(Note: The information below was last updated on 23/3/2011.)
Black Dagger Brotherhood: Butch O’Neal aka Dhestroyer, descended of Wrath, son of Wrath, aka Brian O’Neal
The defining moment of Butch’s life was the day he saw his 15-year old sister Janie get into a car with a group of boys and didn’t tell his parents she was breaking the rules. She was later found raped and murdered. Up to that point, Butch had been treated differently to the rest of the family and frequently beaten by his father, but since then he was blamed for what happened to Janie and virtually ostracised. He was twelve years old.
Years later, he found out that the reason his father stopped hitting him after Janie’s death was that the old man believed Butch had killed Janie by sending her away with those boys as revenge for the beatings, and didn’t want to give Butch an excuse to kill any more of his children.
Butch went on to become a homicide detective, but didn’t completely belong on the police force either. He didn’t always follow the rules and was well known to rough up the suspects. His life had a definite use-by date: he frequently got wasted on Scotch, had done coke, had empty, meaningless sex, and his job was wearing him down to death. Butch was eventually canned for breaking the nose of a senator’s son who had tried to rape Beth Randall, a young journalist he admired for being gorgeous without using her looks to get ahead.
He was with Beth when her transition was about to start, but took her to Wrath, believing him to be Beth’s dealer. After an initial conflict with the Brotherhood, he was allowed to stay because Vishous had seen him in a dream and took responsibility for him. That night he met Marissa, who made him feel like his slate was wiped clean by being around her purity. Marissa had just divorced Wrath after realising that he would never want her and that he had already fallen for Beth, so Butch’s almost reverent attentions were very welcome.
His life began to improve. He worked out, started dressing in designer threads and became tight with V and Rhage, but because he was human he never completely belonged with the Brotherhood or Marissa either. Instead of being able to protect people, he was kept on the sidelines while his new friends fought and Marissa refused to see him. His life was in limbo—he couldn’t go back (not that there was much to go back to), but as a human, he couldn’t go forward.
One night at ZeroSum, the Reverend noticed that Butch kept turning down his girls and offered him someone out of the ordinary to take his mind off his troubles. Butch was about to turn this one down as well until he saw her. ZeroSum’s head of security, Xhex, has the musculature of a male with hair to suit, and small breasts. She looked like she’d make him hurt enough to forget the new life he was trapped in and the female he couldn’t have and he felt self-destructive enough to accept what she offered.
On the way back to the Escalade that night, he interrupted a bunch of lessers terrorising a male, but was captured when their backups arrived. The fore-lesser tortured him for info on the Brotherhood, but he gives them nothing. The Omega cut off the tip of his own finger and implanted it in Butch’s stomach before wiping his memory, in the hopes that he would unknowingly lead the Omega to the Brothers.
V found Butch and, under the Scribe Virgin’s advice, removed the Omega’s finger with his glowing hand. V then had him quarantined at Havers’s clinic, where he hovered his glowing hand over the wound and also sent Marissa to help Butch recover.
It is impossible to talk about Butch without mentioning V. They bonded over the Boston Red Sox and setting up the compound’s security system with Rhage before moving into the compound’s gatehouse. Maybe some of the closeness comes from Butch being V’s responsibility because he was the one who said Butch had to stay with the Brotherhood (on some not-completely-sexual-but-not-completely-unsexual level a sub to V’s dom?).
Butch never treated V as different from the others, and V respects strength and those who help others. Butch stood up to the Brotherhood the night he met them, despite being the undisputed underdog, and was fired from the police force for disregarding the rules that protect the perp.
So while V, who had kept himself separate from others for so long, became attached to Butch, Butch was getting closer to Marissa, who hadn’t been aware he’d gone to see her earlier. V happened to see them on a monitor and felt jealous of their closeness in comparison to the hardcore meaningless sex he had.
Marissa’s brother, Havers, also saw Marissa getting too close to Butch and ejected him from the clinic at the first opportunity. Havers told Marissa off, and she told her brother that she would be honoured to be mated to Butch. Butch moved into V’s penthouse while V tried to find out if Butch was evil.
At the next Princeps Council meeting an anonymous motion was submitted, using Bella’s kidnapping and Wellsie’s murder (her poor cousin Sarelle wasn’t mentioned, strangely enough) as justification for locking away all unmated females so that their only contact with the world would come via a male relative who would has the right to admit or deny whenever he felt like it. Although Marissa had been mated to Wrath, everyone knew she wasn’t really his shellan, so she was the only member of the Princeps Council who would be affected by the motion.
Immediately after the meeting, Havers threw Marissa out of his house and washed his hands of her. With only half an hour until dawn, she materialised to the Brotherhood compound, humiliated and hoping Wrath would take pity on her. Beth welcomed her and Wrath extended an indefinite invitation to stay.
Butch returned to the mansion and his relationship with Marissa developed further until she needed to feed. Butch offered himself, but was turned down because she would drain him. She went to feed from Rehvenge while Butch met V for a drink at ZeroSum after walking in on V having sex with a bound female.
