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Padre Domicio Javier
Sir Vassos, the Luminous

Disciple of the Celestial Chorus
Knight of the Order of Saint George and the Dragon


Description


~Domicio Javier is a mature man of Spanish heritage. His skin portrays the darker pigmentation of an Andalucian. His build is imposing and sturdy, features sharp and angled. His brow seems perpetually creased with worry, and lines of age appear across the 30ish fellow. His inky-black, curly hair is normally kept cut short and conservative. He usually wears similarly-styled clothing. Black slacks, dress shoes, and vest or jacket are his standard attire. A white dress shirt is born over his broad chest beneath. Depending on the weather or other circumstances, he may also tote a dark-gray polyester overcoat or umbrella. Around his neck, he wears an ornate crucifix with stylized latticework in the mold. The cross is made of gold and the edges are encrusted with diamonds. It hangs from a chain designed to appear and act as rosary beads and the man keeps this token close to his heart at all times. Liquid-deep brown eyes perceive the world through a tested, wary gaze. The man doesn’t seem to smile easily, but the rare moments he does so genuinely, it lights his whole face up. Domicio emanates a definite sense of unflagging strength through quietude and humility. Although he favors black garments, Domicio almost…glows…with purity and piety. Indeed, this proves disturbing to more shadowy inhabitants of Creation.~

OOC: Appearance 2; Arcane 2


"Eternal life is found only in death, demon.
Give your heart to Jesus, before it is cut from your chest.”


History


Youth

Together, Rita Javier and Padre Gregorio Manos directed the Catedral del San Jeremias in Madrid. Choir director and reverend father, they made the church great. Their work was passionate and inspiring -- perhaps too inspiring. In violation of his vows, Father Manos and Rita became secret lovers. The affair was discovered but the Church covered up the incident. Impregnated and ashamed, the woman fled the capitol of Spain to her home town, Sevilla.

In Sevilla, Rita joined a new congregation at La Iglesia del Corazon Sagrado. She gave birth to her son, Domicio, in early January of 1972. Domicio was baptized only one fortnight after he was born, and Rita was soon a prominient member of the church. Rita worked hard as full-time choir director and professional garment launderer to provide an upper lower class life-style for she and her son. Domicio was raised with a strong affection for music and religion. He attended public schooling when of age, and enjoyed athletics of all sorts, particularly soccer (of course).

And even from youth, Domicio expressed an amazing devotion to his religion and a great affection for God. Even as a boy, Domicio demonstrated genuine love for Jesus. His mother had taught him well, it seems, by impressing the passion of music into his worship and daily living. And Domicio loved to sing. He sang all sorts of songs -- folksongs, patriotic tunes, and especially hymns. He even learned to sing in Latin, though he didn’t understand much of what he sang til he was a little older.

By the time he was ten years old, Domicio was glad to help his church as altar boy. In the day, he attended school. During siestas, he read the Holy Bible. After school, he walked directly to the church, which was a few blocks away from his neighborhood and home. He was an indispensable aid to the good father, Padre Teodoro Paleta. He helped prepare for Sunday Mass and special services. He helped acolyte during the worship services. He bombarded Padre Paleta everyday with questions. Some questions were theological, some were liturgical, and all impressed the minister.

Domicio impressed his mother simply by growing wise and strong so quickly. Though never rash, the only worry Domicio gave his mother was when he would come home directly from school. There was only one reason for that -- he had been in another fight. While his fighting was an intervention on his behalf to stop bullies from beating up smaller kids, his mother contributed the action to the lack of a father. Thusly, she blamed herself and never disciplined the boy for his aggressive action. She told the padre, but strangely, he did and said nothing to Domicio. With no one stopping him, Domicio became well-loved by many of his fellow children even if he was “preacher’s kid!” Apparently, Rita’s secret had slipped out long ago, circulated among the congregation, and the children overheard their parents’ gossip. But it never really bothered Domicio. In fact, he thought they were referring to the nearly father-son relationship with Padre Paleta. The bullies taunted him, but he got so good at street scuffles -- including pelting stones right back, and semi-fencing with iron rods -- that that’s all they dared do.

Truthfully, his mother didn’t have to inform the padre of Domicio’s street fighting. Domicio told the priest himself, everyday in terrifyingly penitent confession. Padre Paleta was almost frightened by Domicio’s fervor, but how could he discourage a boy’s love for God and all that was good and just? So it continued until 1989, when he graduated from high school.

