|“||Individualism is often frought with obstacles and sometimes angry mobs; but for all its hardships, it is the only one worth taking...||”|
Beckett is a famous Noddist, said to be a member of the Mnemosyne, the Memory-Seekers, a bloodline of Caine-worshippers devoted to the study of the first vampire and the Book of Nod. He is one of the most prominent characters throughout the books of Vampire: the Masquerade.
|“||To hunt, to soar, to fear neither man nor beast. This is what it means to be a vampire.||”|
Wandering the globe for at least 300 years, exploring Kindred lore and mythology, the British vampire Beckett may be the one of the greatest Noddist historians and archaeologists of the World of Darkness.
What little can be pieced together about his mortal past is that he was born in England and Embraced in Oxford. He still maintains a strong tie to his British homeland, having a Haven beneath the Calleva Arms in Silchester. He quickly became disillusioned with vampire society and chose the way of the Autarkis. Alone, he met Aristotle de Laurent, who introduced him to his studies and became his adopted sire.
Though he does not follow the Sabbat's Path of Caine (he may, actually, follow the "path" of Humanity), as most Noddists do, his driving goal is to determine the true history of the Kindred race, and especially the early history of Caine and the Antediluvians in Enoch. Forces ranging from the impersonal and destructive hand of entropy to the very personal vampires of the Sabbat and Camarilla conspire to keep him from learning the truth, as he sees it. Therefore, he attempts to avoid vampiric conflict where possible, preferring only to face the sorts of problems that mortal archaeologists must confront. He has had moderate success with this, for surely not every vampire of the Sabbat and Camarilla is arrayed against him.
Beckett is a rare Gangrel: well connected and educated, he has cultivated contacts and allies around the world from the ranks of mortal and supernatural alike, though few know him well. His closest allies are his erstwhile companions Lucita and the raving prophet Anatole. His long time adversary and competitor is the Tzimisce scholar Sascha Vykos.
Known over the world for coming and going as he pleases and always appearing when "interesting" items, books, scraps or stories appear, Beckett is also notorious among Kindred scholars for his theory that the story of Cain and Abel is actually a myth, representing human civilization's move from hunter-gatherer into agricultural society. How this is connected with vampirism he is not sure, but if anyone can find the evidence and discover the truth, Beckett can.
His knowledge of ancient lore, linguistics and fighting skills is perfectly complemented by mastery of a number of Disciplines outside the usual purview of the Gangrel, and a more than passing knowledge of Thaumaturgy. His skill with the Gangrel trademark disciplines is such that he often travels like a wolf, and he was known to run the length of a football field under the scorching sun. He has two Beast Marks: cat-like red eyes with crescent shaped pupils which glow faintly, and hands and forearms covered in coarse hairs and claw-like (even by Kindred standards) nails, forcing him to keep them covered and wear shaded glasses among mortals.
Beckett is incredibly snarky and proud. He constantly uses his superior intellect to put others (Kindred and Kine alike) in their place in the most sarcastic way possible; this has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion. He does, however, abide by the rules of whichever political sect is controlling the city he is visiting. Beckett tries his best to be respectful of the different traditions, but has a disdain for the formalities and pomp of court. He finds the obsession with separation by clan to be pointless and has little-to-no loyalty to the Gangrel as a whole.
While he has little tolerance for mortals in general, Beckett does try his best to avoid killing them while feeding. This is difficult in his wolf form, as his animalistic instincts tend to take over. If he is unable to stop himself, he tries his best to make sure his victims die as quick and painless a death as possible.
He pities the Kine that are made into ghouls but is not above giving them his blood (while they are going through withdrawals) in exchange for information. Due to his globetrotting, he purchased a private jet in order to avoid the sun while traveling. This forced him to (reluctantly) create his ghoul, Cesare; an alcoholic, out-of-work pilot.
|“||Life's a splendid thing to indulge in... Pity we're dead.||”|
|— Beckett, from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines|
Beckett made an appearance in the Court of François Villon, Prince of Paris, in 1789, alongside Lucita and Anatole. It was there that he first voiced doubts on his adoptive sire's compilation of fragments of the Book of Nod, due to his growing conviction that the Book itself may be an allegorical tale. He credited the mortal philosophers with whom he had spoken to in the salons with giving him new inspiration and perspective in this regard, teaching him the value of skepticism.