When the Reverend arrived, Butch instinctively attacked, smelling Marissa on him. When V and Butch left, they found some lessers and Butch instinctively inhaled one, but started smelling like a lesser again and worried that the Omega made him evil.
Marissa returned to the mansion to find Butch drunk and bruised. She tended to him and they had sex, but it didn’t live up to her expectations (whose first time did?). As she dressed the next evening, all of her clothes reminded her of her old life, trapped in the glymera’s contempt, so she burned them in the backyard and was saved from burning by Wrath.
Butch was overwhelmed and told V that he wanted out, even if it meant V had to kill him. V told him that they can find out if Butch has any vampire blood in him and Butch decided to go ahead with it. Marissa didn’t want him to because there was a high risk that Butch would not survive the investigation, and when they learnt that Butch is actually descended from Wrath’s line, Marissa wanted him to forgo the transition for the same reason. He gave in to her, but after he explained about his family and never having anywhere to belong before he met her, she realised that he needed to go through the transition or he’d never be happy.
After the transition, he went through the change and became as big as a Brother, but the rule is that his mother must be a Chosen.
The dream V had of Butch came true when V got drunk, stripped to his glowing skin, and before Butch can stop him, jumped off his balcony penthouse. Partway down, he dematerialised and embraces Butch. When Butch wondered why he felt soothed when V’s glowing skin should burn him, The Scribe Virgin appeared and told them it’s because Butch is the Dhestroyer and he and V are two halves of a whole.
Once Marissa found out that Butch intended to fight for the race, she left him and focused on the Safe Place, her new house and female vampire refuge.
The Princeps Council met to vote on the mandatory sehclusion motion and Marissa informed them that, as the eldest of her bloodline, she rather than Havers held her family’s vote, which she cast against the motion, preventing it from being taken further.
Butch, V and Rhage disrupted the meeting to tell the leahdyre that Lash was busted dealing drugs. Outside, the Omega told Butch that he is the Omega’s son and to find his family because blood is important.
Butch realised that he had a hero complex because he wanted to be forgiven for what happened to Janie.
Marissa conveniently came to the conclusion that she left Butch for pretty much the same reason that Havers kicked her out and that she should go back to Butch, moments before the other shellans arrived to tell her basically the same thing.
Butch was inducted into the Brotherhood, but the event was hollow without Marissa. He returned to find Marissa waiting at the mansion for him. She proposed and they were mated immediately.
The Omega, Lessening Society and Lash
The Omega is the Scribe Virgin’s brother and like his sister, spends most of his time in another realm. Dhundh (hell) is actually well-decorated and has candelabra everywhere. His company consists of these black, oily beasts of indeterminate gender that are constantly looking for sex. The Omega is a misogynist, so the creatures are most likely male.
Unlike his sister, he was not given the gift of creation. Out of jealousy over this gift, he takes humans (serial killers, sociopaths, etc.) and inducts them into the Lessening Society (the members are called lessers). The heart is removed and placed into a jar and the recruit gets some sort of infusion from the Omega. From then on, they don’t eat or sleep and can’t get it up, so that nothing distracts the lessers from the Omega’s mission.
Lessers are identified by their last initial—e.g. David Ormond would be Mr. O.
There is usually a leader known as the fore-lesser, who commands the troops and gets a few extra powers, such as the ability to paralyse other lessers, but in return the fore-lesser is the Omega’s special little bitch. So power in the organisation is a double-edged sword because no one wants the Omega’s attention.
The longer a lesser has been in the society, the paler he becomes. A veteran has albino-white skin, pale eyes and white-blonde hair. They all stink of baby powder.
The conventional method of killing lessers is stabbing them through the heart, which causes the essence of the Omega that kept them animated to return to the Omega; however, the Dhestroyer is able to inhale the lesser and the Omega’s essence, which theoretically would lead to the Omega being consumed, one lesser at a time.
So once he worked out that he had potentially brought about his own demise, the Omega went back 25 years in the past and impregnated a vampire female, who died delivering his spawn. The young was then adopted by an aristocrat family and raised as a vampire.
Lash seemed to have a lot of behavioural problems growing up and basically thought he was better than everyone else because his father was the Princeps Council leahdyre and the family was loaded, but any time he actually faced trouble he folded like laundry. He specifically targeted John Matthew for being mute and raised by humans, as well as his cousin Qhuinn for having mismatched eyes, and was suspended from the Brotherhood’s training program for dealing drugs.
After his transition he returned with a military-style makeover and a new attitude. To paraphrase John Matthew, his whole bearing told you he didn’t feel the need to pose anymore because he now had what it took to back himself up. Instead of being a mostly verbal pain in the arse, he became a physical threat to John, especially when his work at Havers’s clinic gave him access to John’s file and details of his rape. He threatened to spread the word (and prevent John from ever being respected by vampire society) but when he tried to rape John, Qhuinn slit his throat.
