Dante Sebastiano Foscari
36 -- Puglia -- Human -- Pace Bellum Protector
Niccolo Foscari, Father
Gulia Foscari, Mother
Vittore Foscari, Brother
Chiara Foscari, Sister
Fr. Giovanni Foscari, Uncle
Rino Foscari, Uncle
Luna Foscari, Aunt
Stella Foscari, CousinCLAN
Pace BellumSPECIAL POWERS OR ABILITIES
Dante possesses what is known to clergy as charisma. He can focus more wholly upon prayer than the average person. This is not truly a special power, but can appear as such to those who witness miracles and incorrectly attribute them to a person rather than God. Languages Known
-English (studied in school)
-Latin (studied in school, including some in Seminary school, and within Pace-Bellum)
-Some Aramaic (Studied in Seminary school and in Pace-Bellum; considered useful should Protectors need to communicate with Keepers so others cannot understand, though mostly written)POSITION IN THE WAR
Joe ManganielloPHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
Standing at a height of 6'5", with a solid, muscular frame Dante has an imposing appearance. The olive-skinned Protector has long, dark brown hair is usually pushed away from his face, the tips of the strands brushing the back of his neck, above his broad shoulders. He has a short, scruffy beard which masks the appearance of a small scar on his chin. Deep brown eyes can radiate warmth or appear hard and cold depending on the audience. He has a handsome face, though his features are rough. His nose clearly marks him as Italian, and is curved in profile rather than straight and refined. But his appearance has a certain charm, which is magnified by an attractive voice and certain personality traits. His back is covered by a tattoo of an ornate cross, with the words "Quis ut Deus?" across the upper part of his back arcing from shoulder to shoulder.
He favors neutrals and darker clothing, in plainer, more classic styles. He cleans up nicely for formal occasions. He wears no jewelry. PERSONALITY
Dante is a sinner, though he is a faithful Catholic who tries to serve God via his service to Pace Bellum. He believes in the power of prayer and in miracles, and he's witnessed both with his own eyes. Dante's work is his life; he takes it very seriously. He is a servant of the Order, but does not feel he blindly follows without thinking for himself. As a Protector, he puts his charge first, above all else.
He's seen some terrible things in his lifetime, but you cannot tell that much from interacting with him. He isn't forthcoming with details of much of the darker parts of his past, and his demeanor doesn't give anyone any reasons to push him for details. He doesn't talk about his biological family, and considers the Order his family.
He can come off as confident, and he has some degree of confidence though less than he might convey. He knows when to talk and when to listen, and can come off charming and/or funny when he wants to.
For much of his life, he's been fighting Demons - though in different ways. In his brief time in the seminary, he fought "demons," or evil entities. During his time in Pace-Bellum he fought against a race of corporeal Demons who are fighting against the Human and Angelic races. He knows enough to separate these two kinds of "Demons" from each other, and is aware that humans (including himself) and Angels are not exempt from serving darker purposes. He trusts God, and knows his purpose may not always be clear but becomes so in time. Whatever has happened to him, he knows it was allowed by God and part of something far bigger than himself and any amount of sorrow or anger he could ever feel, he tries to be accepting - a task which is easier the less he dwells on it. He trusts those who prove themselves and knows it is important to be able to trust those you fight beside, but he's found the latter has been harder as a Protector than a soldier. AMBITIONS
Dante strives to be a better Protector and a better human being; he takes one day at a time, as each day is a fleeting gift filled with uncertainties. He works for a day when Protectors and Keepers are unnecessary.POSSESSIONS
-A black pouch filled with sacramentals: a crucifix, holy water, rosary beads, Saint Benedict Medal, Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel; he also stows his wedding ring within this pouch.
-Various firearms including a pistol created by the Hawk corporation specifically for Protectors, which fired angel-blood infused rounds
-Various concealed knives
-Worn leather Bible
For as long as anyone could remember it had been tradition in the Foscari family for one child to serve in the Italian army, and for one to serve God in the Church. The decision was not made at birth as the parents needed to prime their children for these roles, and monitor their disposition for success in either role - or if the child were one of a larger number - his or her capacity for something else entirely.
Niccolo Foscari was one of three sons. He had been chosen for military life. His elder brother Giovanni had been chosen for the priesthood. The youngest of the three, Rino, had been free to pursue a life of his choosing; he scraped his living as a musician and music teacher.
