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- Born in Newfoundland to impoverished Scottish immigrants, life began as an uphill climb for Cyrus James McKinnon. His father was a sailor, and often a drunkard. Despite his relatively kind heart at home, he had a tendency to get into fierce arguments at the bar, and one of these ended with his death when his son was about 9 years old. Shortly after, Cyrus’s mother married a merchant from the United States, and he was brought along with her to live with him in Vermont.
- While his mother's new husband was, admittedly, a more upstanding member of society than Cyrus's real father, he was scarcely an improvement at home. He gave his stepson harsh beatings for minor infractions on a regular basis, and by the time he was 14, Cyrus had had enough, and ran away from home to join the Union Army. Given his age, he was barred from service as a regular soldier. Instead, he was enlisted as a message carrier. Linked to the Army of the Potomac as part of the Vermont Brigade, he took part in the grueling Overland campaign, bearing witness to some of the worst fighting of the entire conflict at Cold Harbor, Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness. After the war, Cyrus spent some time in Chicago, getting an education and some work with the help of an officer who had come to be some sort of mentor to him. He had no fondness for urban living, and felt a near constant yearning for the woodlands of Vermont and even Nova Scotia, as far away as that had become. This alien environment did nothing to aid the mental and emotional trauma he had suffered either, so he set off for the newly minted state of Colorado for a fresh start.
- The trip was a long and arduous one, but ultimately it was fruitful. Cyrus had ended up as a sheriff's deputy in a mining town with a particular penchant for crime and corruption. On account of his hot temper and hefty right hook, he quickly gained a reputation as an efficient, if occasionally overzealous, agent of the law. After nearly half a decade of breaking up bar fights and hanging horse thieves, he applied for a new position as a U.S Marshal. With his exemplary service, he was accepted quickly, and came into contact with a lifelong adversary for the first time. After the death of Brigham Young, some elements of the Mormon church splintered off, with some venturing out into neighboring areas, often bringing with them the more extreme approach to their faith.
- The Children of Nephi were once such group, and upon their settlement in Colorado they quickly became a pest to local authorities. McKinnon had cut his teeth as a marshal rather quickly, gunning down a litany of would-be train robbers and bandit posses in a short period of time. The Mormons, however, proved to be a more daunting foe. Despite their violent practice of blood atonement, they claimed to be a peaceful community. They grew a little quieter in their movements after a number of their members hanged for conspiracy.
- It was during his time with the Marshals that he was wed to a local shopkeep, a Mexican woman named Catalina. They were more than content, though after a little over a year of marriage she was taken by tuberculosis. After this ordeal, McKinnon resigned from his post as a marshal and left Colorado, settling down in the Southwest for a time. While bounty hunting became his main source of income, he also found some success as a trader, having made solid inroads with a Navajo community after breaking up a potential conflict brewing between them and local white settlers. Despite the economic comfort, and relative social prestige, Cyrus's wanderlust tugged at him, and he traveled north to the Dakota and Wyoming territories in search of a more restless existence.
- That was precisely what he received, hunting bounties that took extreme distances to track and capture and struggling to grasp the intricacies of the Lakota language. His long, lonely treks back and forth across the frontier reinforced his already strong affinity for solitude and the outdoors. When he gained some public attention for chasing a man across the border into Canada to bring him back to the gallows, he caught the attention of Julien Gaudreau, a Gangrel who had roughed similar terrain as a fur trapper about 150 years prior. He followed McKinnon back south into America, tracking him for a number of weeks before ambushing him as he made camp one night.
- Gaudreau did not abandon his childe after creating him, instead honing his new abilities and laying out some of the political concepts. After a few years of travelling throughout the upper frontier of the US, the two parted ways amicably, and Cyrus returned to Colorado after a long absence. Denver was ruled in a unique fashion, the local prince effectively governed the city hand in hand with an independent Lasombra elder. His sire had instilled a healthy skepticism of the sects in Cyrus, but nonetheless he ended up putting his law enforcement experience to use, tracking down would-be fugitives and bringing them back to the city for judgement. It was a steady pace of living, something that kept him over into the 20th century. That was when things went south. Somehow, the cult of Mormon fundamentalists that had caused so many problems for him as a mortal had cropped up once again. One subgrouping had taken up hunting as their calling, and a mob of them had tracked down the marshal that wronged them all those years before. They were skilled trackers, so he had no choice but to leave home yet again. This time he went west, over the mountains towards the Pacific, but they still persisted. After a few close calls too many, Cyrus went into torpor somewhere in the Santa Monica mountains.
- He laid there in stasis for roughly a century, before waking up on a crisp morning in the backyard of a Beverly Hills penthouse. Even after raiding the homeowner’s liquor cabinet, the transition was too much. He convinced the man, a nebbish screenwriter, to let him stay, and camped out in the basement guest room until his condition returned. It was almost a pleasant surprise. He bonded the writer as a ghoul, seemingly for pragmatic purposes, although deep down Cyrus had grown to appreciate his company, and set out into the night, completely unsure of himself or his course of action.
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