Immediately, Domicio entreated the Church of Spain to attend Catholic seminary. With the respect and recommendation from Padre Paleta, he was happily accepted. What Domicio didn’t realize was that Teodoro Paleta was a member of the Society of Leopold and the Spanish Inquisition. Though far more benign (or at least clandestine) than it once was, not every member was a vampire-staking killer. Many of its members included laymen of all sorts who did nothing but act as sympathizers and sanctuary for the cenaculae. Paleta’s recommendation was actually sent to the Society of Leopold, who saw to it that the boy was invited to a “special seminary education” held in the Palacio del San Telmo.

Though this elaborate building was now the Spanish equivelent to the White House, it had once been Sevilla’s provincial seminary college. And secret tutelage continued to date, beneath the civil outpost’s floors. And the secrecy was multi-layered, and Domicio was gradually drawn into the greatest truths. Unbeknownst to the Inquisition, the Celestial Chorus -- specifically, the Order of Saint George and the Dragon -- often used this place as a recruiting environment. They insured their representative was a careful, subtle, and wise old knight -- Sir Damon, the Small.

Illumination & Mentorship

But Domicio first knew the man as Padre Gofredo della Esla. From him, Domicio received a one-on-one, strictly theological and liturgical education -- just like the young man expected. But Damon was observing and testing the young man the entire first two semesters. He watched for the spark of divinity within the man’s soul that would allow him to rise above a mere Inquisitor. For all naive Domicio knew, he was simply receiving a special seminary education. It had nothing to do with mages or Inquisitors.

And over the course of that fall and winter, Damon presented Domicio with an “illumination” of Christ. It was different artwork every week, and he was commanded to meditate and ponder over the illuminations’ meanings. Domicio found the ancient illustrations both unnerving and intriguing. To his faithful heart and wisdom-craving mind, they were very educational. They were windows in the ancient past, where piety wasn’t so much exceptional as it was a way of life. They were also glances at something…inspirational. And that unknown is what made them somewhat dangerous, for to peer too far meant stripping away the blinders and testing one’s faith without presumption.

Every week, the illuminations became more intense, more powerful, and with more hidden meanings for the pious mind to consider. At the beginning of the second semester, Damon explained why he was giving these specific pictures. They were all connected by a certain thread of truth, and he wanted to see if Domicio could figure it out. Domicio promised to do his best and began to focus on the illustrations more than his regular studies. The pictures began to depict more and more “knightly” activities -- particularly Crusaders and what might have been Knights-Templar. Always, there was great piety involved in the illuminations. Finally, on a warm spring afternoon, Domicio realized what they meant. With a shout of joy, he rushed from his dormroom and out of the Palacio del San Telmo. Filled with fervor, he sang at the top of his lungs aleluya! aleluya! He was illuminated! He had Awakened!

Damon summoned Domicio back into the college. He told the youth that he knew that he had a vision, and he demanded an explanation. Domicio gladly explained what he had come to understand from the illuminations. True faith, he realized, was true love and adoration for God. It was a tested belief in the ways of Christianity. But there was more. He understood what it meant to truly give one’s self over to the service of God. To be not just an instrument of Heaven, but a vessel and channel for God’s divinity -- to be a prophet. He realized that prophets weren’t “special people with a unique destiny”. Prophets were men, like him, who had come to this realization. Domicio begged Damon to continue his education so he could become a vessel for the Lord’s mercy on Earth.

And Damon posed the question -- would Domicio become a vessel for the Lord’s righteousness, too? Would he become a knight, a protector of mankind and (to a lesser degree, though whispered so the Inquisitors didn’t hear) Christiandom? Domicio contemplated that, and soon agreed. He was strong and vigorous -- it would seem to be a waste of the talents God had given him to become a shepherd and not pick up the staff! Damon then told Domicio of his knighted name, Damon the Small. The young mage pondered that misnomer, for Damon was sturdy and tall even if he was aging in his 50s. Damon explained that he had taken the title to reflect his disinterest in pride and ego. Hubris, Damon warned, was the devil’s sin.

So Domicio took the valediction to heart and began the arduous training of a Celestial Chorister and future Knight of Saint George & the Dragon. Domicio continued his priestly studies even while honing and experimenting with his “magickal” studies. Magick, Domicio decided, was nothing more than faith empowered by God to channel Heaven’s Will. It was simply a matter of study to understand what God would allow and how it was done to honor God properly. Simple as that may have been to say, it would take years before Domicio was a suitable Disciple.

And his tutelage came slowly. This had nothing to do with his brainpower. Indeed, Domicio was a bright boy, especially when it came to metaphysics and theology. It had to do with the fact that Damon was insuring Domicio was receiving a full, well-balanced education. In addition to ecumenical studies to become an ordained Catholic priest, and metaphysical studies of the elements and universe to empower his faith, Damon was teaching the young man how to fight. He took the raw skills Domicio picked up on the streets of Sevilla and turned him into a soldier of God. He taught him how to fence, how to fire a modern rifle, and how to disarm-and-disable. Damon showed the knight-apprentice the relic of old that he possessed, the Dragoon Mace said to have been wielded by Saint Bernard himself. Domicio eagerly attuned himself to the antique but deadly weapon. In the basement of the Palacio del San Telmo, the two Celestial Choristers spent seven long years.