In 1888, he was wanted dead in London after killing two Kindred in a fight for a rare text. While trying to escape, the Setite Halim Bey noticed a drawing he had done of a tapestry in Egypt. It was a representation of Kemintiri, the thousand-faced daughter of Set. Beckett spent the rest of the year unknowingly under the influence of the Followers of Set (and their clan discipline, Serpentis), aiding them in finding and helping Kemintiri. During this time, he rescued and fell in love with Lady Emma Blake, a Tremere neonate (and former ghoul of Kemintiri) who was being used as a spiritual vessel by the Followers of Set (though whether he actually loved her, or his feelings were a result of the Setites' manipulation is up for debate).
In the 1890s, Beckett found his way to Vienna, where the ideas of Dr. Sigmund Freud concerning the human psyche fascinated him. Perhaps out of a desire to correlate Freud's research with the vampiric condition – particularly with regard to the relationship between sire and childe – Beckett studied the techniques of psychoanalysis from the master himself, until he left again.
World War I
During World War I, Beckett was wounded while exploring one of the trenches and saved by a vampire named Ameirin.
World War II
In 1945, he Embraced a German vampire hunter named Marie because he wanted to punish her for burning a list of occult tomes that he wanted to obtain. She continued hunting him into modern-day Berlin and has sought revenge on him since.
|“||Where's the fun without complications?||”|
During excavations near the ancient Cappadocian city of Kaymakli in 1999, Beckett's companion Okulos got lost within the wards placed by the Antediluvian founder of the Cappadocians himself. Beckett, however, was able to recover a fragment of the Book of Nod that told of the End Times. He relegated it to the D'habi Revenant Rhania in order to translate it. His adoptive sire, Aristotle de Laurent, arranged for the transport of the disk and the revenant to Montréal, to a coven of learned Noddists to deflect Beckett's inquiries and to decipher the fragment himself. This began the feud between him and his adoptive sire.
|“||You just asked Fred Astaire to dance.||”|
|— Beckett, after being challenged to a fight|
|“||We're natural liars.||”|
|— Beckett, from Lay Down With Lions|
|“||It's not that I don't love walking into the heart of danger to curry favor with the local magistrate of the hour, but... actually, that's exactly it.||”|
|“||Beckett: [On how to open the Ankaran Sarcophagus] In the last few seconds, I've had very few epiphanies. I may be old, but I didn't build it. How knowledgeable are you on ancient Assyrian funerary constructs?
Malkavian fledgling: "TNT" and "key" have the same amount of letters.
Beckett: Ugh! Yes, how foolish of me, that would be the sound, reasonable course of action. A priceless piece of history - by all means run out and pick up some TNT.
In 2004, following up on rumours of "Caine's coffin," Beckett traveled to Los Angeles to study the Ankaran Sarcophagus. He worked with the Prince of Los Angeles, Sebastian LaCroix, to help the latter open the sarcophagus. Before its key was retrieved, succumbing to the increasing sense of unease which blanketed the city, Beckett ultimately fled.
Time Of Judgment Timeline
|“||If I hear any of that 'All Kindred are one with the Camarilla whether they know it or not' bullshit one more time, I swear to God I'm going to beat someone into torpor.||”|
|— Beckett to Hardestadt, from Gehenna|
In 2005, while trying to free his friend, the Nosferatu Okulos, Beckett broke through a ward on the ancient Cappodocian city of Kaymakli. By doing this, he not only freed Okulos, but also the Lasombra Antediluvian, bringing about one of the semi-canon versions of Gehenna.
- Occasional traveling companions and friends with Lucita de Aragón, Anatole, Okulos, and Kapanaeus.
- Sire of Marie.
- Former adoptive childe of Aristotle de Laurent. However, they had a falling out when Aristotle let his fear of Gehenna get the better of him and stole an important artifact from Beckett.
- Former lover of Tremere Emma Blake.
- Does business with Halim Bey and Victoria Ash, and sells Ash Kindred related artifacts he has no use for.
- Vampiric master of the ghoul Cesare.
- Enemy of Tzimisce elder Sascha Vykos. Vykos views Beckett's attempts at discovering the origins of Kindred as competition to its own and has tortured and killed Beckett's friends to try to get to him.
- Enemy of Camarilla founder Hardestadt the Younger. During a meeting with Beckett, Hardestadt used the Dominate ability Repression of the Obvious to ensure Beckett would be honest with him. This caused Beckett to blurt out that he knew Hardestadt was not the true founder and had been masquerading as his own sire for 600 years. Hardestadt sent Theo Bell to try and kill him.
