Birthday: 10th June
Eyes: Olive green
Species: Cursed Human (Hunter)
Dislikes: Preachers, people who don't keep their promises, Death (the reaper himself), witches (in particular), humans who hinder "the cause"
He was born José Henrique Fernandes de Alcântara in 15th century Lisbon to a Portuguese mother of minor nobility and a Spanish father who served as a knight in the conquering armies of the Reconquista. His father was of mixed heritage, and converted from the religion of his Moorish forefathers to Catholicism for the love of the woman who would later become his wife. Along with José, his parents had one other child; his younger brother Antonio.
In light of the era they were raised in, the brothers often suffered prejudice during their childhood due to their father's background. Though never severe, words were often still harsh and hurtful. This was especially so for José because he was the eldest, and therefore the protector. He was left starved for a father-figure during much of his young life, as his own was always away at war, and as a result grew to be self-reliant and independent at an early age. However, whatever attention he craved was usually directed towards his younger brother, who tended to show innate talent in many skills that José had taken years to master. Regardless of Antonio's apparent affection towards him, José sometimes forgot himself, and childhood resentment and bitterness would fuel his actions. His mother died of illness when he was 15, and effectively barred from inheriting much from her estate due to blood ties and internal family feuds, he eventually decided to become a soldier like his father. Much to his chagrin, Antonio would soon follow.
Service to the CrownEdit
From here they travelled to the Kingdom of Aragon and the seaside city of Barcelona, where they lived and served at an outpost with other men in the royal armies. However with the war against the Moors over before their time and the only other form of entertainment available to them being the great witch hunts endemic to Catalonia, José’s attention turned to the sea. For a time he longed to journey to the East, enthralled by tales brought back by the Portuguese sailors, but as he knew nothing of the navy and was 18 and inexperienced besides, his dreams grudgingly remained as just that; dreams. It would not remain so for long, because while José was predispositioned not to be as impulsive and foolhardy as his younger brother, he was every bit as bullheaded and like many reckless young men, thought he was invincible.
When copies of the Malleus Maleficarum (also known as the “Hammer of Witches”) began circulating through Europe, both were enthused and caught up in the sweep of persecutions, throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the secret raids carried out by their peers against the women deemed mistresses of the Devil. Until then, it was the closest José had ever come to bonding with Antonio, and they would often find themselves talking late into the night about joining the fleets taking conquistadors to the New World, where they would bring salvation to the natives and crush their heathen ways, the same way the crusaders had done the Moors in the past. It would be during one such raid that their lives would change forever.
Catalonian Witch HuntsEdit
An attack on an inner-city coven would prove to accommodate true witches, not just women who were accused of being allegedly strange by observers, and soon the entire party would find themselves fighting for their lives. While not outnumbered, the witches had the advantage of dark magic on their side, and it wasn’t long before a number of men were killed. At one point José and Antonio attempted to run, but they only made it as far as the back alley before one of the witches caught up with them. She pinned Antonio to the wall as José fled, and said she was to rip out his bleeding heart, as so far he had hesitated to make a kill and now it would cost him his life. However at that moment José returned and, in a fit of pique, swung a lit oil lamp at the witch, causing the object to break and burst into flame upon her person, allowing his younger brother to wriggle free.
This in mind, he brazenly challenged the remnants of the coven; they gave chase and José ran, effectively drawing them away from his friends and colleagues. Though he did not turn back to look, he ran all the way to the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, only to find the crone mother, the coven leader, waiting for him in the shadows. She was not best pleased with him, as it turned out the witch he had set aflame was her own sister. The crone mocked and taunted him as he circled her, backing up the cathedral steps as though the holy doors would act like a buffer between them. She looked into his heart and mind and declared him too easy to read and of no sport; that she would kill his brother as he had her sister, but that he would not even feel it. How he was selfish, and had gone through life showing animosity towards the boy for things out of his control; that he was no better than a demon, a creature that felt nothing but anger and hatred for his brother for outdoing him, towards his mother for dying, against his father for being there, and for his own “dirty” blood.
Blinded by fury, José lunged at the crone with his sword in hand, going after her in exactly the way she had wanted. She grabbed him around the throat with her gnarled fingers and held him aloft, then she told him in no uncertain terms that she would kill him and rid the world of him; a man undeserving of love, as he was every bit as unforgiving and malevolent in his torture of her kind as a denizen of Hell. Though what she would do to him, José never found out, because in the next instant the crone was without her head, and her body tumbling down the cathedral steps, with Antonio ashen, pale, and wielding a bloody sword in the place where she had stood. For awhile the pair just stared at each other, and started to laugh, clasping arms in an uncertain gesture of brotherhood when the body at the foot of the steps gave a heave and the head turned towards them.
