|“||I'll not talk to ye more. This is all indignity and I will not countenance it further.||”|
|— "Bryan" Teesdale|
Aged twenty-nine, Teesdale began investigating his family after a rather messy divorce. Shortly thereafter, he began going on long walks, leaving home for days on end, coming back covered in black earth and, once, blood. Eventually, he was caught trespassing in the asylum’s East Wing, looking for something, though no one pressed charges.
His face suffers from chloracne, an outbreak of pustules and lesions caused by poisoning from dioxins or other hydrocarbons, often accompanied by high photosensitivity of affected skin. He also bears respiratory damage. Unusually, despite clearly showing these signs, burning within minutes of sunlight exposure, he tests negative for the relevant toxins.
Psychologically (i.e. the reason for his institutionalization), Teesdale displays many characteristics of antisocial personality disorder and seems to be incapable of human empathy, though he tries to mimic it. Additionally, he suffers from some sort of fugue state in which he takes on an entirely different identity, forgetting that he is Bryan Teesdale. Or so the doctors believe, anyway.
As with many cases at Bishopsgate, the authors provide possible explanations for Teesdale's nature. Among them are the following, one supernatural and the other mundane:
- Option One: This is no longer Bryan Teesdale at all. Rather, while researching his family history, Bryan stumbled across his James Teesdale's heart and an incantation to bring him back from death. In morbid fascination, Bryan performed the ritual. James Teesdale walked out in Bryan's place. Unfortunately for him, it is difficult to convince others that you are sane when your understanding of the world is a couple centuries behind. As such, James Teesdale wound up institutionalized on the very land he once owned. The damage he takes from sunlight is borne of his nature as a resurrected individual.
- Option Two: Though Bryan Teesdale attempted a ritual to bring back his ancestor, it failed. He suffered a nervous breakdown and fled the house, coming upon neighboring farmland just as the land's owner was spraying crops with illegal pesticides loaded with dioxins. As the farmer had a friend in the hospital, that friend had the dioxin test results switched out. Bryan Teesdale is nothing more than a tragic victim.
The following assumes that "Bryan" is, in fact, James Teesdale.
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 3, Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 1, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 4
Mental Skills: Academics (Enlightenment Demonology) 3, Animal Ken 1, Crafts 1, Investigation 1, Medicine 1, Occult (Satanism, Demons) 4
Physical Skills: Brawl 1, Larceny 3, Stealth 2, Survival 2, Weaponry (Sacrificial Knife) 3
Social Skills: Expression 1, Intimidation 4, Persuasion 2, Subterfuge 2
Merits: Languages (Latin, Greek), Iron Stamina 3, Iron Stomach, Quick Healer
Morality: 2 (Megalomania, Paranoia)
Health: 8 (Teesdale takes one point of bashing damage for each minute he is in direct sunlight.)
Teesdale's Powers: James Teesdale doesn’t have to have any defined powers; the spells he knows are complex ritual incantations, few of which actually do anything. Without the materials in his lab, he’s powerless. Storytellers who own World of Darkness: Second Sight might want to consider allowing Teesdale some of the magical Merits allowed in that book. Alternatively, Storytellers running Mage: The Awakening could easily make Teesdale an Awakened mage, with powers that pose an adequate challenge to the players' characters.
Bryan Teesdale's case greatly resembles the H. P. Lovecraft story, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, in which the eponymous Charles Ward becomes obsessed with his ancestor, the wizard Joseph Curwen, and attempts to resurrect him.