Nathan O'Dimm

Midnight Krewe
The Hanged Man
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Wolf-dog hybrid
Date of Birth:
1st October 2020
Nathan has the mean, lean look of a street kid - despite his physique, there is always a hungry sense in his eyes, as if he is desperately searching for his next meal because he has been starving for far too long. Although Nathan’s usually grinning, it’s a tight sort of smile – he does not relax easily, and he’s almost constantly on edge. Consciously or not, he constantly surveys the corners of rooms and other enclosed spaces, and his eyes do not rest on any one thing for any long period of time. He is tall and relatively well built, especially after an extended journey, but his coat has lost a bit of its traditional luster since losing his regular source and method of prey.

He’s very clearly got some wolf heritage, but Nathan’s mostly a dog. Like many dogs and dog hybrids in New Orleans, his relatively short fur is merled; it ranges from a soft cream on his belly, chest, and neck to a smattering of grays, blacks, and browns on his back, tail, and shoulders. Nathan’s clearly a Southern boy - despite the wolf in his blood, his fur is short and ill-adapted to the cold. This works in Louisiana - he’s able to stay cool with relative ease, and thrives in the oppressive humidity in the Bayou. But he shivers in the North, especially when it dips below freezing; naturally, he didn’t realize this until he was already too far North to turn back. In the cooler months, therefore, Nathan can be seen in his crudely-made gator-hide coat, pants, and gloves. They’re crudely made, of course, (and made with great reluctance - Nathan wanted to keep as many hides as he could to sell) but as effective as he could ask for. Nathan thrives in the heat, and comes alive in the summertime; consequently, he eagerly sheds his clothing as soon as he no longer shivers. Regardless of the weather, though, Nathan keeps an equally-crudely made satchel with him most of the time. It contains the trinkets he cares about, including that ill-fated diary he still cannot read and the tools he uses to treat hides. Nathan also carries two thick cords used to tie his many gator skins (as well as his fiddle - it's an odd look) closely to his back; he'd be eager for a safer spot for these.

His eyes, like many others with such Louisiana blood, are mismatched; the left is gold, and the right is a soft blue. To his great embarrassment (although he’s unsure if this is connected to his imalanced eyes), Nathan’s depth perception is absolutely awful - if he’s not paying attention, he’s running into something. To make matters worse, Nathan’s paws are slightly too large for his body, reflecting in bigger hands and paws when he’s in his (preferred) Optime form. As such, he’s not particularly graceful. Rather, Nathan moves with a blundering, yet strangely deliberate, purpose.
Nathan has a silver tongue and a penchant for lying to get his way. He is fiercely protective of his loved ones, and especially his twin brother Nazir. Their Mawmaw Sabi spoiled the twin boys the best she knew how; unfortunately, their family was a poor one with a proud streak a mile wide that did not have much to easily give the O’Dimm twins. Thus, Nathan and Nazir grew up believing they were entitled to something better than what they had, and never learned to be satisfied. As an adult, Nathan is constantly searching for something more and something better; he believes any means justifies his ends. Thus, Nathan is easily (and rightly) described as selfish, though in their youth Nazir’s practicality tempered his more reckless inclinations. Despite this, Nazir and Nathan were known for their wild, raucous nature; they were gregarious and boisterous as boys, but as adults they developed a dangerous invincibility complex. While they would have done anything for the other, neither Nathan nor Nazir extended the same grace to anyone outside their immediate family. Determined to maintain the safety of their extended family and the neighbors considered cousins, both Nathan and Nazir learned not to shy away from thievery, deceit, or - as necessary - murder. However, the events of the past four months have ripped a hole in Nathan’s supposedly unwavering self confidence; for the first time in their short life, Nathan realized what it could be to live without Nazir, and how easily that could - and would - happen if they continued robbing, fighting, and killing without consideration of the consequences.

And so Nathan left.

As he arrives in Nova Scotia, Nathan is, for the first time in his life, a man with his own identity. Several months on the road have revealed a quieter, more musical side to Nathan O’Dimm; he is rarely without his fiddle, and has realized that he might be half good at playing it. He can often be found playing outside taverns in populated areas for trinkets, which he keeps and maintains with almost religious fervor. When music is not an option, Nathan can fish well enough and loves the thrill of hunting gator in the Bayou with his brother and neighbors; however, the further north he goes, the less comfortable he is with the water (and, frankly, the weather.) Still, Nathan hasn’t entirely - or remotely, really - shed his old skin. When he can, Nathan will follow the easy way to get what he thinks he deserves (which is most things). He is quick to anger, but slow to fight, especially without his brother. As he wanders north to a land he knows only thanks to family stories told in passing, Nathan’s insecurities grow - and, as a result, so too does his brashness and inexplicable anger. Nathan isn’t used to feeling insecure, and he isn’t used to living without Nazir (but he is unlikely to share that particular vulnerability, or mention Nazir much at all.)

