Mordechai Morris was born in Haiti, the third son of a family who still followed the old ways when so many others had forgotten them. His father, the houngan of their extended family, was a sworn devotee of the voodoo god Papa Legba, and like his older brothers and sisters, Mordechai grew up on stories of how justice had fallen from the world, and how it was their duty as children of the loa to bring justice back where they could. He listened, and learned, but in his own way, for at times it seemed fate itself conspired to punish Mordechai for his existence. He was fantastically clumsy and, it often seemed, cursed with ill fortune to the most fantastic degrees. Many times, experienced houngans examined him for dark curses, but found nothing. This built resentment in him as he grew older, developing into a strapping and powerful man, until a chance visit to another family’s celebration that the truth of his ‘curse’ was revealed. While the rest of his family were true children of Papa Legba, Mordechai had instead been chosen at birth by the malicious death-trickster Baron Samedi, the misfortunes plaguing him an unconscious expression of his misplaced heritage.
Once this truth had been realized, and the relationship between Mordechai and his malicious patron formally recognized and sealed in blood and rum, life eased for him. He found work in the city, Baron Samedi’s eyes and ears into the world of mortals by way of their bars and parties, all the while cultivating his own private knowledge of ancient voodoo lore. This could have persisted until he died, had his path not crossed with that of a middling-grade bokor by the name of Amazi. A newly initiated member of the secretive, dark-magic cult calling themselves the Brotherhood of Blood, Amazi had sought to slay a houngan to prove his mastery of the voodoo arts, and targeted Mordechai mostly at random for the deed. Unfortunately for the would-be bokor, his target had Samedi’s patronage, and the attempted alleyway ambush one night ended with Amazi dead at Mordechai’s feet instead of the other way round. Victorious, he was still forced to flee, for Amazi had possessed allies and friends, the other members of his dark circle who would come seeking revenge for the death. To evade their reach, Mordechai emigrated to America.
Again, this could have been his life, but now Mordechai’s conflicting heritages rose within him again. He plied his knowledge of English and his intimidating demeanor and physique into employment as a bouncer at various clubs and bars in New York, far from the clutches of a trio of penny-ante sorcerers. Baron Samedi went with him, though, and as their bond deepened, he began to discover Samedi’s use of his eyes had left its mark and allowed him to detect those whose death would soon come upon them, along with those who had brought death to others with their own hands. This sparked Mordechai’s memories of the lessons his father, a scion of Papa Lebga, had taught him. Where justice could not be found, there could be an angel of death ready to bring vengeance for the slain, and so Mordechai became a murderer of murderers, arranging overdoses and accidents for killers who mistakenly wandered into the bars he stood sentinel over.
This persisted for several years, until misfortune struck again in the hands of a victim who turned out to be a state senator, drowning his sorrows in drink after he killed his wife in a fit of passion. Not that Mordechai had known this, or would have cared, when he set the man to stumble in front of a late-night taxi driving at high speed down the street, but the death brought official attention to the small but persistent rise in bar-related ‘accidental deaths’. A serial killer task force was deployed, but other members of the FBI identified Mordechai first – fellow Gifted, under employ to the government. Rather than expose him to mundane authorities, though, they offered him a job – he could continue killing in the name of misbegotten justice, and honor his patron in the doing, but his murders would now be at the behest of superiors who could point him in the right direction.