Name: Josephine "Jo" Harris
Date of Birth: September 21, 1902
Date of Embrace: November 9th, 1927
Apparent Age: 25
Generation: 11th gen Neonate
Sect: Anarch Movement
City: Seattle, WA (Resides in Tukwila, WA)
- “Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it… but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.” – Robert A. Heinlein
Jo dresses in a Horror!Punk aesthetic tempered with an unexpected feminine touch. She enjoys the contrast of lace and roses against leather and skeletons. Permanent, non-retractable fangs give her an Eerie Presence around mortals, which she uses to enhance her mystique. To avoid breaking the masquerade, she generally relies on the excuse that her vampiric appearance is merely costume to add to her macabre fashion sense. So far this has served her sufficiently well and she has been able to maintain friendships with humans without them suspecting her “game of dress-up” is actually real. The irony of it amuses her, and further informs her fashion choices.
The Early Years
- “Some of us are born rebellious.” – Patti Smith
Josephine Harris was born in 1902 to a working class Seattle family of four. She was a tomboy from the moment she could walk, and an endless frustration to her mother who wanted her to be more ladylike. But little Josie far preferred running through the streets and woods with the neighborhood boys in her brother’s hand-me-down knickerbockers, looking for trouble.
In those days her big brother William, born 10 years before her, was her favorite person in the world. He was just old enough to feel like a third parent, and just young enough to feel like a friend. Their father looked to him to take care of the family when he was away at work, and Will worked hard to please him. He did his best to look out for her, and tried not to let it show when she got annoying. When she got into trouble, which she often did, he could be counted on to get her back out of it and defend her against their parents’ judgement. Josie hero-worshipped him, seeing him as the epitome of a gentleman.
When she was 15, her brother Will decided it was his moral duty to join the war effort. Josie begged him not to go, fearing for his life, but in 1917 he shipped off to France in a field medic’s uniform. He didn’t return. Although his body was never recovered, the battle during which he went unaccounted for was so bloody the army was satisfied that he could not have escaped with his life and was likely blown to bits. Josie’s parents buried an empty coffin at his funeral.
The grief destroyed Josie’s family. Her mother withdrew into herself, becoming quiet and listless. Her father started drinking, spending more and more time away from home, and becoming angry much more quickly. Josie, too, became angry, lashing out at her parents and rebelling even more in an attempt to provoke them out of their stupor. Her efforts would be for naught, though, and by the time she turned 20, she had had enough. One night she packed a small bag, stole some cash from her father’s wallet, and left for Chicago.
A Dark and Handsome Stranger
- “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” – Lady Caroline Lamb
As a young woman with no money in a big city far from home, Josie quickly fell into a less-than-“proper” way of life, living on the cheap and making money through semi-legal odd jobs. She loved it. She fell in love with jazz music and the cultural freedom of the speakeasies. In these havens of racial equality and sexual liberty, Josie felt like she could finally be truly and honestly herself, and enjoy it without shame. She danced late into most nights and slept through most mornings, and spent her days thriving on shocking the “decent” people with her rebellious ways.
One night in 1926, she met a man at a jazz club who would change her life forever. His name was Danny Beckett, and he carried with him an air of mystery and charisma so magnetic he turned heads from across the dance floor. He presented himself as a real Byronic Hero type, born into wealth and privilege but bored and bitter with the upper crust life and seeking something that felt real. He was passionate, deeply romantic, and adventurous, not to mention gorgeous, and Josie fell head over heels for him. Danny, in turn, was taken with her rebellious spirit, love for life, and eagerness for whatever new experiences he had to offer her, the riskier the better. They quickly formed an emotionally intense relationship.
She was so infatuated with him, it took several months before she started wondering why he only invited her out after sundown, and was always gone before she woke up in the morning. Or why he never took her to restaurants or even bought himself a drink. Or why he was always dodgy about what he did for a living, and still never spoke of his family. She was worried about him, but knew whatever it was he wasn’t going to tell her unless he had no other choice. She never expected when she arrived an hour early to one of their dates that she would catch him with his teeth buried in another man’s throat and blood dripping down his face.
She took the revelation surprisingly well. After taking a few days to wrap her head around the existence of the supernatural, she came to him and asked him to make her like him. Danny categorically refused. He gave her all kinds of reasons and excuses but Josie didn’t believe any of them, and although she dropped the subject that first night, she never let it go. It finally came to a head in 1927, approximately a year after Josie and Danny first met. When he announced that he was in danger and was going to have to leave Chicago, she didn’t join him now she’d lose him forever. So she again demanded that he make her a vampire so she could flee with him. They fought and argued about it, worse than they ever had about anything, but finally Danny relented and agreed to bring her into his world. Within the week, they had faked Josie’s death via car crash and left Illinois as immortal lovers.
