The Call of the Sea
The Kindred now known as James Blackburne was born in the last 1600s as Judith, the middle child of a sugar plantation owner in Barbados. She might have led a quiet, comfortable and genteel life, but she was more the outgoing sort who chafed against the constrains and expectations placed upon her by her station and gender and instead longed for a life of adventure such as in the stories she often heard. So in her teenage years she cut her hair, stole some of her brother's clothes and calling herself James managed to talk her way into a job on a merchant vessel.
The first months at sea were difficult, not at all the glamour and adventure that had been hoped for, but too stubborn to admit they were wrong and go home they stuck with it. Once they had managed to settle in a bit more they found the life different than expected, yes, but still one that they came to love on it's own. They continued their service to that ship and captain for several years, until they ran afoul of pirates. Thinking and speaking quickly, they managed to convince them of their skill and usefulness and was one of the few spared to instead serve aboard the pirate ship. This was a life they took to with surprising ease, after a while beginning to earn a reputation for themselves among others in the Caribbean waters.
A Change of Circumstance
In 1700 however luck would run out...or so it would have seemed. Their vessel was captured and the fearsome Captain Blackburne was taken to Port Royal to hang, where they were surprised to learn the pirate was a woman. No amount of quick thinking seemed enough to spare them from the hangman's noose however and they were sent to prison to await their fate.
While waiting however, they were visited by a strange, mysterious man. A man with an offer, an offer of freedom and immortal life. It was not a life without drawbacks he warned, but it held more promise than certain death did and they agreed. The next few decades were spent in Iceland, home of their Sire, to learn all they could about life as a Kindred.
To Where the Wind Takes Them
Once released from Accounting their travels took them back out into the world, although staying almost entirely towards places that afforded access to large bodies of water, and to the business and industries that came along with them. Their steps took them to New York, when it was a city in the throes of revolution and fighting to gain their freedom and rights to call themselves their own country. It was here they met and embraced a brave young revolutionary, trapped behind enemy lines, accused of being a spy and sentenced to die if left as they were, much as Blackburne had been.
Their travels after took them to the Mediterranean, actively working in trade and business local to the area. They began making friends and alliances, friends that appreciated how often they came up with interesting and unusual items for trade, and how often they could easily make certain types of problems go away...for a price.
They spent time in Chicago, drawn by the lure and promise of the spectacle that was the World's Fair and deciding to stay for a while. Not all that long after the city moved to enforce Prohibition and they found themselves very involved with those working around and against the ban on liquor. It was here they met a young Irishman, Mickey O'Leary, a brutal man but also one who was driven and intelligent who often proved a valuable asset. He became her second Childe when he would have otherwise met his death following a rain of bullets in a police raid.
Growing tired of the city after a few decades, and the end of the Prohibition, they traveled to the contested city of Rio de Janeiro. This is where they have stayed up until the most recent of nights, continuing business both legal and otherwise, often finding the nature of the city itself useful for conducting business both on the mortal and immortal levels.
Blackburne had long been left more or less to their own devices, but when their Sire called them to join with him in Seattle they did not hesitate to obey his bidding. A Brujah now held the station of Prince in the city, and their family had been tasked with offering aide and support to his praxis and to work to keep the city strong in coming nights.
As the burdens flowing down from her lineage shifted, Blackburne took praxis of the city. When the Justicariate pushed Theo Bell from their ranks, Blackburne made their displeasure known by throwing the fate of the city up for bid. On the Longest Night, Blackburne bequeathed one half of the domain to the Anarch Movement before stepping down from praxis and joining the cause.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
(Please feel free to add In-Character quotes and rumors here)
- When faced with a choice between the hangman's noose, and a life of genteel obedience, she choose to hang. Such courage ought be rewarded. Alas, this world is not just: instead, I made her my childe. — Valrbjørn
- Our rivalry grew into a kind of mutual respect, but then she became an elder. We all know the depth of respect elders carry for ancillae. — Meg Sloan
- They like totes look like the type of like fun that I am like supes into. That smirk is like whoa. — Karma
- It is so refreshing to meet a Valrbjørn who smiles. Blackburne is a golden ray of sun in a dark room. — Desarae Preaue de Avignon
- So I've been told 'if you need to send a message to Valrbjørn, talk to Blackthorne instead' and that's wise because who wants to approach the scary that is Valrbjørn if you don't have to? I'm pro-telephone game all the way! -Kweene
- "I know her name only because I know her Sire, and hold him in high esteem. We will see if she can hold up to the high standard her Sire has set." — Mila Rurik
- "And then... I shit you not... a fucking Pirate ship sails around the dock as the Ventrue Servire presents it as a gift to the Camarilla. A perfect copy of the Queen Anne's whatever. When I saw that I understood why the Ventrue run shit. They managed to get an actual fucking pirate ship certified as a historical landmark so they could give an over the top gift to Blackburne. That's an impressive casual display of power. But the Captain? Wearing a black coat, pirate hat, and basically flying the Jolly Rodger, Blackburne just walked onto that pirate ship and took half the city. That's why even though Ventrue run shit, they shouldn't fuck with people who don't buy into their bullshit rules." — Arlington, on his first night as an Anarch. Reportedly after undergoing some kind of "hazing" incident that required a lot of intoxicants
- "It is hard to have known your best existence and then have it taken from you. No, not taken: dangled in front of you, like the proverbial carrot from the stick, and be told endlessly 'Soon.' I suspect that's why I enjoy being around Blackburne. Neither of us are great conversationalists, nor even particularly social. But, we each have our carrot dangling, just out of reach."— Gereon d'Aquitaine
- "I think the Movement is going to be good for them. Already they seem a lot happier than when they were Prince. I know I'm enjoying them being here, at least!" — Jo Harris