At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid. -- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
Judge is 5'11'' tall and 180 pounds. His green eyes match his brown, earthy hair and scream of his Scottish and Irish ancestry. His long hair is straight and usually pulled into a single ponytail. He wears expensive suits or sweaters along with leather cowboy boots that more resemble business shoes instead of shit kickers. He only wears leather made from predatory animals as he considers wearing the skin of a docile animal unbefitting a man like him. When he stares at you, there is an intensity to his gaze that makes you feel as if he is trying to cut holes in you with the force of his will.
Eat a third and drink a third and leave the remaining third of your stomach empty. Then, when you get angry, there will be sufficient room for your rage. -- Babylonian Talmud tractate Gittin
Syngien Leary grew up in a small town in Central Florida in a conservative but accepting Irish/Scottish family. Every generation of his family had served in the US military; either in the Army, Navy or Air Force. As he came of age, his parents encouraged him to be a free thinker and make his own choices regarding his beliefs and lifestyle. He was frequently in trouble throughout his school years due to a bad habit of frequently questioning what he was told or taught. If it didn't jive with what he thought was rational or sensible, he would fight tooth and nail to get his point across.
His athletic prowess did not earn him any rewards in school because he chose not to seek them out. While other boys played football or baseball, Syngien studied martial arts and joined a free-style wrestling club (eschewing a place on the high school wrestling team). These did not satisfy him totally, though. His free-thinking mindset caused him to constantly experiment with his own moves and forms; sometimes to the detriment of success in competition. His athletic hobbies mirrored his scholastic efforts. In his studies, he constantly pushed the envelope of free thought even though that was not what he viewed he was doing. For example, a simple English writing assignment on freedom blossomed into a 30 page paper on the nature of religion that won acclaim among his fellow students (religious and non-religious students alike) and almost got him kicked out of school.
His parents convinced him to go to college instead of following the family tradition of military service. Even there, he was constantly frustrated with what he viewed as a lack of free thought and vision among his fellow students and professors. These frustrations and disappointments began to take a toll on him mentally. He began drinking heavily and becoming more pessimistic/fatalistic. He studied Psychology and Philosophy in small doses while earning a degree in Criminology. He felt that, since he had not lived up to the family reputation of military service, he should pursue a career in law enforcement.
After college, he landed a job as a probation officer. He excelled at his job very quickly and became exceptional at his job. This career, though, had a far more damaging effect. It began crushing his spirit. Stress and frustration at the waste and idiocy that he viewed on a daily basis began to eat away at his soul. He began drinking even more heavily and smoked marijuana frequently. He was disillusioned and bereft of empathy for those around him. Over the course of six months, four of his closest relatives died from a variety of natural causes and two of his best friends committed suicide (one by pain killers and another by a shotgun under the chin). His girlfriend left him only to call him a month later and leave a chilling voice message "Hey. It's me. I know I told you I was pregnant, but, I decided not to keep it. I'm sorry." Then, came a fateful night a couple weeks later that had begun with drinking heavily to nurse his wounded soul at a local bar followed soon after by crouching in the alley behind the bar with the barrel of his 9mm in his mouth.
Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to. -- Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Anger, 1985
His finger on the trigger working up the courage for suicide, Syngien didn't notice the alluring woman until she was standing over his prostrate body after knocking him out from behind. She was extremely intelligent, dressed in white lace and ivory, and more aggressive than any woman he had ever met. This statuesque and imposing woman toyed with his gun idly a moment. She asked him "Will this end your pain? Will this change what has happened? What will this do for you that you cannot do yourself? You can make yourself and your life what you want it to be if you only believe that you can and take life in both hands and strangle the shit out of it. I can show you how." Syngien was awestruck at her veracity and inner strength. "If you want to be a victim and throw away your life, go ahead. But, know that you are a great fool to do so," she said as she handed him the gun with a bullet left in the chamber. Syngien couldn't put the barrel back in his mouth and broke down sobbing. Her name was Franziska Metzger and she was a vamire of the Brujah clan.
Franiska kept Syngien with her for five years before ghouling him and several more before fully Embracing him into unlife. She spent that time rebuilding him from his state as a broken shell of a man. Syngien grew to truly love her even before he tasted a drop of her blood. His love for her only grew stronger after her blood mixed with his. After his Embrace, Syngien began a rebirth internally. He took on a new moniker. Judge. His sire included him in many of her plans. She was fairly rebellious as far as Kindred go. She toed the line of the Camarilla Masquerade to a tee, but, she went her own way too many times. She would act without proper authority whenever she deemed matters to be of sufficient import. This won her enemies within the Camarilla even though most of her plans turned out to well. She was moderately respected by most but a few held deep hatred for her because of her occasional disregard for authority.
Judge and Franziska were never apart during their years together. The two were committed to battling every form of evil. Be it the Sabbat, infernalists, or mundane mortal evil, they destroyed what they believed to be the spawn of Hell with a vigor that few understood even to this day. After years of fighting side by side, their luck ran out one fateful night. On a hurried mission they could not convince the local Prince was important, Judge was captured by the Sabbat. He was tortured for several nights by a Tzimisce Fiend. Franziska found out where he was being kept and stormed the building to free him. She got Judge to safety but was killed in the process. This left Judge racked with guilt and wishing for death every night. He spent three years trying to commit suicide by throwing himself into situations where survival seemed a bleak hope. Only recently has he become the man he once was and determined to take up once again the Crusade he and Franziska began.
Above all things, never be afraid. The enemy who forces you to retreat is himself afraid of you at that very moment. -- Andre Maurois (1885 - 1967)