Haytham Bornhardt

Del Cenere Gang
Encender (NPC)
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Date of Birth:
30th December 2018
Haytham is a heavily hybridized dog; the bulk of his features appearing to stem from the Kangal Shepherd, Mudi, and Australian Cattle Dog breeds.

His unkempt coat is dense, medium length, and would-be soft, with a nearly imperceptible wave to it. He is mostly a warm cream color, mottled by a merle pattern across his body in shades of muddy taupe, coffee, and oyster grey. He has a solid patch of brown over his right eye, as well as on the front of his muzzle, and splash markings on the left side of his face. There is also a large brown patch on each of his pectorals, extending to his armpits. He has large, tufted, triangular ears and a long, broad muzzle punctuated by a reddish-brown nose. His eyes are honey-gold: liquid, bright, watchful. His tail is naturally bobbed.

Haytham’s hardy, muscular figure reflects an intense livelihood of demanding physical labor and his fur hides a litany of work- and fight-related scars across his body. Most notably, there are seven or eight long claw marks down his back that are practically invisible but pronounced to the touch.

In Optime, he looks somewhat stocky (even at 6’4”), broad-shouldered, and narrow-waisted, often wearing little other than his double-horn necklace and a pair of canvas-patched trousers held up by leather suspenders. (Though during the colder months, he dons a wool serape to keep warm.) His hair is thick, cut short, and usually slicked back or covered by a dark leather outback hat with one side of its brim pinned upward.

He has a smoky, rumbling voice layered by a thick Southern accent and regularly smells strongly of cigars. His bearing is proud and upright in unfamiliar company, but he has a habit of slouching when relaxed. Regardless of his posture, Haytham exudes confidence and composure, at all times certain in his actions.
Tough as nails and staunchly self-sufficient, Haytham radiates a hardihood not often seen and defers to treating others neutrally until given a reason not to. He can sometimes come off as gruff, brooding, or downright antagonistic upon first impression, but anyone who knows him better would have come to realize that this isn’t his true nature. Around the people he feels any affinity for, he is personable, sarcastic, even occasionally lively; still he tends towards a nonchalant demeanor, even with those he is closest to.

He has a dry wit and a blackened sense of humor that can become particularly nasty towards anyone he isn’t friendly with. (He can also be a mean drunk.) That being said, it is pretty hard to get a genuine rise out of Haytham. He typically maintains an invariably cool disposition and is fearless in the face of mortal dangers -- symptoms of his supreme confidence. He cannot be bought or intimidated or rattled unless someone he loves is involved.

Though his morals are few, and sometimes questionable, he only does what he believes is necessary -- good or bad -- and he’s not above using violence, which he derives no sense of enjoyment from regardless of his knack for intimidation.

He prefers not to rely on anyone but himself and his own capabilities, making it difficult for him to ask for help despite being quick to offer it for the most part. Overall, the cowdog is loyal, practical, and steadfast; an easy companion for comfortable silences, hard work, or an honest opinion.

Cohutta (Thoroughbred Mix, Stallion)
Gambler's Pride (Sharp-shinned Hawk, Female)
Bedbug (Farm cat, Queen)
Sallyforth (Karakul Sheep Mix, Ram)
Raised on a renowned livestock ranch, established by his great-great-great-great-great grandparents in the southernmost area of the Appalachians, Haytham comes from a long family line made up almost exclusively of dog ancestry. His entire family tree is a veritable mix of working dogs -- shepherds, hounds, lurchers, spitzes, gun dogs, and collies -- none of which are more pronounced in their phenotypes than the generalized LGD. He is the oldest of sixteen siblings, mostly sisters, and was close to his cousins, uncles, and aunts, all of whom grew up within the large Bornhardt Ranch community.

His parents, Harlem Bornhardt and Bailey Jacks-Bornhardt, trained Haytham with the expectation that he would run the ranch one day after their passing or retirement. He consistently refuted that such a responsibility was his destiny, but continued to work on the ranch for the sake of his younger siblings and the other many mouths that needed feeding on the homestead. He enjoyed the busy work but despised the Bornhardt’s trade, especially when it came to dealing with the neighboring landowners, the Stackhouses.

The day he expressed his intentions to cut all ties with the business-side of the ranch affairs and sequester the family into a self-sustaining commune when control fell to him, Harlem drummed up the support of his brother, as well as a mob of cousins and in-laws, to drive him off. Haytham’s grandmother, Valleyway, squirreled away a cart full of supplies for him along with his favorite horse, Cohutta, and he left the ranch behind, surviving on his own (by luck and savvy) for over a year.

At summer’s end in 2022, Haytham came across the Lancaster Stockshow and found himself reminded of his home while enjoying the festivities as well as the company of the Del Cenere Gang, the coyote pack hosting this annual event. He joined the Gang shortly after, though faced several hardships in their midst given his loner nature and non-coyote heritage. On a solo hunting trip near the end of winter, he was attacked and robbed by two unknown assailants -- one of which he killed -- leaving him with internal injuries and heavy scars across his back.

During his recovery, he became particularly close to a recent transplant from Palisade, Olivier Ardoix, who seemed sympathetic to his particular brand of grievances concerning the Gang’s prejudices. The two of them made a blood pact to help one another reach their “full potential” as members of the Gang.
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