Mage: The Gun Quarter
Rupert Cain could be described as an active senior. The Catholic priest is rarely seen not wearing his cassock, but in addition to the expected rosary, he usually carries a variety of amulets and strange charms. His grey hair and typically collected demeanour belie a fiery temper.
Rupert Cain was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a family of devout Roman Catholics. Rupert exhibited intellectual curiosity at an early age, and his questions on issues of dogma caused some discomfort for his instructors at Sunday school. Nevertheless, Rupert found his own way to faith, and much to the delight of his family, he chose the path of the priest. In seminary, Rupert’s tendency to examine his faith and that of others earned him both admirers and enemies.
At the onset of World War II, Rupert joined the British Army as a chaplain. The suffering and inhumanity Rupert witnessed on the battlefields of Europe changed him. Of course, none of that held a candle to the change wrought in Rupert one fateful day…
It was October 31, 1944, and Rupert Cain was attached to a unit involved in the liberation of Belgium. Rupert’s unit was camped down near a a forest, and had seen no sight of the enemy for several days. It was late in the evening and Rupert was providing counseling to a distraught young soldier when the peace of the evening was broken by gunfire. A troop of German soldiers, fleeing from Allied forces in the opposite direction, had stumbled upon the camp. With nowhere else to go, the German soldiers fought with ferocity, and were dealing grievous damage to the Allied soldiers who had been caught unaware. The withering fire was indiscriminate, and Rupert made his peace and prepared to meet his maker.
However, as German soldiers burst into the tent where Rupert had taken cover, time slowed and came to a stop. Rupert found himself before an immense being who introduced himself as Samael. Samael promised Rupert his life in exchange for future service, and showed Rupert the good he would do if he lived. In a moment of weakness, Rupert agreed and made a deal with Samael. Accounts of what happened next are sparse, but what is known is that Rupert was the only survivor found on that battlefield, Axis or Allied.
After the war, Rupert’s picture of the world had changed. Things he had taken for granted no longer seemed certain, and so, he threw himself into the study of the occult. It was during this period that Rupert Cain met Father Rose. Rose sensed how powerful Rupert was, and though an Anglican, helped him reconnect with his faith. Under Rose’s guidance, Cain was inducted into the Celestial Chorus and learned the workings of miracles.
As a member of the Celestial Chorus, Rupert worked closely with Alice Rose, Father Rose’s daughter. The two conducted a number of operations on behalf of The Chorus and the Traditions, reclaiming important artifacts, sites, and captured Tradition member from the Technocracy. With each successful mission, Cain earned the ire of the Technocracy, and the approbation of Father Rose. Rose considered Cain the son he never had, and Alice and Rupert shared a mutual attraction. Nevertheless, Rupert kept to his vows, which made his relationship with Alice complicated to say the least.
During his time with the Celestial Chorus, Rupert continued his studies into demonology and the occult. Rupert was mindful of the deal he had made, and indeed, Samael whispered to him in the night, so Rupert reasoned that he needed to know his enemy. However, Father Rose did not agree; when he learned of Rupert’s clandestine research, he was livid. As far as Rose was concerned, Rupert’s study of demonology was tantamount to consorting with demons themselves. Rose used all of his political capital to have Cain excommunicated from the Celestial Chorus – as a final act of kindness, Rose allowed Cain to leave quietly in the night.
Rupert was once again at loose ends, but not for long. Cain was tracked down by Abramelin, a political rival in the Traditions of Father Rose. Abramelin, in a slightly unorthodox move, accepted Cain as his apprentice and inducted him into The Order of Hermes. In the Order, Cain found men and women of vision, who agreed with his approach to demons. Rupert learned much under the tutelage of Abramelin and his colleagues, but the stain of his former associations would follow him wherever he went. Besides, although the members of the Order of Hermes were bold and learned, Rupert found them to be an impious lot as a whole. When he had learned everything he could from them, he set out to conduct his studies on his own.
Searching for a place to do his research, Rupert stumbled upon an ancient and seemingly forgotten place of power in Birmingham, England. Rupert burned what little influence and capital he had remaining with the Celestial Chorus and the Catholic Church to have a small church built on the site, after which the Church kept the whole operation at arm’s length. And so Rupert Cain came to be the Father of the The Church of the First Blood.
Rupert spent a number of years establishing the church to his liking, building his library, and attracting a small flock of misfits and cast-offs. An early foray into his theories on the nature of demons lead to the summoning and binding of Intanizzetenian as Rupert’s familiar. Together, Rupert and Nizzet built the basement of the church into a world class occult library and space for the summoning of demons.
At some point, a young runaway by the name of Sarah Giles found her way to the Church of the First Blood. At first, Rupert was tempted to send her back to where she came from, but sensing in her a kindred spirit, Rupert took her in and found a home for her at the Church. Although his demeanour towards Sarah remained gruff, and he raised her in spartan conditions, the two came to view one another as genuine family.
When Sarah went away to study science at the Imperial College of London, Rupert made the next great leap in his research, and succeeded in summoning and binding Nicholas Black. The two worked together to advance Cain’s research, and Black, like Sarah before him, became part of life at the Church.
Sarah returned to the church some years later, and although Father Cain could not understand her science, he indulged her and allowed her to devote a small space in the church to her own experiments. Despite being mystified by her interests and abilities, Father Cain came to rely on Sarah’s expertise, and could often be heard bellowing “Sarah!” throughout the church.
It was shortly after the return of Sarah that a troubled young musician named David Joy entered the orbit of the Church. Softened by his experience raising Sarah, Cain offered a safe haven to Joy when it was needed, and nonjudgmental counsel.
For a few years, things entered a state of stability for Cain and the Church of the First Blood. Cain and Nick worked on their magic, while Sarah honed her craft, and David drifted in and out of their lives. All that changed, however, when David Joy brought a young man named Rory Cooper to the church.