Never one to turn down a twisted tale, Nicodemus did as he was asked and met the man in a dark bar where he was informed of the brotherhood of immortality. He was also educated about the game and the ‘rules’ of their people. For him, it was confirmation of the dark arts he’d studied for years – clearly if immortals could live among men, then there were many untold secrets still to be discovered. The stranger gave him a fine sword and outright refused to exchange names. He stayed with Nicodemus for a month, teaching him how to fight with a blade. Being a privateer, Nico was quite handy with a gun and a bayonet, but swordsmanship was new.
After the exchange, he continued to travel, never quite feeling at peace anywhere until in the early 1800s when he found a place called New Orleans. He fought beside Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans as a privateer and after the war of 1812 ended, he remained in the city. The population was thick with Haitian refugees from the Haitian Revolution of 1804 and in closed circles, they spoke of voodoo, a new form of witchcraft that interested Nicodemus.
He made New Orleans his home, fighting for Louisiana in the American Civil War for the Confederate Army despite the Union Army who occupied New Orleans for most of the Civil War. He was imprisoned under Benjamin Butler’s martial law rule post-Civil War, but was later pardoned because he had entered the war as a soldier of fortune instead of a registered solder.
As time progressed, he remained in the city of New Orleans, avoiding both major world wars war in exchange for practicing his arts. He shared his beliefs with those be deemed worthy, starting several communes, which one of a lesser mind might consider ‘cults’. He never married, but did have relationships with several members of the commune over the years, both male and female. During the 1900s, he developed an unhealthy obsession with fellow occultist Aleister Crowley going as far as to adopt the man’s names and use them in various aliases.
By the 2000s, he lived in a collective of roughly fifty people who prescribed to the same thought process as he did – believing in the power of the unseen and the ability to affect it. His closest follower was a young man named Brian Delaunois. Brian looked upon Nicodemus, then going by just ‘Nico’, as Nicodemus looked upon Crowley. The fact Nico never seemed to age, suffer illness nor injury, further proved to Brian that Nico knew something the others did not.
When the flu began in 2002, Brian took it as a sign of the end times. Nico did not know what to tell the others… he’d seen plagues, war, famine, but nothing that moved this rapidly. It felt like the world was closing in and Nico attempted to doctor his people with the alchemy he knew, but it was too little too late. The first one died and then the cracks began to show – some people left to go back to their ‘homes’ to see their ‘families’ one last time. Feeling abandoned, Nico retreated to the ‘chapel’ to meditate on the situation. He felt his world slipping through his fingers. He emerged several hours later to find a scene worse than the one he’d left. Everyone who had stayed was lying on the floor, side by side, covered with sheets. Brian was the only one remaining and that told Nico that they did not die of the flu.
The mortal man sobbed when Nico asked him what he had done, explaining through tears that he wanted to spare the group the pain of a long painful death so he’d killed them all, one by one and being that Brian was so close to Nico, they all went willingly to their deaths. Nico was enraged that he would never know if they would have all died or not, but Brian was too ill to take his anger out on. Instead, he stayed with the man until he died.
Following their deaths, the dreams began. Nico felt a strong pull westward and even though he dreamt of an old woman further North, her talk of God and Jesus did not sit well with him. The darkman in the west told him the truth – that he’d be burned at the stake in Boulder, accused of witchcraft just like his father before him. He knew this ‘Flagg’ would accept him and protect him. He set out of Vegas immediately.
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