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Great-great grandmother: Linquilea de la Rosesanglante (b. 2006, d. 2017)
Great-great grandfather: Niccolo Ryn’hax (b. 2008, d. 2014)
Great-grandfather: Nassir Thibiodeaux (b. 2012, d. 2018)
Great-grandmother: Sabine de la Rose (b. 2012, d. 2021)
Grandmother: Valerie Watson (b. 2016)
Grandfather: Nicodemus de la Rose (b. 2015)
Mother: Lucille de la Rose (b. 2017)
Father: Nehemiah O’Dimm (b. 2017)
Siblings: Nazir O’Dimm - identical twin (b. 2020)
Cousins: Landry de la Rose (b. 2020, d. 2021); Raphael de la Rose (b. 2020); Sébastien de la Rose (b. 2020); Olivier de la Rose (b. 2020).
Nathan’s first issue was that he was born to a family that believed it was greater than it actually was, and never quite had the work ethic to achieve the greatness it thought it deserved.

Nathan’s second issue was that he was an O’Dimm, not a de la Rose. And his maternal family, the de la Rose family, would never let him forget that.

Frankly, it wasn’t his fault he wasn’t a de la Rose. Nicodemus sired only daughters - but, based on Nathan and Nazir’s huddled and hushed calculations, he’d at least been quite prolific about this. By their estimate, Nicodemus had well over twenty daughters running around the decaying New Orleans swamp, drinking and dancing and getting pregnant by tawdry men with slow, easy smiles and thick Cajun accents. The twins couldn’t quite make sense of why this was as shameful as it was, though; in the humid darkness of her bayou home, Mawmaw Sabi constantly told stories of their imposing, dark ancestor who’d come from the North to become a beast of the southern wild. As toddlers, Nathan and Nazir listened with bated breath as Mawmaw Sabi croaked her stories, reaching through the cobwebs of her mind to pass down memories of a woman who was more alligator than wolf. But as children and teenagers the twins lost their patience for stories of the glory days, instead growing angrier and angrier that they lived in a hovel that was no more than rotten planks of wood elevated precariously above the sinking marshland; a house that paled next to the comparative grandeur of downtown New Orleans.

Still, it was the hovel that made them. Neither Lucille de la Rose nor Nehemiah O’Dimm were particularly interested in parenting, and even less interested in raising twin boys together. The twins were the result of a few too many drinks on a broken dock stretching into the depths of Lake Pontchartrain, and they were given the name O’Dimm in a fit of deeply ingrained patriarchal traditionalism. But a cool drink on a hot August night does not mean that a man and a woman are meant to be, or even, for that matter, that they like each other very much. Lucille and Nehemiah tried for approximately forty-seven hours - the forty-eighth is disputed - before Lucille unceremoniously tossed him out the door, yelling that if he ever darkened her doorway again, she would show him what it meant to be a de la Rose.

It appeared Nehemiah did not find this particularly threatening, or really threatening at all, because he set up his own hovel just down the way. He did not, however, express a particular interest in raising his colorful and dynamic sons. Instead, he sat and drank and gambled and groaned, and sometimes he slipped away with three or four of his friends under the cover of darkness and came back with trinkets from the Luperci who lived downtown, the Luperci who had something. Lucille, meanwhile, could not stand the monotony of nursing two demanding babes at her breast. She was flighty, dynamic, and willful before her sons were born; she was, perhaps even moreso, flighty, dynamic, and willful after their birth. But most of all Lucille de la Rose was selfish and impulsive, and so the moment Nazir and Nathan were weaned she dropped them at her Mawmaw’s door and left.

And so Nazir and Nathan O’Dimm were raised by an old woman with creaky bones who could not keep up with two energetic, adventurous, impulsive boys. When Sabi could, she told them stories of the great days, or the days she’d been told were great, so that they would grow up with a certain level of pride and self-confidence. But the boys knew she was disappointed in them, although she would never admit it. Sabi’s fur was rich and dark; it was wolfish where it had no business being, and she was constantly overcome with bouts of the heatsick. Still, she took pride in it; she’d assumed, since her daughter and her granddaughter carried the same darkness, that her great-grandsons would as well. But they were spotted and short haired, much more like the O'Dimm's than the de la Roses, and they only had one gold eye. Sabi loved them, Sabi raised them, but Sabi knew that the O’Dimm brothers were the end of a branch on a bloodtree – and she was not ready to see it go.

Neither Nazir nor Nathan, however, were inclined to be kept inside, listening to stories. As soon as they could tumble around independently they tumbled out the door and into the heat of New Orleans East. Certainly, Sabi stood at the doorway, clouded golden eyes squinting as far as they could to follow the tiny bodies, but she could not - or would not - follow. Sabi had learned long ago that sticking her nose where it didn’t belong resulted in nothing but bloodshed. “But if only Mama could see me now.” Still, she shook off the specter of a disappointed ghost, of a woman who had wanted more for her children; a woman who had done everything for her children and her bloodline, only for them to end up impoverished at the edges of society, forced to kill for survival.

If only she could see them now.