Niccolo had done his duty to his family, attending the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno, and graduating to become an officer in the Marina Militare. He went on to move up the ranks within the respected San Marco Regiment in Brindisi. A serious career-focused man, Niccolo married at the age of thirty-six. The couple had three children, Dante, Vittore, and Chiara.
The devout Catholic family was very involved in Church life, their priest was a member of their own family. Fr. Giovanni impressed his opinions upon the couple regarding which of their children was called to Holy Orders, and both served as altar boys. The boys had both been well-behaved, athletic, satisfactory performers in school - they had adapted to the strict upbringing in their house and learned to do what was required of them in order to avoid backlash. But they had personalities, and good humor; they knew the appropriate time and place for jokes and more child-like behavior - specifically, outside their house. Chiara had been treated less harshly overall, although Niccolo's sexist attitude restricted more of her freedoms.
She was quieter than her other siblings, and knew them better than her own parents did, bearing witness to the times they dared to be funny, opinionated, and even charming toward the neighborhood girls. As they began high school, they grew in good looks and confidence. The brothers were sent off to an all-boys boarding school, where it was easy to forget the gaze of their father. But confidence easily became overconfidence, leading to fights and minor disciplinary action; the two were usually partners in crime.
Even though the Foscari boys attended an all-boys school, there was no shortage of girls in the neighborhood. The pair dated, and attended the occasional dances the school had with neighboring girls' schools. In his third year, Dante had started dating an older girl from the neighborhood; he looked older than his age and had thought to act like a university student to gain her attention. In the process, he also gained unwanted attention from Gabriella's ex-boyfriend and this fight ended him up in jail rather than in detention. His father picked him up and damaged him far worse than he had been hurt in the fight, resulting in an extended hospital stay and a late graduation. His father withdrew him from the school after the incident, and he finished his studies at a local commuter school where his father could keep his eye on him. He was no longer permitted to participate in organized sports, and was kept relatively isolated. He was encouraged to attend church and counted his sister and his uncle among his only friends at that time. In the absence of any worldly pursuits his faith became an even greater part of his life.
At the behest of his father, Dante was sent to Seminary school in Padua, while his younger brother was sent to the Naval Academy. He thought that he now understood his treatment over the last six months, pious isolation in the absence of women helped to prepare him for this fate.
Brother Dante, as he was now called, was much removed from his former light-hearted self, his father had done much to purge him of those ways. He did what was required of him, he kept to himself, focused on his studies and prayers. He knew that serving God was paramount and tried to put away his human vanity and selfishness.
Many of his professors were dull and lacked passion; he wondered if they had each chosen to be here or if this fate was chosen for them. Others had good humor, smiles that extended from their lips behind their eyes, and were truly happy with this life and convicted in their faith. Dante himself was convicted, his faith in God as strong as any other man, but he did not feel fulfilled - a feeling he blamed on his human inequities. One professor was different
. Fr. Adamo taught History of Spirituality and one of many courses in Prayer. He went out of his way to get to know Dante, and another student in the same prayer class, Cornelio. He saw something in them that they did not see. He took them under his wing, teaching them outside of class, in his small, unadorned office, more on ancient prayer and on parts of history often left out of the curriculum. Fr. Adamo was often absent from class and missed many of his appointments with the two acolytes.
Some months later they learned why.
Fr. Adamo was a spiritually gifted priest and skilled exorcist. They had been chosen for what he called their "charisma," something within them that made them stand out among the other acolytes for this calling. They were not yet priests; they did not take the orders of the subdiaconate (including that of celibacy) and had not undergone as much spiritual development as the more advanced students. But they were chosen. While modern law authorized only priests and above to perform the ritual, history had opened the miracle to layman who possessed the charisma and the power of prayer. He taught them the ritual, and provided them with the sacramentals used therein. But going through the motions in the hallowed halls of the seminary did little to prepare them for reality. He took them to one of his appointments, such that they could see for themselves. It was then that they met Dr. Russo, as it was law that a qualified physician would be there to examine the afflicted and treat any symptoms that were related to health issues rather than possession. After that meeting, the doctor began to train them to tell the signs of possession from mental illness.
The victim was a fifteen year-old girl. She had grown ill a short time after the death of her father, when she, her mother, and her older sister moved into the old apartment. It had been a stable at one time, a condition that was not uncommon in the old world. But there had been no reports of hauntings in the housing records. She displayed the tell-tale signs of a possession, becoming uncontrollable and vulgar speaking in tones not her own at the sight of the sacramentals. It took chains and both acolytes to restrain her.
