Dresden Files Origin: Gus Eager

Alright OOTAKers, since we, the crew, didn’t get a chance to game tonight due to prior commitments, I (Patrick) humbly submit my Dresden Files character back-story for your reading displeasure. I hope you will find the elements that I meant to be humorous actually funny and not offensive. Also, I apologize in advance for any of you who may be or are easily offended. Its meant to be funny. Just go with it!

Dresden Files Origin: Gus Eager (played by Patrick)

Althea Jackson was 87 years old when she came to live with Gus, his mother and father, but despite the age difference Gus warmed quickly to the curious old woman with the thick southern accent and her strange tales of New Orleans. Althea would entertain Gus into the late evening with tales of her dearly departed husband, Arnold Jackson. Arnold, Althea explained, was a voodoo priest and at one time owned a curious book called the Negronomicon (“The negro-WHAT?!” Gus’ mother said when he casually mentioned it to her one day). Gus and his mother would often laugh at Althea’s stories, but something about the frail woman’s strangeness took root deep inside young Gus.

Gus spent his formative years listening to “Gangsta Rap”. It was a rebellious period and Althea watched it all with a knowing smile. Everything changed shortly before Gus was due to depart for his freshmen year of college. Althea fell terribly ill and summoned her grandson to her bedside.

You sho do got the “gift” inside you Gus. Your granddaddy, he had dat gift too. He had a power over people and dey used to say “Ole Arnie, oh he can get em’ riled up and calmed down. Arnie Jackson can make em’ eat out of his hand!” I didn’t understand all dat talk because your granddaddy had dat sweet way wif me that every girl dreams about. Be careful though baby. Be careful wif dem gifts dat you got. Dey may get you into trouble one day if’n you ain’t careful!

Althea slipped into a coma shortly after and lingered for a few days before dying. Gus was inconsolable and, in his sadness, forgot his grandmother’s final advice.

Tulane University was the perfect fit for Gus and he felt a queer sort of comfort in being so close to his grandfather and grandmother; after all New Orleans, the Big Easy, was his maternal family’s ancestral home. His grandmother and grandfather were both the descendants of slaves and the irony of his thoroughly middle-class upbringing was a fact that was never quite lost upon Gus.

Gus earned a degree in Communications (with a double minor in World History and Comparative Religious Study) and set about to make his mark in the world. However his knack for manipulating people and his penchant for lying bounced him from job to job. Gus didn’t quite understand why people got SO mad or why he always seemed to be the only person in the eye of the “shit-storms” he created.

Gus, nobody wants to work with a man who makes people angry… especially a BLACK MAN who makes people angry. Try and tone it down a bit.

Gus’ mama didn’t raise no damn fool. He knew fear, especially the fear of an educated black man, when he saw it. Gus tried, but could never seem to work himself back into the good graces of those people.

One day Gus made the fateful decision to pack his belongings and start the rest of his life in a small, non-descript city in the middle of America. He had a concept for a talk show and he would do public access television if it came to that!

His concept was simple: Montel Williams with a bad attitude. He wanted to get under people’s skin and expose their fraudulent natures. Why did so many people get a raw deal in this world anyway?

Gus secured a slot on public access television in Runson City and he already knew the name of his show: That Ain’t Right! It was often how he felt anyway…

His plan called for a few months of scrapping by on what he didn’t manage to save, which was damn near every penny! Gus visited his parents shortly before his move to Runson City.

They surprised him with a musty box roughly the size of a large book.

We found this in your grandmother’s belongings.

Oh?

We think she would have wanted you to have it. (His mother snickered) Its your grandfather’s “Negronomicon”. (His father laughed as his wife pronounced the name of the book) Take it with you Gus. You may need it someday…

Gus tossed the book in his trunk and there it stayed for several weeks until one fateful night he happened upon it again while cleaning his car.

Gus studied the book in the evenings for several weeks. The book was filled with the studious, yet bizarre, hand-copied writings of a lunatic. The contents detailed mad incantations in a indecipherable language that seemed a mix of African and English. It all struck Gus as incomprehensible lore yet, he could hardly believe what he was reading. It was a strange world and his grandfather’s book hinted at a knowledge that some men shouldn’t be burdened to know…

2 comments

  1. Pencil-Monkey says:

    “The Negronomicon”? Wow, that would seem pretty racist, if it weren’t for the fact that Lovecraft himself was fairly prejudiced against creed, colour and cthonians.
    The gamers at Fandible.com recently pointed out how racist the name “Shub-Niggurath” is.

  2. diomed75 says:

    Exactly my point. H.P. Lovecraft himself was an ardent racist. I can think of a few of his stories which are thinly veiled allusions (“The Street” comes to mind) to racism and racist beliefs.

    The inclusion of the “Negronomicon” is a nod to H.P.’s racism and a play on words, which in the parlance of an old southern black woman, might be somewhat understandable.

    I put some thought into imagining the way that Gus’ grandmother might speak; Deep Southern drawl and all!

    My character is a subtle nod to H.P. Lovecraft in the sense that he is stridently xenophobic, hopelessly racist and anachronistic in appearance (imagine a 30 something dressing like the title character Red Sanford from the television show Sanford & Son). Gus considers himself far older, in spirt and substance, than his chronological age suggests(in another not-so-veiled reference to H.P. Lovecraft with his love of classical literature and language of a century or two prior to the one he lived in).

    I totally understand that people might infer “racism” in Gus’ backstory, but that isn’t at all what I am going for!

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