Partners in Crime
- “You and me travelin’ together, we could cut a path clean across this state and Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma and everybody’d know about it.” – Bonnie and Clyde
Now that she was fully in his world, Danny explained everything to her. He told her that he had been embraced approximately a century earlier by a prominent Lasombra in the Sabbat who had big plans for him as a future Sabbat leader. But Danny had been disgusted by their violence and brutality, and had no interest in their fanatical religiosity, and he was eventually able to escape. But his sire wasn’t ready to let him go, and had been pursuing him across the world ever since. It had been the encroaching threat of his sire that had driven them from Chicago, and continued to keep them from staying in any one place for very long.
Danny preached the evils of the Sabbat and Camarilla alike, and made sure he and Josie stayed far away from sect business in every city they traveled to. They had only one law in their private little world: “Don’t do anything stupid that will get you killed.” They shared a mutual distaste of harming or enslaving the minds of the innocent, and avoided it as much as they could. This could sometimes make feeding more difficult, but Danny taught her how to get by and she learned to accept the discomfort and inconvenience without complaint.
But when all was said and done, they were happy. Blissfully so, for over a decade. Together they spent the Great Depression riding the rails from coast to coast and hunting in Hoovervilles. Josie never regretted her choice to become a vampire, and in time Danny stopped fretting about it as well. However, the romance was not destined to last. As the honeymoon haze faded, and the more volatile aspects of Danny’s passion began to surface, their relationship grew sour and unhealthy. By the time the United States joined World War II, she had left him.
- “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac
The next several decades were spent more or less on her own. Jo (which she now preferred to Josie) had grown accustomed to frequent travel with Danny, and had developed a powerful wanderlust that kept her moving even when she no longer had anything to run from. She continued to stay out of the way of other vampires, preferring the company of humans. Whether she was just people watching or having lengthy conversations with her human acquaintances, she was always in awe of the infinite variety of people she encountered and often sought out the outcasts and underdogs of the world just to listen to their stories.
Music became one of the driving passions of her unlife, as well as its associated countercultures. In the 1950s, she fell just as deeply in love with Rock and Roll as she had been with Swing Jazz. The emergence of outlaw motorcycle clubs introduced her to a new even greater freedom of movement and a social network that spanned the whole country and didn’t ask too many questions. The anti-war and social equality movements of the 1960s were reflected in the angry, sexy music she followed from San Francisco to New York. And when the British Invasion sent America’s youth into a frenzy, she even traveled to England to see what all the fuss was about, just in time to witness the birth of Punk Rock.
It was in 1970s London that she met the first two vampires she was to really be close to since Danny. She spent a few years there living with a Coyote Gangrel still learning to control his Beast, and an Elder Ventrue trying to erase his completely, both of them unaligned. They taught each other many things, but particularly their various disciplines and the art of self-control. However, Jo eventually grew restless again and left her new friends behind, returning to the states in the early 80s to continue her endless travels.
- “People change and forget to tell each other.” – Lillian Hellman
In recent nights, Jo has returned to Seattle for the first time since she left her family home as a young woman. Now that everyone she may have known in life is definitely thoroughly dead, she figured it was finally safe to see how her hometown was faring these days. To her complete surprise, she found one person from her childhood still alive and well in the city: her big brother Will.
As it turned out, Will didn’t die in France 100 years ago. At least, not completely. He had caught the attention of a Ventrue from Paris who had been hunting the battlefields and trenches. Using the chaos of a particularly brutal battle as cover, this Ventrue sought Will out, embraced him, and spirited him away to Paris. Will thrived in the Tower, to even his own surprise. He quickly took to the political manipulation and backstabbing, and developed a ferocious ambition for power he’d never dreamed he had in him. He had returned to Seattle a few decades before Jo, and was busy maneuvering himself into an advantageous position to climb the social hierarchy. He’d read news of the car crash that supposedly killed his baby sister in the 20s, and sincerely believed her to be dead just as she believed him to be. Their reunion was a shock to them both.
Although Jo is delighted to be reunited with her only surviving family, she is deeply dismayed by the road his life has taken. Will no longer resembles the sweet kind boy she used to idolize. In response, she has decided to stay in the city, and for the first time ever try to find her place in the larger Kindred society. Much of sect and clan politics is still very foreign to her, but she has so far been pleasantly surprised by the people she has met. She has found a home in the Anarch Movement, and hopes that one day she can help her brother rediscover the part of his humanity he has lost.
Personality and Worldview
- “The game where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter” – Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Jo strives to live in a space of positive nihilism, balanced between the Overview Effect and Sonder. Beginning in her childhood and built up through her travels and decades spent amongst the outcasts of humanity, she has developed a philosophy that looks at everything in the universe and every life and unlife as tiny and brief but also infinite and beautiful, and every aspect of human society as ultimately made up and meaningless except insofar as people have collectively agreed to acknowledge it.
