FULL NAME: Galen Batista

RACE: Kindred, Last of the Batista Clan


MERITS: Awareness (Galen has unusually keen eyesight even for a Chimera), Driving (Galen enjoys it as a hobby) Martial Art: Jo Staff (Galen tires to keep a Jo club on his person at all times), Security (Self Explanatory)

FLAWS: Nightmares (See Bio),  Code of Honour (Galen tries to avoid killing other kindred); See Bio

CHARACTERISTICS: Galen projects an air of outward calm.  His inner beast is buried deep and he is slow to anger - but when his rage is stirred, it is terrible to behold.  He does not kill lightly, but when he does he is as deadly as any of the Ravens - perhaps more so, for his calm, quiet demeanour often lulls enemies into a false sense of security.   He prefers to resolve situations through talk, or if necessary, non-lethal force.  He remembers the honour code of the Batista well, and although his family are long dead he remains loyal to those teachings.  Although he will fight to defend his mistress or himself, he avoids taking the lives of fellow kindred if possible. However, he feels no such loyalty to the other branches of the Chimaera.

One of Galen's private hobbies in these Modern Nights is driving. He owns a number of automobiles and enjoys racing them to relieve some of the tensions of everyday life, and to escape the nightmares that haunt his sleep. He feels it a personal honour to protect Gitanne and takes his duties very seriously.  He feels the Queen has often been badly advised by those who would manipulate her for their own ends, and tries to keep his own advice as impartial as possible.  His feelings for her are strong and it pains him to see her mistreated by lovers from other clans. 

HISTORY: Galen began his mortal life as a young Venetian seafarer in the early 1500s, the age of the great voyages of discovery.  A strong sense of wanderlust ran through the young sailor and he set out to find adventure and fortune aboard ambitious voyages around the world.  He signed up to a crew planning to sail for the Far East, an expedition which hoped to return ladened with silk and jade treasures.  The voyage was long and perilous, but successful, and the crew returned to Venice months later carrying exotic cargoes.  Perhaps the most unusual cargo returning from the Far East with the voyage was a passenger.  That passenger was the ancient vampire called Kobejitsu, a friend and mentor to Nicholas Giovanni, returning to Europe after some time in his native land.

Kobejitsu was the patriarch of the small kindred clan known as the Batista, a clan of warrior aesthetics who placed spiritual enlightenment almost as highly as martial prowess.  Kobejitsu drew much from the samurai traditions of his homeland, synthesizing the ideas with those of the chivalry of Europe.  The Batista were never a large clan, but their reputation as fighters made them a force to be respected.

Kobejitsu had seen great potential in Galen during the time they were together on the voyage to Europe, and the Batista clan had need of men of his caliber.  Galen himself was awed by the power of the Kindred and was willingly Embraced.  His quiet calm but driving ambition made him a perfect acquisition to the small family, while his seafaring experience made him a useful link to the Far East. Galen had the opportunity to journey to Cathy and beyond several times over the coming years, sometimes in the company of Batista warriors, other times alone except for his ship's company.  He learnt much about himself and the art of combat during this time, favoring the simple hardwood Jo half-staff as a weapon.  It was on the return from one of these journeys that an event would occur that would ultimately save Galen's life.

While returning from a voyage to east, Galen was caught in a storm of supernatural intensity.  His vessel was crushed by wave after wave, hurled across the rocks and shattered to a thousand pieces.  His crew perished to a man, but somehow Galen survived, being washed ashore on some nameless beach on the coast of Africa.  For months and then for years, Galen wandered the vast continent with acute amnesia, writing himself into the legends of several tribes.  Eventually his memory returned and he made his way home to Venice.  When Galen finally returned, he found a disaster beyond his wildest fears.  The Batista Clan were dead.  Everyone from the master Kobejitsu down to the newest initiate had become a victim of the chaos of the Venice Jyhad.  Galen was the only survivor of the once proud family.

The shock was almost too much to bear, and for two years Galen hid as a caitiff, avoiding contact with other Chimera and living as best he could.  He soon recognized, however, that such a dismal existence could not be sustained forever.  He aroused suspicion wherever he traveled, and too many kindred were asking too many difficult questions.  His only option was to make himself useful to the ruling elite and thus gain a measure of trust from Kindred society.  He had to become a Raven. Galen is the only Raven that has not served under the late King Marius.

Galen served Gitanne well as a bodyguard, but never excelled at the role of an enforcer.  His heart was too calm, and he could not summon up the rages and fury that his fellow Ravens had at their fingertips.  Galen lived as an idealist, perhaps a relic from an earlier age of chivalry that was rapidly being swept aside by the tide of progress.  He worked hard at his duties and never gave cause for complaint, but some whispered he did not have the steel for the job.

The death of Marius was a shock to Galen and a personal affront to the Ravens.  The King had been murdered on their watch, and a culprit had not been found.  Some whispered that the new queen, Gitanne, was to blame, but Galen never believed the rumors.  His instincts told him Gitanne would never have murdered her sire in cold blood, and he dismissed the rumors as mere slander.   When Darian undertook her putsch against Gitanne, he remained loyal to his queen.  He feels her rule has been just, and if mistakes have been made they are the inevitable learning curve for such a young Queen.

The schism in the ruling household worries Galen.  The Kindred have ruled mortal society for long enough to have created a great many enemies, and those foes will be only too aware of the weakness and may well try to take advantage.  Galen believes that peace between Chimera and mortals is the only way for both races to survive, and mindful that a house divided cannot stand, fears the consequences of a war between the divided Noblesse and rival claimants.  He sees Gitanne as the best hope to reunite the clan and return to rule, although he remains concerned that her grip had been slipping some time before the putsch.

He is personally suspicious of the Satinamuh and Unseelie, untrusting of the motives of both these clans.  He feels the relationship between Roarke and Gitanne can only be damaging to the Queen, and still suspects the Satinamuh had some role in the destruction of the Batista, although he keeps his opinions private.

Recently, an old problem has returned to haunt Galen.  While lost after his shipwreck, he began to suffer persistent, horrific nightmares.  He attributed them at the time to shock from his near death and then the subsequent trauma of finding his family destroyed.  Over time, the dark dreams faded, and Galen assumed his mental wounds had healed, but since the activation of the first Keys they have returned with a vengeance.  The dreams make no sense to Galen, and he cannot see a pattern within them.  If there is a message, it is hidden beneath a layer of horror.  The nightmares have been gradually growing in intensity, and Galen fears that unless he finds a cure soon, they will ultimately destroy him.  Worried that others will think him mad, he has been keeping his nightmares secret, but his body is beginning to show the strain of sleepless nights.