Josiah Rose, Scion of Nuada, Calling: Legitimized Crimelord, Nature Autocrat
Josiah Rose is the despair of his father, but he's made his peace with that. Really, he would argue, he's simply following in Nuada's example. Is not Nuada dutiful to his family, a marshal of their interests? Does he not strengthen them that they might better stand against their enemies? Well, so too does Josiah Rose. It simply so happens that his family is the Irish mob.
The Bloodrose, as has become his moniker amongst his peers, was almost seen as a royal birth, the child of a union that sanctified powerful families coming together. To keep him out of the dangers of that birth, he spent much of his childhood being raised in the mother country by relatives, his visits to his parents a touch rare, though celebrating and cherishing him all the more lovingly for that. He was their despair besides, one of those prodigy children given an unfortunate self awareness of his gifts, and made wild and fey for it. Fast hands and a keen mind, good looks and a smooth charm to endearingly talk his way out of the trouble, a fluid, unthinking grace to move in. And when all that failed, a force of personality that seemed to come from within, yet beyond, an intensity no one that young should have.
His qualities were enough all the same to see him through the finest schooling across Europe, paid for as a point of perverse pride through academic and athletic scholarships he didn't really need. His devotion to his studies was fierce, but it was twinned with the same wild conviction towards a lifestyle degenerate enough to risk destroying him. Everyone who knew Josiah had a sense that he was pushing himself towards something, engaged in some insane campaign to strain himself in every direction he could. Of which they were right, though the cause itself was the talents that made that life possible. Everything was a little too easy, everything came to him so successfully. Nothing was a challenge, nothing felt real, the world didn't feel real. His feelings didn't even feel real, like they were clothes he was wearing for how closely they could touch him. It pushed him into a frenzy to define himself, to overcome this sense of detachment, through pride of accomplishment or triumph, height of orgasm or a drug trip. Something, anything. He brawled in back alleys and spiralled over parallel bars. He spent one night reading everything from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz till the dawn and the next at an S&M club mired in fetish. He played at guns and knives, stifling dark thoughts on how they might feel used on things besides beasts. He had moments of outright frenzy here and there, tearing at the ground to break his skin and feel the pain of it.
And then he got his wish. His parents, killed to finalize a gambit for underworld power in blood. His parents, who he had nurtured a quiet hope that one day he might sort out his fevered mind and spirit, and be able to reconnect with them. His parents, who he had fantasized as the people he would share his first true emotions with, to return at last an affection that had miraculously endured through all his awful behaviour. And now that would be something he could never do. Now he found himself truly able to feel something, for all consuming fury is a certainly a feeling. He returned home, crossing the Atlantic back to America, and there was something in his gaze that brooked no disagreement from his father's organization as he assumed control. He had studied the histories of strategy and tactics, always having an inborn appreciation for more martial knowledge he never questioned. His family history encouraged him to supplement that with understandings of finance, politics, criminology. He showed how all that could be applied to the manipulation and ruination of everyone around him. His vengeance was the stuff of gory myth, earning him fear, a place of power, and his nickname.
And when there was no one left to kill, his real father came before him at last, all gifting him in birthrights and regal proclamation. Telling him of the wider world, of the greater wars, of the need for him in it, that bloodshed should serve to sever him from the base degradation of the life in which he currently lived, that he should be done with it. It was perhaps the wrong way to put it. Done? Josiah was far from /done/. His parents, and a father who he called closer than this god before him, were supposed to have a greater legacy than bloody bodies in a shot up car, and a son to vanish into some hidden war. He was supposed to be their prince, and they were supposed to have ruled their world. They were the only reason he could feel and know those feelings to be true. Where this Nuada was looking to his habits, his criminal life with disdain, they had loved him unconditionally. He owed them more than could ever be repaid. He owed them glory to their name, not in the overworld, or underworld, but among men. Oh, he would serve, and he would fight in these wars of myth and legend. If nothing else, the forces on the other side of it would rend everything his family worked for to pieces, and he would never allow that. But done? Josiah would perhaps never be done.
His divine gifts followed a pattern of his life, and were more an enhancement of innate quality than external mystical power. They did help what would come next. Josiah pulled the crime family up around him to greater prominence, charisma and generous reward breeding a fanatic loyalty. It even made them receptive to his efforts to increase trappings and touches of their Irish heritage, if only as a way to embrace distinction. Whatever his words, he was Tuatha, and the influence of awakened Enech was making itself felt, however much Josiah's rage and pride would make for it being adapted into his lifestyle. On the one hand, it made him like the crime fathers of old, keeping his neighbourhood clean and protected, following the policy of "we only kill each other", providing protection rackets that actually provided protection as if an urban feudal lord.
On the other hand, however persuasive he might be, the other families did not quite appreciate his offer to trade out interests in drugs and prostitution for increased hooks into smuggling, gambling and bootlegging operations across the city. They saw it instead, and his peculiar behaviour, as weakness. They had too quickly forgot how he had earned his name. But for Josiah, violence and fury were always at hand, like old friends. He once again took a personal hand in the strife that followed, gaining a particular notoriety for talking various family heads into a conference, all so that he could be on hand directly the ensuing massacre. And when it was done, and fear and awe was the rule of the day, Josiah did exactly as he said he was going to in the beginning. He traded out his family's interests in drugs and prostitution, and took in exchange a dominant hand in smuggling, bootlegging and gambling. This time, everyone was amenable.
From there he diversified into legitimacy, wanting the Rose name to be venerated as above as below, even if it was into investments that went well with his criminal enterprises (and provided excellent opportunities for money laundering besides). Rose Amalgamated Industries invested heavily in fields ranging from shipping (local and international) to private security (which was a wonderful source for all kinds of armed and lethal professionals to integrate into his family's operations. Crime provided tantalizing lifestyles to lure them in with). He became something of a philanthropist besides, the startlingly young and well respected man of influence about town, around whom darker rumours swirled to be denied with a charming laugh and toothy smile. He saw no contradiction in any of this, or if he did, he enjoyed it. He was the prince of the city his parents had wanted him to be, and if a thing could fall under his dominion, it should fall under his dominion, that was all that mattered. Well, that and handling it with a certain style and passion.
As for the Overworld war? He still has little love for his divine father. A king who gave away his power for reasons Josiah finds ridiculous from his gangland perspective. If an enemy takes your hand, you take his head. If someone makes issue of your stump, you beat them to death with it so that the next person who might have thought you weak instead knows fear. You turn your weakness into a strength.
All the same, he fights in the war with all the fierceness he did in the underworld or the boardroom, when so bidden to or when the opportunity arises. He fought it from the point of view of a prince viewing in outrage another hand being put to his domain. He knew the value of family and organization, and so worked with others when needed and as smoothly as he might manage. He had his various connections keep ears and eyes to the ground for the rumours that tended to be among the shadows first of strangeness. He funded shelters and soup kitchens that let him keep an eye on the marginalized populations that were usually the first to be victimized by the occult. For other bands he could serve as a source of funds, and of transportation (if with an occasionally amused paraphrase of "but one day, and that day will come, I will call on this favour.."). For himself, when it is necessary, his enterprises are well enough situated to let him pull time away for that ever personal touch, drawing a few handpicked employees along for the ride. And then there is the thunder of his guns and the boom of a voice demanding by what right any would dare assault his world, his city, his people.
Whatever influence he has in human society, those who knew him throughout his life would say that the scariest thing about Josiah now is he truly can feel and that it has made him relentless. A will and conviction that blazes fuelling duty to his family, desire for power, pride at his accomplishments and an inferno of rage at anything that puts itself in his way.