Ellis Island was the gateway to the Americas — between 1892 and 1924, 71 percent of all immigrants to the United States were processed there. Among them was a French tinker named Gerard Rafin, a moderately skilled laborer who took up residence on the Lower East Side. His skill with crafts and devices brought him to the attention of the Nosferatu, and before long he had been “recruited” into the leagues of the Sewer Rats. The Sabbat was still the prominent sect in the city, and Rafin made no few contacts among that group as well. The Nosferatu have long been on at least civil terms with their antitribu, and Rafin felt no real sectarian struggle demanding his loyalties.
As time moved forward, so did technology, and Rafin became fascinated by it. His warren was always littered with copies of Popular Science, the Physical Review and other technology periodicals. While the Sabbat ranted and raged aboveground, Rafi n slowly brought, in his words, “technological stuff” to various Nosferatu dens — adding safeguards, communication networks and electricity. As his Americanization in the company of the New York Nosferatu and antitribu continued, Rafin heard tales of the Nictuku and other apocryphal horrors. These occupied his curiosity as much as technology did, and he became a sort of de facto expert on the subject. After a while, the two interests blended, with Rafin developing security devices to protect the Nosferatu Kingdom from horrors below as well as above, and various traps designed for the purpose of trapping the Nosferatu’s ancient predator.
By the 1970s, Rafin had created a computer network that “sat atop” the military’s ArpaNet, through which local Nosferatu could communicate more securely than by telephone. With comrades and progeny, Rafin traveled the country, establishing other nodes for this “SchreckNET”. With a backpack full of breadboards, jumper switches and copper wire, Rafin and his crew expanded the Nosferatu’s information network nationwide. Tonight it exists as a subnet of the Internet, and as such covers conceivably the whole world.
During his travels, Rafin concocted a “stage personality” that could precede him. Sure, Rafin was known for his technical prowess, but the larger-than-unlife character of Uncle Smelly embodied everything the Nosferatu were reputed for. In this guise, Rafin could travel with wide berth, other Kindred forgiving him for his Nosferatu proclivities and the Sewer Rats themselves welcoming him for his tales and technology. The fact that those who got in his way were often whipped within an inch of their unlives (including a few sheriffs) gave Uncle Smelly even more room to do his work.
As the Camarilla moved into New York, Rafin has settled a bit, refocusing his efforts locally. Unhappy with the apparent direction of the Nosferatu’s fate in new York and more than a bit resentful of the stopgap efforts of Calebros, Rafin has become something of a Nosferatu activist, pushing a clan agenda with a few of his cronies and turning the Nosferatu into a recognizable political entity. His concerns over the Nictuku also persevere, and any given night might find Rafin pursuing one or both of these goals.
Rafin has all but dropped the Uncle Smelly routine among local Nosferatu, reserving it (with more than minor disdain) for the other Kindred. He is renowned among the Camarilla as Uncle Smelly, however, and when he wants to take advantage of that status, his lingering French accent disappears and his heightened Nosferatu mannerisms come to the forefront.
With oversized ears and a head that looks like it has been shrunken by savages, Gerard has truly suffered the effects of the Nosferatu Embrace. He has an extremely weak chin, punctured by a few wiry hairs. Patches of mildewed hair thatch his head, but only in the few places not obstructed by eruptions of boils. When affecting his “Uncle Smelly” persona, Rafin looks quite like a dirty old man, wearing a filthy raincoat and a beaten fedora. He even keeps a few candies in his pocket, “the better to tempt the children with.”
Gerard Rafin, “Uncle Smelly”
Sire: Radcliffe with Teeth
Apparent Age: Indeterminate
Physical: Strength 5, Dexterity 3, Stamina 5
Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 0
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 5, Wits 2
Talents: Brawl 4, Dodge 4, Intimidation 2, Leadership 2, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Animal Ken 2, Crafts (Repair) 4, Drive 1, Firearms 2, Melee 4, Security 4, Stealth 3, Survival 2
Knowledges: Academics 1, Area Knowledge (Manhattan, Lower East Side) 4, Camarilla Lore 2, City Secrets (New York) 1, Computer 5, Enigmas 1, Hacking 4, Investigation 2, Linguistics 2 (English, Spanish), Occult 3, Politics 2, Research 4, Sabbat Lore 2, Science 2, Sewer Lore 4
Disciplines: Animalism 2, Fortitude 3, Obfuscate 4, Potence 4
Backgrounds: Contacts 5, Resources 4, Status 2
Virtues: Conscience 4, Self-Control 4, Courage 4
Morality: Humanity 6