Dark magic filled the crone as she screamed at them, that while she was not yet dead she would put a curse upon the brothers, so that they would be fated to be apart and never understand each other for all eternity. As she said this Antonio would freeze up, his limbs bound tight against his body as a sickly green light filled the cathedral square and engulfed him, shining out of the crevices like a cracking statue, and José could only watch in horror as it happened. It was the crone’s laughter that brought him back to his senses, and on impulse he leapt from the stairs and grabbed the dismembered head in his fist. It continued to laugh until he pulled his rosary from his neck and shoved it inside her mouth, pressing the silver cross against her tongue until she was screaming for an entirely different reason, and before long she stilled, her head and body crumbling into dust upon his hands to be blown away by the wind.
Joining the Holy OrderEdit
The archbishop found him kneeling on the steps when he came outside to investigate the source of the screaming, cradling an unconscious calico cat amongst a bundle of bloody clothes in his arms with a stricken expression on his face. He took them in, and offered José a place to stay until he recovered. It wouldn’t be until many months later that he would finally offer the true events of what happened that night, and the archbishop would recommend them to an acquaintance of his in the Vatican whom he thought might be able to help. Antonio had adapted to his new form rather well, and did not blame his brother for the misfortune but José was full of guilt, and it was on this advice that they travelled to Rome. It was there that José would meet Vash Zwingli, a captain in the Swiss Guard, and be introduced to the cardinal who ran an order known only as the Hunters. Determined to change his brother back no matter the cost, José joined their ranks under intensive training, discarded his name along with his past, and henceforth became Gabriel dos Anjos.
Gabriel was a quick study and an even quicker shot, so from the moment his training was complete he hopped a ship back to Spain and sailed with a fleet to the New World as an emissary of the Vatican. However in spite of this, he was more conquistador than priest, and reveled in the riches of the Americas; the adventure he had been longing for. The strange thing was that now he and Antonio were closer as brothers, despite the fact that one of them was a cat; Gabriel had learned quickly how to gauge his brother’s expressions, and it helped that Antonio was every bit as enthusiastic as a feline as he had been as a human.
For a long time they searched the ancient civilizations for a cure, and it was by meddling in such old magic, coupled with materialistic greed, that Gabriel soon found himself every bit as cursed as his brother. Yet he continued delving into his discoveries, determination growing into obsession, so by the time the Empire had conquered the New World, Gabriel had left the burning cities of stone with stolen gold heavy in his pockets and cursed by magic so deep that even after fifty years, he would look like he hadn’t aged a day.
In time, the brothers would use their newfound “immortality” to their advantage, sailing to every corner of the discovered world to drink up new knowledge of what was happening to their bodies and where to go next, from the farthest reaches of the Amazon to the courts of China. As a Hunter, Gabriel had access to places that ordinary people did not, and so he kept his loyalty to Vatican as a side job, until it too morphed to become another part of his life. While he never showed the tendency to take sick pleasure in the torturing and murder of supernatural creatures like some other Hunters, he took whatever he could with all the grace and understanding that the more he learned, the closer they would get to their goal. Eventually this would lead to him cultivating a reputation that he would take on any beast, so long as the commission was high enough. This was of course half true; as the money funded his travels, but he had no preferences. So long as a creature posed enough of a threat to humanity, Gabriel would feel obligated to see that they were stopped, more so out of personal convictions stemming from his own helplessness when his brother was turned, rather than because he fancied himself a glorified monster killer.
Relationship with the Kirkland CovenEdit
It was during such travels that he would come to meet Arthur, in the late 18th century. Gabriel had been the guest of a bookseller in Bristol, and had been perusing the shelves for grimoires to assist with Antonio’s condition when a hungry vampire lunged at him. What became a violent struggle and fight in the dark ended rather anti-climatically when said vampire sank his fangs into Gabriel’s neck, only to rear back spitting a few minutes later because as it turned out, cursed blood tasted pretty awful. Emboldened by the fact that the vampire could not kill him, Gabriel sought a pact with Arthur in exchange for information and assistance, in return for insight into the Hunters’ movements. It was through this that he and Antonio came to live in Arthur’s house, and were allotted two entire rooms to themselves; a bedroom, and a storage room that Gabriel would clutter with souvenirs he would bring back from their journey. The house soon became their home base, for it was in vampire territory, and they did not have to move from location to location to protect their own lives. Given the unusual circumstances of their meeting, and the mutual understanding between them, it was decided that stranger things had happened when what started out as an odd little friendship eventually blossomed into romance. As all of Arthur’s vampiric tendencies were useless on Gabriel, he found him to be rather charming in his own exotic way.