Full Name: Unknown
Feartigo stepped through the back-alley detritus. His raggedy presence was unsettling enough to an unwary onlooker, but it was his psychic broadcast of raw dread which sent a scrawny drug dealer counting his take fleeing into the night, money fluttering to the ground in his wake. Beneath his sack-cloth mask, Feartigo smiled his ruined-face smile.
He was here to provide an update, and his contact was always punctual. Why Sanguine chose to meet in a filthy alley amid the city’s grime was unclear. It was out of the way of prying eyes, that much was true, but it was not on the bloodsucker’s usual hunting trails. The squalor did not bother Feartigo, he just questioned it, wondering what Sanguine’s angle was. He had found that to succeed in his true mission he had to question every motive and trust no-one.
Feartigo’s mind flashed backwards to earlier times when his circumstances were far different. A minor Petro loa, he had been cast out, cursed to never again to be able to mount a human host. A disembodied spirit, his urges to violence and spread fear were held in check by his lack of physical form. Those responsible were powerful bokor, and eventually those sorcerers founded the Coven. Time drifted by almost without meaning for the spirit, a century, then two. All the while from the shadows between realms the loa watched the Coven grow. Decade blurred into decade as the secret society’s ranks swelled. In time their focus fell on a wretched city on the West Coast, which soon became their main base of operations.
The loa continued to observe. New players emerged, rising through the Coven hierarchy, competing for mastery of the inexorably strengthening cabal. The loa took interest in one such, Papa Zombie. The human was a potent practitioner of voodoo, but out of his depth compared to the true powers behind the Coven. The spirit sensed the human could be useful in some way. The loa followed his quarry through a portal when Papa Zombie was captured by agents of the Necroplane and taken to their blasted world. There the loa watched, unseen, as the Necroplane made plans for an insidious invasion, systematically replacing key figures from Pulp City and across the Earth with Hollow One simulacra, Papa Zombie among them. Seizing his chance, the loa mounted a mindless Hollow One – he could exist in the physical world once again.
What happened next was remarkable, even within that alien world. The once-inert creature’s features flowed like melted wax, before slowly taking greater definition. Within minutes he stood ready before surprised necro-scientists. Feartigo was born, the embodiment of dread once more. In that instant an idea struck him, a perfect strategy. He demanded to meet their master, as he had something to offer, a bargain to make, and his wish was granted.
The plan was simple. Sacrifice the Papa Zombie simulacra as a way to support and deflect away from Feartigo’s own infiltration of the Coven. Revealing a false agent and ‘freeing’ Papa Zombie would allow Feartigo to join the inner circle and rise above suspicion. The plan worked perfectly.
Feartigo’s thoughts returned to the present. Sanguine materialized, taking form from a coalescing crimson mist. These encounters were always fraught with danger. One slip or mistaken detail could be enough to betray him. But he was not afraid. He was the essence of fear.
Sanguine looked at Feartigo with narrowed eyes and a barely concealed aversion. The lead agent of the Necroplane on Earth had refined tastes, and had lived a high life until the invasion was thwarted three years earlier. His shadowy networks remained largely intact, and that made him the ideal handler of Feartigo. The vampire hissed a little as he acknowledged Feartigo.
“I don’t trust you,” began Sanguine, surprisingly candid, “But Tenebrous has placed stock in your operation, and you have delivered useful intelligence. So far.”
Sanguine’s claws lengthened an inch, glinting in the moonlight. Was he trying to provoke Feartigo? Was he following his own agenda? Feartigo did not flinch, making no move to betray himself or provoke action, even as Sanguine took a sudden step forward. He had to see how this concluded, and ensure his best possible outcome. After a long pause, tension ebbed away as Sanguine adopted a more nonchalant pose. Feartigo pondered if he was testing him, and could only assume he had passed.
Feartigo’s loyalties were not to the Necroplane, that affiliation was simply a convenience. Those who had cast him out were long gone from the Coven, and there was no vengeance to be had. His infiltration had allowed him to swiftly rise within the ranks of the organization, aligning him to the Saints. Mastery of the cabal which had ultimately cast him out could be within his grasp. Obstacles remained, but with the correct choices, they too could be removed. Unknowing rivals such as Vendredi and the true Papa Zombie could be dealt with. The vessel of his past downfall could prove to be his true ascent, beyond the confines of the loa pantheon. Vast power could be Feartigo’s, he just had to act carefully and bide his time. They would not see him coming.