It took three hours but Fr. Adamo was able to cleanse the girl and the house of "demonic" entities, the meaning of spiritual warfare was never clearer to Dante then at this time. This education intensified and Dante and Cornelio in turn were called upon to preform the ritual, with Fr. Adamo watching, intervening in times of great need or threat.
They were taught defense from spiritual entities and those who called themselves Angels
but were not the same as those lesser deities described in the bible taught them about defense against the corporeal Demons who were now the enemy as much as any nazi or foreign nation had ever been.
The family Dante had seen liberated from evil attended mass regularly at their Cathedral. They were comfortable talking to these acolytes and Father Adamo specifically, as they had forged a bond in that time of great stress. The priest and his students also took to checking up on the family, and others whom they had helped with similar issues. Their intentions were nothing but noble, but Dante had began to develop feelings for Olivia, the older sister of the girl who had been afflicted. These feelings were helped along by meaningful looks in her eyes, the way she gripped his hand during the sign of peace, and body language and tones of voice that seemed to pull him to the edge of resistance. But strength existed in numbers, he made sure never to encounter her alone and confided his spiritual struggle to Cornelio.
Purity was paramount in their line of work. An uncluttered mind, free from sins of pride and distractions that took them anywhere but where they were, was more important than Holy Water - for the latter without the former would not successfully exorcise any evil entities.
Fr. Adamo noticed that both of his students were distracted. He told them in no uncertain terms that they needed to pray on it, and if need be, practice mortification to help cleanse the spirits.
Dante took the advice, and hoped to bleed away the thoughts of Olivia. He resolved to tell her that he could no longer see her. He sent a letter by way of Cornelio and stayed away during masses. He was stronger for it, and it came across in his work.
But there was an emergency when Fr. Adamo was away, Olivia's sister had relapsed (which wasn't uncommon), and she had nowhere else to turn. Dante and Cornelio prayed for strength, and then they had gone. It would've been an understatement to say that they had difficulty. The entity possessing the girl had seen through them all and spoke to the dark parts of the human psyche . . . Cornelio's jealousy had been revealed, an event that had caught him off guard, and got in the way of his concentration. Dante fought back, and after some hours of struggle he was successful.
He comforted Olivia who cried though it was over; the horrific images of what her sister had become when possessed by something else were hard to erase. It became clear that the work to free himself from his attraction had turned to nothing when outside of isolation. He thought on this upon his return to the seminary, and he prayed for clarity.
He could not sleep, so he walked, without really knowing where he was going. He wasn't far from the steps of his beloved cathedral when he found Olivia. She told him she had to make a confession and he told her he wasn't a priest, she insisted that it concerned him. She confessed that she couldn't let him take his vows without at least letting him know that she loved him, more than she had any right to love a man of God. He confessed that he was just a man, a man who loved God but a man all the same. He kissed away her tears and allowed his baser human instincts to take hold.
He couldn't return to the seminary. He couldn't face Cornelio, or Fr. Adamo. He couldn't tell them he wouldn't take the vow and would go no further on this path. He couldn't face the shame he had brought on his family. It was Dr. Russo who witnessed their wedding and who helped the twenty year-old couple leave Padua.
They lived just outside of Rome, Dante entered the training necessary to join the ranks of the soldiers at the gates. Dr. Russo introduced him to several contacts here, from priests to generals at the wall. There was a sense of community here. No one knew of his failings, so they did not judge him for them. Or so he had thought.
He moved up in the ranks and grew closer with his betters, even the Doctor who visited often. He grew in maturity as well as a husband. He prepared himself for fatherhood.
Olivia was five months with child when the incident happened, there had been a surge in fighting, and some demons had breached the wall. Many soldiers and their families lived just within it, and such was the case with her and Dante. By the the time he had gotten away from the fighting, their apartment house had completely burned, as did much of the church and other dwellings surrounding it. Their time as man and wife had been cut short after roughly two years.
He blamed himself, and took to mortification vigorously. If he had not been selfish enough to take her for his own, selfish enough to leave the seminary, he was sure this wouldn't have happened. But such an idea was inherently filled with pride, as if his actions alone decided the fate of millions. His priest dismissed these ideas and tried to help him see reason again.
He wanted to be a better servant.
He was given the burden of knowledge that only those in Pace Bellum carried. He buried his grief in his training, in fighting at the wall, in catching up to younger students. They told him this was the service that God had called him to, fighting with fists as well as fate, living as a man and not a perfect vessel; sometimes sin is necessary of us mere mortals to serve the greater good
. He fought at the wall for eight more years, and grew in his responsibilities to Pace Bellum. Then they sent him to Venice where he could be part of a small See owned by the Order, and where he could start his life again, where he would be called to something more. It was then that he became a Protector.