- Friends with one of the Hollow Ones Nola Spier. They trade supernatural favors, but due to the secrecy of the two groups, they never outright say to each other that one is a mage and the other a vampire.
- Explosive Beginnings
- Patron of the Ancient Arts
- Society for the Preservation of Professors
- Becket's full character sheet has never been published, however, in Transylvania Chronicles IV, his Nature is listed as Visionary and his Demeanor as Judge.
- There is amusing parallel between Beckett and Alexander the Great - another luminary, whose mentor's name was Aristotle.
- While he refers to himself as an archaeologist in the video game, in novels and game scenarios he refers to himself as an anthropologist. While archaeology is a subset of anthropology, his knowledge of languages, human and kindred culture, and human biology make him just as adept at the other subsets. According to him: "I consider myself a seeker of reluctant information; "scholar" sounds like academia – ugh!".
- While his age at Embrace is never confirmed, different game scenarios state him between his late-twenties to late-thirties. This would make him about a decade to a decade and a half older than most Kindred are when they are Embraced. This would explain why one of his pet peeves is being (derogatorily) referred to as old.
- While little to no details of his mortal life are ever given, Beckett has (in the Victorian Age Trilogy) been compared to a "privateer of a bygone era".
- Beckett is referred to as a British vampire by the Setite Halim Bey. Beckett's Jyhad Diary confirms that Beckett speaks with a British accent.
- With the exception of a private jet he acquired not long before Gehenna, Beckett has no permanent haven. He instead, prefers to make abandoned buildings or hotel rooms his temporary lairs.
- In Gehenna, it is acknowledged that he is attracted to Lucita, but there is no evidence that he had ever acted on it.
- He makes money by selling artifacts from his excavations that have little to no connection to Kindred lore.
- He tries to be a neutral individual, avoiding Kindred and Kine wars and politics for the sake of his scholarly pursuits.
- Like all Kindred, Beckett is susceptible to the Jyhad. On three occasions he has (unknowingly) been controlled by older, more powerful Kindred. The first, by the Setites while they searched for Kemintiri. The second, when he (once again, unknowingly) tried to get the Heart of Osiris from the zombie Carpenter for Menele. Finally, in the Gehenna novel, when he spent a year with Kapaneus, but never thinks to verify his clan, something Kapaneus, most likely, kept him from caring about.
- For years, he referred to Aristotle de Laurent as his adoptive sire, but admitted to himself (in the Gehenna novel) that Anatole was much more than an adoptive sire. Unfortunately, he did not realize this until Aristotle had betrayed him and Anatole had died.
- Even though Beckett's beast marks show proof of his Gangrel blood, the fact that he kept them so well hidden and claimed to be Aristotle de Laurant's childe (Aristotle knows Protean) caused many Kindred to believe he was a Malkavian. He did not go out of his way to correct this until AFTER his falling out with Aristotle.
- When Malkavian Fledgling met Beckett in the museum basement he'll eventually ask for his/her opinion on why vampires exist. A Malkavian can give the response: "We exist because the jellyfish wills it so. WHY ELSE?" Beckett will react to this simply with a deadpan "Can't say I've heard that one before" and make a note. Another Malkavian option is to respond "Don't you get it? We're a JOKE!" before laughing madly. Beckett gives the same bemused response.
- According to Beckett's Jyhad Diary, ex-Justicar Elijah, current Justicar Geoffrey Leigh, or a vampire like Cassandra Darby, who roams the wilds and stays out of politics altogether could be the Sire of Beckett.
- Although it's uncertain if it's his real name, Beckett used to go by "Cuthbert." Few are aware of this in the modern nights, although Karl Schrekt, Aristotle de Laurent, and Geoffrey Leigh know. Additionally, Theresia the Songbird addresses an invitation to "C. Beckett, Esq." implying that Cuthbert is Beckett's first name rather than a pseudonym.
- The few times he's been required to use a computer, Beckett has used the following pseudonyms: Newbie-B, Wolf Man, beckett91, and Cuthbert29.
- (online promotional material)
- In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Beckett admits that he does not use the name he was born with, during the conversation after the Sarcophagus has been brought to the LaCroix Foundation
- In Lay Down With Lions, Beckett notes that he does know who his sire is, but like most Gangrel, has no relationship with them