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Marco Hietala

High Concept Apsect: 
Displaced Werewolf Bassist
Trouble Aspect: 
Sticks out like a sore thumb
Phase 1 Aspect: 
Starving Artist
Phase 2 Aspect: 
Ooh, That Smell
Phase 3 Aspect: 
Great Responsibility
Phase 4 Aspect: 
Beauty of the Beast
Phase 5 Aspect: 
One Track Mind
Acquainted With: 


Musician in a Finnish symphonic metal band. Think Thor, but with a bit more beastliness of the mundane sort.

Trouble: Sticks out like a sore thumb
Doesn't even have to open his mouth to get the, "He's not from around here," reaction. Big, blonde, hairy, and a bit imposing.

Background: Starving Artist

Marco was raised by his father. His mother died when he was too young to remember, and his dad never cared to look for anyone else. His father was gruff and stern -- the type to throw around words like 'tough love' when more liberal parents might use words like 'child abuse'. In his heart he meant well, though, and he brought Marco up to be Tough Stuff. After high school, Marco took his garage band, Tarot, professional and started earning a living (although only just) playing bass and singing wherever they could book a show.

Here's a song of theirs:

One night, when Marco was 22, he woke up in the woods, naked, next to the gnawed carcasses of small animals that might, perhaps, have been rabbits. He knew he had drunk a lot the previous night, but couldn't help thinking that normal people wake up naked next to a hooker or on somebody's couch or floor or at least somewhere in town. The taste of blood in his mouth was unsettling. He wandered through the woods until he came to a small cottage. It didn't seem anybody was home, so he stole a pair of trousers from the clothesline and wandered, at length, back into town and home.

This was the first time this happened, but it would not prove to be a unique experience.

Rising Conflict: Ooh, That Smell

After one of his 'episodes', he woke up to the now familiar feeling of dirt and leaves beneath his arse and the scent of blood and flesh in a pile next to him. But something was different. When he opened his eyes, he found a corpse as he expected, but not that of a deer or an elk. It was the body of a man. A middle-aged human man.

Unable to bear the guilt, he confided in his girlfriend, Katja, that he wasn't sure that his sanity was in tact. At first, it happened only after parties and gigs, but ever since he met Katja, it started happening much more frequently. Katja believed him without so much as raising an eyebrow. While this startled Marco, it was also a huge relief.

They arranged, first, to have him sleep with his limbs bound by rope so that he couldn't possibly walk away. Katja woke that morning to a pile of rope, still tied in knots, in the bed next to her and a very unfortunate Pomeranian. They bound him increasingly efficiently each night until they made their way to a full steel cage. That was when Katja saw with her own eyes what he became at night.

After months of much trial and even more error, they zeroed in on the cause of the shift, and found it what seemed the most unlikely place: Katja's nightstand. Her perfume--a scent coincidentally called Moonlight--was the culprit. Katja changed perfumes, but Marco started carrying a bit of it in his pocket and shifting on purpose.

The Story: Great Responsibility

The more Marco shifted, the more lucidity he gained in wolf form and the more he remembered afterward. His control was improving, but he still blacked out most of the night and still lost entire nights on occasions. Marco was a fan of comic books and couldn't help remembering the origin story of Spider-Man. The phrase "With great power comes great responsibility," repeated in his mind.

One morning, over breakfast, his dad was reading the newspaper.

"Marco," he said, "have you heard about that paska-aivo in Kymi that kidnapped that little girl? The vitun kusipää ought to be killed. No, he ought to be castrated, then killed."

Marco almost audibly muttered, "With great power . . ."

"What was that, boy?"

"Hm? Oh, I said that's terrible. He deserves what's coming to him."

And from that point he was on the case. He knocked on the door of the girl's mother and told her that he wanted to help. He didn't correct her when she assumed he was a detective. She invited him in and started showing him everything that might be helpful -- as well as quite a lot that couldn't possibly have been, but she was distraught; who could blame her? The girl's name was Tuulia. The lady showed him her room, and from that point on, the kidnapper's days were numbered.

Marco tracked the girl--and by extension her abductor--to an abandoned warehouse near the edge of the city. He knew the risk of using the perfume and shifting, but he packed a vial of the Moonlight in his pocket, just in case. As he walked into the building, he could smell her clothes. He recognized the fabric softener. Tuulia's perspiration--her fear and her anxiety--smelled similar to her mother's.

When he found Tuulia, there was no sign of the criminal. The rotta. The prey. Tuulia was cowering under a desk in a corner near a restroom door. She was afraid of Marco, and she crawled as far back into that corner as she could. Marco tried his best to comfort her--to explain to her that he was here to help. The poor kulta was terrified. She couldn't have been more than eight years old. She wouldn't trust him. No matter what Marco said, she wouldn't come with him willingly.

In his frustrated desperation trying to get the girl to come with him to safety, Marco didn't notice the man come through the door behind him. Instead, the first thing he heard was, "Hey!"

That, as it turns out, is all the man had time to say before Marco reflexively swung around and backhanded the man's head into the nearest wall. There was a thud, a snap, a crash, and the clatter of a handgun falling to the floor. Marco was horrified as he surveyed the damage. He'd snapped the kidnapper's neck and half-collapsed his skull. The wall was no better for the exchange, either.

At length, Marco managed to gain a little bit of Tuulia's trust. He contacted the police and alerted them to her location. Although he felt like a murderer, he never made it to trial. A judge determined that the act was committed in defense of not only himself but in the defense of an innocent child and was, as such, justifiable. 

Guest Star: Beauty of the Beast

Although he understood that what he did was, on the whole, a good thing, Marco still had trouble coping with what he'd done. He spent the next few nights in pubs attempting (and generally failing) to drink himself numb. Around twelve vodkas deep, one night, he was approached by someone who recognized him on the news. It was a buxom young lady who wanted to congratulate him on doing such a heroic thing. He waved her away and mumbled something about abuse of power.

This last statement caught the ear of an American (or was it German?) passerby. After a bit of conversation, he learned that the stranger was, in fact American. And German. And named Gabriel. And a were-cat. And had also killed people in the name of doing good. It turned out they had a lot in common. By the end of the night, Gabriel had made Marco feel justified in what he did, and he also felt like he had a much firmer grasp on where exactly the line was.

And then an unexpected offer was made. It was a chance to leave behind the life of a starving musician barely making ends meet and to get out of a city that would take him nowhere very, very slowly. It was a chance to be in the company of people who could train him to control his transformations and to be in control while in his wolf form. He could be gainfully employed in a capacity that would utilize his specific skills. This deal was impossible to refuse. . .

"Wait, I'm your bodyguard?"

Still, it was quite promising, and Marco agreed. He said goodbye to Katja and to his father, and Gabriel brought him back to the United States of America.

Guest Star Redux: One Track Mind

It wasn't long after Marco got to Memphis that he met Jedediah. . .