He remembered how he used to be, before his father had dolled out his fate as only God could. He feigned some of these traits until they came awake again. He had some confidence, though much was acted, as well as humor. He enjoyed the company of women, some of those who shared in his profession. He didn't forget anything he had experienced or witnessed, but he learned to push past it, to focus on what he needed to do - which was killing demons, more often than not.
At thirty he was old for a novice Protector, but he didn't let that bother him. The Keeper he was assigned was a handful. Her name was Sabrina and she was a handful. Word had it she was his fourth Protector and she was only 22. She had a rebellious attitude but a photographic memory. She was born into the Order, and was the daughter of a great Keeper which she seemed to think entitled her to be a brat.
She didn't quite understand the dangers of the world outside Order safe houses, and took to making "friends" from many circles. These habits of traipsing around the city wherever she wanted threatened her safety, and her want of privacy led her to try to lose Dante more than once. After one occasion when she had managed to lose him, he sought her out stealthily and followed her home without her knowing. He waited until she fell asleep to blindfold and gag her, bind her hands, and carry her out of her room. He put her on the floor of the front of the small boat during the short ride to the interrogation facilities, and overall ignored any attempts to resist or express panic. He chained her up in one of the rooms before taking off the blindfold and going off on her.
Instead of sobering from this experience or thanking God it wasn't a true abduction, she merely laughed. He hoped time would somehow drive home his point, so he left her bound all night. She feigned cooperation for a time, but never truly took him seriously. Two months later she snuck out of her home under the cover of night, while Dante was asleep, to meet with her current boyfriend. She did not realize that he had targeted her, that he was using blood suppression to conceal his true self from her until it was too late. Thus, a real interrogation began.
Sabrina was not discovered missing until dawn. It was not hard to convince anyone that she had left willingly. Some Protectors on night watch had noticed a small boat go by late at night towards the vicinity of her home, and then from it toward Chiogga. Some were sent to search, while Dante went out to question some of her "friends" under the pretense that he was Sabrina's boyfriend and he thought she was out cheating on him. He created a crude litmus test of sorts, rubbing drops of angel blood into his palms before entering each building, such that he'd get a reaction (or lack of one) on shaking a person's hand. He burned the skin of the girl behind the counter at the coffee shop just down the street from the church, blackness spreading from her pupils outward, revealing her true race. They struggled but she was initially caught off guard and he managed to restrain her. Bound, and now weakened by slowly dosed angel blood, he stowed her in a closet while he closed up the shop so they wouldn't be disturbed.
It was his turn to ask questions under threat of death. She, unfortunately, wasn't afraid. He offered her the antidote to the poison entering her veins, and said he'd put the blood back in if she didn't cooperate.
The concoction he gave her was mostly truth serum, which began to affect her in her weakened state. He was able to get an address in Chiogga, an approximate number of Demons at the location, and the true name of the person who took Sabrina: Gavaldys. Dante left the Demonic woman to other interrogators before joining a force of men and Angelics who staked out and then raided the Demons' nest.
They managed to free Sabrina and kill most, if not all, of her captors - but not without significant losses on their side. Though she had been badly tortured, she mainly spoke falsehoods but some information about Venetian and Angelic defenses had been given up, causing the Order to shift resources and personnel in case anyone escaped and now held that information. Sabrina was removed from the ranks of Keepers, and forced to pass her knowledge to another woman called Giulia. Sabrina was kept confined to dormitories within Pace Bellum quarters from that time on, and didn't have much of a life to speak of. As she could never forget the details of her ordeal, she was plagued with nightmares about the event, and was considered a bit "off" ever since.
Giulia proved a much more cooperative ward. It was from her that Dante learned what the Protector-Keeper relationship was supposed to be, one of trust and close friendship.
Dante served as her Protector, best friend, and occasional lover for the space of five years, until she was defeated by a foe he could not stand against - even though he supported her in her fight and prayed often: leukemia. He learned a lot from Giulia, including much about the subtleties of providing quiet comfort.
For six months he served the Order in Venice in any way he could, taking various watches and patrols, even keeping an eye on children of Order members. Very recently the Order decided to send him to Rome, to serve a new Keeper: Mora Lethaeus.
E-mail/GChat: firstname.lastname@example.orgMETHOD OF DISCOVERY
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