Domicio also received base instructions on the devils that plagued the Earth. Damon told him vaguely of the various “monsters of the night”. Spain, he noted, was particularly troubled with vampires. Damon explained that vampires thrived by hiding like cowards from forces like the Order of Saint George & the Dragon, and savaging the weak and defenseless. “The wolf will not attack the shepherd,” Damon explained, “unless it believes the shepherd is weak, or it is defending itself. In both occasions, the Knight must be prepared to slay the predator to protect the sheep. We must never be weak. We are never weak. But some vampires get confused, and we must be ready to take advantage of such overconfidence when it presents itself.” Domicio took all of the lessons from his wizened, battle-tested mentor to heart. He grew much more solemn and even morose as he grew to understand the gravity of the world’s darkening situation. But he was always pious and penitent, and never lost his faith. If anything, he became more ardent with these revelations.

By 1997, Domicio was ready to test to become a full Knight-Brother of the Order. He prepared all his vows, studied his battle lore, theological beliefs, and honed his “extensions of faith” (magick). Damon took Domicio from Spain to travel to Paris. At the ancient cathedral-castle home of the Order of Saint George, Chateau de Payens (actually home to a number of knight-priest orders), Domicio underwent the Trials. The Trials tested all of Domicio’s skills and knowledge, mundane and mystickal. But the most difficult trial of all Domicio passed with flying colors -- what it meant to be faithful to God. So proud was Damon that Domicio was bestowed the Dragoon Mace. He was knighted Sir Vassos. These Trials were also accorded by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. So by this knighting, in addition to the various theses and exams Damon drilled him with back in Sevilla, Domicio was ordained.

Ordeal

But this wasn’t Vassos’ real test. Only a month after his ordainment, when the two Spanish Knights were still in Paris enjoying the pilgrammage to the Chateau de Payens, an emergency call went out to the whole European branch of the Order. Some forty-five Knight-Brothers from all over the continent gathered at the Chateau, joining the five already present (for Vassos’ Trials). Holy visions confirmed what terrible nightmares had alluded -- a terrible evil was manifesting. Divination had determined that the source was Thasos, Greece. Ancient texts were consulted, and it was revealed that a monstrous demon known as the Wyris slept beneath this island. Some infernalist was trying to awaken the scourge. The knights discussed their plan of action. Vassos noted that not all of them were Awakened -- some were simply valiant and faithful compatriots. It was determined that the knights would arrive to the island by boat, then sneak across the island until the site was located, and then spring an ambush to defeat the evil and whatever wicked souls were trying to dig it up.

Of course, Vassos admitted that he was a little nervous, this being his first real battle. The trip to Greece and the brief sail to Thasos was uneventful. But only ten minutes after landing, the noon sky darkened. The beach and woodlands were suddenly swept with a horde of screaming demons. Resembling men but only, they were all taller by at least a foot, but thin and spindly, with long limbs. They carried axes and pitchforks and their eyes blazed with the fires of Hell itself. The Knights met them full-on, blades and rifles ringing true that day.

Vassos’ first fight was long and arduous. He smashed through many demons with his holy mace, and blew many monstrous heads off with a double-barreled shotgun. Wave after wave of demon swept over the better-armed and better-trained knights. A few brave warriors fell that day to the Infernalist’s army, overwhelmed by sheer numbers. But Vassos kept up alongside his master, Damon, as the Knights pushed their way past the demon horde to the center of the island. They reached the site after dusk. There was a shallow pit with a bonfire and a half-dozen human sacrifices, already murdered, slow pit-roasting over the flames. On a pedestal apparently made of human bone stood a man chanting in ancient Greek above the din of the flames.

The Knights met a final and fanatical wave of demon minions at the pit. As the battle raged, Vassos could hear and see that the evil sorceror was finishing the summoning -- they were almost too late. A small group of Knights managed to break past the horde, including Vassos and Damon, as well as the ranking Knight, Sir Nikolas the Pure. They watched in horror as the flames suddenly burst into grotesque, infernal pyrotechnics and took the shape of Wyris. Nikolas stormed the pedestal and behind the flames of the demon, Vassos could hear the Nephandus’ dying screams as he was run through and hacked down.

