John Micksen is a washed-up eco-activist, a hippy and an anarcho-syndicalist who spent too long submerged in the circles of alternative politics long after the world around him had slid into a far darker, nastier place than mere authoritarianism. He committed all of his twenties and half of this thirties to a series of movements, committees, campaigns and struggles, only to see the world slipping away from him and becoming ever crueler and more degraded … as if some greater power were guiding the whole thing to ruin. By his mid-thirties he was alone, poor, cynical and sick of his political world but so committed to it that he had nowhere to go and no way out. He had become an activist lifer in a world that was rapidly closing in on his colleagues, with extreme prejudice.
Operatives of Aesir found him at this low ebb, in a sleazy bar after another fruitless meeting, and offered him an unexpected way out. They were looking for operatives, and for some reason something about John had caught their attention. Yet unaware of the chaos and demons tearing at the fabric of his reality, John could not understand what they might want him for, but they were offering him more money than he could ever earn doing cash-in-hand labouring in between activism, and he saw suddenly a chance to do something about his life – a way to jump out of the hole he could see himself slowly sliding into. [John also had other reasons, based around pride and envy, for wanting to leave his old class war days behind … but these he keeps secret from everyone].
Why would Aesir seek the services of a washed-up anti-corporate activist, who had little better to offer them than an extensive collection of anarchist magazines and a rudimentary knowledge of martial arts? Sure, he could talk, but his talk had never achieved anything. He could sometimes inspire others to great efforts, but he was avowedly no leader, and had none of the skills at organization or management that would make him a useful manager … what skills could they have sought? They of course saw something in him that he was not aware of himself – his coming Awakening. After his first mission for Aesir, John was taken into the confidence of the Faerie Queen of Winter, and offered ascension into the powers of a mage if he would agree to be her Winter Knight. Having spent years with no temporal power of any kind, the offer was too good to refuse, and John’s powers were awakened.
John had spent years as an eco-activist and friend of the wilds; it was only natural that upon awakening he was drawn to the path of Thyrsus, and the order of the Free Council. His powers are primarily in manipulation of life and fate, with lesser focus on the other forces of the natural and spirit worlds. In returning from Faerie he found himself stronger, more vigorous and with an enchanted kind of grace that others now noticed – something about him was oddly changed, more feral and wild even as his physical demeanour was tamed by corporate servitude. His eyes had become an icy blue, his skin had lost the worn, leathery cast of a man who has spent years in forests and boats; now he was pale, always cold, and imperious in manner where before he had been rough, warm and careworn. He was stronger, and fought more like an expert than a dilettante – and his blows were hard, cold and lethal, as if his body were no longer mere flesh.
The awakened John had little time to put his talents to use for Aesir, however, because a team of assassins came for him in his apartment, and he had to flee. He managed to rejoin his team and, mistakenly thinking Aesir had tried to kill them, they set off to find a ay to fix their own problems. His only alliance now is to his Winter Queen, and to his friends … John has been cast even further away from humanity than before Aesir found him, but now he is desperate and Awakened. He has traded dialectical materialism and solidarity for esotericism and desperation, and he no longer cares where his road takes him, provided he can find vengeance along the way…