As a result she gets very frustrated by people who behave as though abstract concepts like power and etiquette actually matter, and even angrier when they are used to harm others. For her, if the rules of society don’t actually exist, changing them when they don’t serve all people should be effortless, and the only reason suffering continues to exist is egoism. She has a major problem with authority figures and laws, as she views them primarily as lies created to oppress people in exchange for undeserved personal gain.
She loves humankind, and has worked hard to get control over her Beast so she doesn’t harm them. Holding so tightly to her Humanity can often make her life inconvenient and uncomfortable, but she believes it is worth it. She’s convinced every vampire can learn to live like this if they cared enough to really try. Whether or not her idealism actually holds water remains to be seen…
- “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
- “Nothing good, I hope.”
Sect Position: Ambassador of Free Seattle
Status: Committed, Courageous (from Advocate Christian Flemming), Established and Guardian (by virtue of Ambassador position, democractically elected)
Family, Comrades, Allies, & Enemies
- William “Will” Harris (NPC), Camarilla Ventrue Neonate, Jo’s biological brother.
- Daniel “Danny” Beckett (NPC), Unaligned Lasombra Ancilla, Jo’s sire and ex-boyfriend.
- identity unknown (NPC), Sabbat Lasombra Ancilla, Jo’s grandsire. She has never met him, and never wants to. All parts of her lineage above him are unknown to her and she is ok with that.
- Advocate Christian Flemming and Architect Cassie Easton of Seattle, fellow members of the Dirty Dozen gang.
- The Valorborn lineage, Valrbjørn, Blackburne, Arlington, and Mickey Oleary; friends and allies.
- Meg Sloan, friend and ally.
- (Character here.)
- (Character here.)
- (Rumor here.)
- (Rumor here.)
- (Rumor here.)
- "What would I do without Jo? I mean fuck... I don't even wanna think about it. She's been my ride or die since the day we met. If she asked me to off a guy, it'd happen. Cause I'd already know a few things. First, that guy had it fucking COMING. And Second, if Jo wants it to happen, it's gonna happen no matter what I say. At least this way I'd get to pretend I had a say in it." -Advocate Christian Flemming
- "Hmm, Jo seems like she avoids her vampiric condition, the gift that Set has given us all on our ascension to Godhood I think she would be willing to listen to the truth, but if not at least she seems like fun. " -Emissary Xavier Frost
- "She was supposed to be the best of us... proof that it was possible to be good. Instead... she's just proof that even the truest of hearts can be corrupted when the wrong voice whispers in their ear..." -Avery Barnes
- "So close yet so far, she always draws my attention. She wants what I want but, we never speak, ido hope she is as good as she seems." -Fernie Cherrywood
- (Quote here.)
Player: Anna Lund
Player Email: email@example.com
Membership ID: US2018090016
Storyteller: Aaron Gomez
Storyteller Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domain: Seattle, WA | WA-073-D
Character Connections and Ties
Jo has spent a lot of her life avoiding vampires, but that doesn’t mean she’s never ever met them! I’d love to make connections with people she may have met in passing or worked with briefly, or even had beef with and had to leave a city over.
I’ve also left the identities of the two vampires she lived with in London in the 1970s ambiguous in case I met someone who was willing to be that person. I’m willing to retcon some of that part of her story to fit a PC better if needed.
Both her brother Will and her sire Danny are NPCs, and totally available as a connecting point for ties. Maybe your character doesn’t yet know Jo directly, but does know Danny or Will, and has heard about Jo through them.
Jo has been in the Movement for only a year, but she has still likely met more members than I have in real life. Who else in the Movement has she met recently? Is it you?
I am also super interested in forming new connections as the story continues. Friends, enemies, younger/shy-er characters she can “adopt,” maybe even an IC romance or a childe?
Got any other ideas or inspiration? I am open to anything! Please come play with me!
Listen to the full playlist on Spotify or Youtube.
- Antifa Hooligan by The Oppressed
- Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill
- Bad Reputation by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
- Raise Hell by Dorothy
- Mayhem by Halestorm
- Not a Crime by Gogol Bordello
- No Fucking War by 7 Year Bitch
- Rich Kids by New Medicine
- United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch
- Royals by Lorde
- Lane Boy by Twenty One Pilots
- Breaking The Model by New Medicine
- Fighting Fish by Dessa
- Runs in The Family by Amanda Palmer
- Memento Mori by The Bastard Fairies
- Savages by Marina and the Diamonds
- Tiny Glowing Screens, Part 2 by Watsky
- Sloppy Seconds by Watsky
- i know this: by rachel kann
- Young & Unafraid by The Moth & The Flame
- Because The Night by Night Riots
- Hometown by Twenty One Pilots
- Tribal Connection by Gogol Bordello