As they grew up, Nazir and Nathan were forced to do exactly that. They had no father to teach them the trades or welcome them into a family business. They had no mother to teach them softness, or gentleness, or how to carry themselves in a world that was still hierarchical. Their grandparents weren’t in the picture. And their great-grandparents were either dust or wishing they were, sore and sick and desperately missing how she’d felt rather than what she was. Instead, Nazir and Nathan fell into the packs of pups that roamed the streets, clipping at the heels of barely post-pubescent men with cocky grins and generations-old chips on their shoulders. The twins learned to defend their neighbors like family and that defense meant blood. They learned that respect was all that mattered, and respect meant the ability to trade what they wanted, when they wanted. They learned that respect was power, and disrespect could be anything. It could be a lingering look; it could be a muttered word; it could be a drunken fight between pups who were too young to shift. And, because there were two of them, Nazir and Nathan realized there was very little that could stop them.

Sure, they learned some skills. Both learned how to hunt gators and sculpt their skins, who were challenging but plentiful in the loamy swamps. Nathan found peace dragging nets through the bayou, turning soft earth over and over until he had a sack full of wiggling crustaceans. Nazir could bring everyone together, bridging generational conflicts with words and a steaming plate of Nathan’s crawfish. And both of them could dance and play at the same time, skipping around fires with fiddles in their hands and laughter in their eyes. They were better with each other, and thus rarely seen apart. For all of her failures as a mother, Luci loved this; she stood at the back of their parties, quiet and unassuming for once in her life, before making herself scarce if the attention turned to her. For their entire childhood and adolescence, she refused to build a bond; it was one boundary that neither Nathan nor Nazir would ever try to cross. Perhaps it was their fear of abandonment. Perhaps they did not know how to accept a mother’s life, when they already had a Mawmaw.

For some, the O’Dimms were funny, brash, charismatic young upstarts who had the potential to be leaders in their little neighborhood. But for most who did not live in their neighborhood the O’Dimms were a problem backed by a bloodline that refused to acknowledge them. Not all the de la Rose offspring were at the base end of poverty, still forced to rely on their roots and base instinct. Some had managed to move closer to the center of New Orleans - though close enough still to the East to be concerned about the increasingly violent recklessness of Nathan and Nazir. As the boys got older and bolder in their antics, the proper de la Roses whispered amongst themselves that something had to be done. Nathan and Nazir were simply, in the words of their children, “not it.”

Direct conflict did not happen for quite a while. Whether through fortune or design, Nazir and Nathan kept their “work” away from the de la Rose cousins. The more proper families - as proper, really, as bastard daughters could be - warned their sons to stay away from the brash and brazen O’Dimm boys, who had quickly gained a certain level of notoriety for themselves. But the O’Dimms were arrogant as well as impulsive, and once they had it in their mind that they would rob a de la Rose family with sons close to their own age – well, there was no stopping them.

This was the night that changed Nathan’s life. If he had a chance, he’d go back - because he loved his brother. Nathan O’Dimm was not a soft boy, and he was not a soft man. Some might have seen him as one when he fished and when he tucked a fiddle under his chin to dance around a fire. But it was truly the other way around, at least in his youth. He was not soft, and he was not gentle. First and foremost (and this should have pleased his Mawmaw Sabi, but she had died and he had watched her body sink into the Bayou that had grown back and he had felt something wink out of his heart that day) Nathan O’Dimm wanted respect and he wanted power because the two were woven together. And when someone told him – and it didn’t matter who the someone was, but it wasn’t Nazir – that he would show them if he could just break into the home on the curve of Bayou St. John and steal the rose-crested journal; well – Nathan didn’t have anything else to say. Nazir and he stayed up, hunched behind a fire, and hatched a plan.

Naturally, that plan did not work. When the chaos had ended, Landry de la Rose - bright, black, golden-eyed Landry de la Rose - bled on the rotted floor, eyes vacant and open to reflect the stormy skies. Nathan and Nazir fled, for once outnumbered, and thought they were fine, for a time. But neither had ever learned to read, and could not understand the messages that arrived at their home until, in a fit of maternal instinct, Lucille read one and screamed.

Both were threatened. Both had a bounty on their head. And when they were captured, one would be tortured, and one would die at the other’s hand. It was a promise, and it was signed. Dozens, and dozens, and dozens of times.

They ignored it, at first. The twins had each other, and they had their neighborhood; there was nothing they couldn’t face. But there were fights that were messier than they should have been, and shady eyes, and whispers that even Nathan couldn’t ignore. There was a sign of weakness, and in the Bayou weakness smelled like blood. He couldn’t go on like this.

He wouldn’t let Nazir go on like this. For all Nathan O’Dimm couldn’t feel, he could feel one thing: the pounding heartbeat of his brother, constantly close, constantly reassuring, constantly alive. And he would not sacrifice that. Not for anything.

And so Nathan O’Dimm left. He packed his bags, rolled up as many gator skins as he could carry, tucked away his fiddle, and told his brother that he was leaving. Nazir hated it - he hated all things that Nathan did independently, because Nathan was prone to recklessness and violence before the situation needed it - but he also understood. Furtively, the brothers promised to see each other soon. Nazir would leave, but not after an appropriate amount of time had passed. They would head North, to a land that their ancestor Linquilea had once visited in her now mythical quest for revenge, and from there they would…

Well. They didn’t know what they would do. They were creatures of the Bayou, after all. And the north was cold, and unforgiving.

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