But it seemed it was too late. The flames took shape. Hoping that the demon was flesh and now vulnerable, many Knights stormed forward and stabbed into the huge, twenty foot tall beast’s legs. With sharp roars of pain, the Wyris merely swept a fiery claw through the attacking warriors, striking several down in a single stroke. Sir Nikolas ordered a regroup as the demon slowly advanced. Quickly, Sir Nikolas commanded all remaining Knights to pool their prayers and faith. A solemn hymn in glory to God rose up to the sky. Vassos sung with all his fervent adoration.

It was working. The Wyris howled and swatted angrily, mostly at thin air, at the power of faith it could not touch. Its body began to fall apart in smoking chunks. But as the Knights finished the hymn, the Wyris stood still. With a resounding cry, Sir Damon the Small rushed forward in spite of Nikolas’ warning. He flung himself through the air at the staggering demon, and his faithful sword plunged clear through the beast’s heart. With an earth-shaking roar, the demon staggered and collapsed into the cinders of the bonfire, crushing Vassos’ mentor.

The Knights gathered their fallen and left Thasos, victorious. Vassos was blooded in real battle, only a month into knighthood and his name recorded in the annals of the Order’s history. He had suffered minor injuries overall, but became even more grim and solemn than ever. He lost a dear friend and mentor on Thasos. When asked what deed name he would take as a true Knight, Vassos considered. In honor of Damon, who helped him become more than he was through illuminations, he called himself Vassos the Luminous. He did not want to return to Sevilla, afraid of what his mother might think of him, and perhaps afraid to poke sentiments and old memories of Damon. He requested reassignment as both minister and Knight.

Shedding Light

So the Order sent Vassos to Valencia. By day, and during mass, he was Padre Domicio Javier. He was warm and compassionate, faithful and God-loving. His congregation at La Iglesia Central del Christo loved their solemn and passionate, but warm and pleasant reverend father. By night, he was Sir Vassos, the Luminous. He protected his congregation and their neighborhoods -- indeed, all of the city that he could -- from the evil monsters of the night. He encountered the undead the most, those of Clan Lasombra. He found that they slunk away from him when they realized who he was and what he could do to their flimsy control over the shadows -- like dispel their shadows entirely and bathe their makers in the light of Heaven. And just when they thought that they had the Knight ambushed and trapped, his Inquisition allies showed up to even the odds. Feared, the undead learned to leave his protectorates alone and tread more carefully anywhere in that city.

Years of training and experience made Vassos a powerful young Knight by the age of thirty. And although he grew only more grim and solemn, even morose, his faith did not wane. With every triumph scored in the hearts of his congregation, and in every soul-freeing destruction of monsters that crossed his path, his faith grew more implacable. Yet Vassos yearned for more. Valencia was already well-protected and he felt his services would be more useful elsewhere. He appealed to Sir Nikolas who was stationed in Warsaw. The Knight-Commander agreed, having learned that the Inquisition’s presence in Kansas City of the United States was lacking manpower. With the Chorister’s powerful connections, Vassos was sent all the way from Spain to Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri to serve as a “specialist” aide for the local cenacle, the Crown of Saint Michael.

And in late 2002, Vassos moved to America and adapted to the new culture quickly. English was readily learned. He settled into a sympathic Latin-American neighborhood in the city’s downtown East Side. He was serving at the Church of Saint Thaddeus by early 2003. Padre Domicio Javier soon impressed his mostly Hispanic congregation with his ardent but appropiately witty homiletics, his passion for song and hymn, and his energetic faith and wisdom. Meanwhile, Sir Vassos the Luminous was impressing the Crown of Saint Michael with his help in bringing many a monster to the holy justice of the Lord. He became another stalwart and powerful addition to the enemies of evil in Kansas City.

While his double-life and dual-career continues with fair to outstanding success, Vassos had much to learn. There is much in the world he did not yet understand, and much about himself he did not yet accept. While he did not fear death, and believed Heaven was -- must be -- his reward -- he could not help but wonder one thing. Were his efforts all ultimately futile?


Weakness
A Knight's Fate


Vassos has resigned himself to an impossible career of trying to save the world. Had he set a shorter goal, perhaps he would be a happier man. Instead, he blames himself for every death and torment others suffer. If he were better, he could have stopped it from happening. If he were better, he could storm Hell itself and destroy the Devil himself. But he isn't, so he is doomed to a failed life. But he won't fail so horribly that Hell will laugh at his futility -- not if he can help it. He'll take as many demons down with him as he can!

Likelihood of Corruption


Low.

As warlike as a Knight of the Order of Saint George & the Dragon can be expected, Vassos is also a truly pious and humble man. He loves God truly and without shame or reservation. His faith (Faith!) will sustain him against most forces of corruption.

Links

More of the Knight

Character Profiles

The Crossroads Chantry

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