Lash was taken to Havers’s clinic immediately, but the lessers found him and took him to the Omega. The Omega suffocated Lash, removed the vampire heart and blood, which he replaced with his own fist and blood.
Instead of feeding from female vampires, Lash now feeds from lessers. He still gets to eat and have sex, but unlike vampires, he can walk in the sun. He unknowingly picked up an underage girl at a bar and used her sexually (I don’t care that it was a random bar pickup, I’m still calling it: Lash is a dud lay!) and since he left her feeling dirty and unsatisfied, she ratted him out to the cops. Lash was arrested and taken to a holding cell where he met some gangbangers who might make good recruits.
He also killed his vampire parents and had his old house looted. He also sent lessers out to other glymera households to kill the vampires and doggen (servants) and pillage the valuables, which will be very useful to the society because it’s hard to keep track of funds with so many changes in leadership.
John Matthew saw Lash as he was returning to his father, but isn’t sure that he hadn’t hallucinated, so the Brotherhood still believes Lash gave up the glymera under torture before dying.
Lash called a meeting and declared himself king of the lessers, while the fore-lesser seems relegated to right-hand man and Lash’s personal bitch.
The Lessening Society is going broke, despite the raids on the glymera as emptying those bank accounts and selling the valuables has proven difficult. To save on rent money, Lash has ordered the lessers to live together in small groups. Their usual weaponry against the Brotherhood is very basic and doesn’t require maintenance and consumables like bullets and oil.
Lash was able to buy guns off some bikers he met in jail but Wrath located them and had Butch confiscate them. He also hoped the bikers would provide great recruitment opportunities, but if he recruited one, he’d tell his friends about his new role as a lesser. If he took them all on, he risked an attack on his authority.
In addition to recruits and resources, Lash is also in the market for allies and set up a meeting with the symphath king and was surprised to not only feel creeped out but strangely attracted at the same time. He needed the symphaths onside because although he was a sleeper in the vampires’ upper echelons, he has no idea how to find those who have gone into hiding or belong to the lower classes. As symphaths can sense vampires’ locations, they would make an invaluable ally.
They made a deal: Lash will kill a male for the symphath king, who in return will find vampire targets for Lash.
Meanwhile, Lash abducted Grady, the drug dealer with the eagle jacket he met in gaol, who was the same lowlife who beat to death his girlfriend, a ZeroSum prostitute. Grady set up meetings with other dealers, where Lash had them killed and their stash confiscated. The last couple of dealers were taken for lesser-style persuasion to give details of their suppliers. It then didn’t matter that Xhex butchered Grady.
Lash came to realise that Rehvenge was most likely the big supplier in town, so he will have to be taken care of, but ZeroSum was blown up overnight, apparently with Rehvenge inside.
Only after he sees for himself how lucrative drugs are, Lash returned to the symphath colony to fulfil his obligation to the king. Rehvenge was there but called the king ‘princess’, which made Lash feel relieved that he is not gay. Taking the opportunity to rid himself of the competition, Lash fired at Rehv, but the princess pushed his arm away to protect Rehvenge.
The battle ended when the true symphath king arrived. Rehv was imprisoned, while the princess was given to Lash to use as he saw fit as a gesture of goodwill from the king and to punish the princess for her attempted treason.
He was only able to hold onto her for a month before she escaped and he followed her back to the colony, where he encountered the Brotherhood for the first time since his death. His fireballs knocked them all down except for Rhage’s beast, but the beast’s fire did nothing to him. The beast only went down when fired on at close range.
Lash took advantage of the beast’s unconscious state to find his princess. She was clearly fixated on Rehvenge, but when Xhex took her down in a hail of bullets, Lash cradled her gently until he saw that she was still reaching out to Rehv. Then he slammed her into a wall, hoping that he was the one who actually killed her.
Lash believes Xhex owes him big for killing both his drug contact and his sex slave (he blames Xhex for the princess’s death even though he hoped he was the only who actually killed the princess for rejecting him). He cast a shadow across the floor and threw it over Xhex’s head. One punch knocked her out and he escaped before the other symphaths entered Rehvenge’s cell.
Lash holds her captive behind his force field in the bedroom of a nice house in a nice neighbourhood for around four weeks. What starts out as punishment and revenge becomes addiction as Xhex fights back. (Before his transition, Lash had a rottweiler and decided to pierce its ear with a pin. The dog bit him and left holes in Lash’s arm, earning his respect and love.)
Recognising that the society needs both soldiers and salesmen, Lash recruits an up and coming dealer and realises that he needs to establish a relationship with the big supplier.
After returning from Dhundh to ask the Omega to induct the dealer, Lash felt sick like he was getting a cold and noticed a grey patch of skin bordered by black on his arm that oozed after he washed it.
During the transformation, he noticed his ooze getting worse and discovered more black sores on his body. Unwilling to interrupt his father, Lash fed from his fore-lesser. He felt stronger for having fed, but refuses to feed from males on a regular basis.
His new recruit is currently keeping the Omega occupied, so Lash rested and saw a vision of himself at the house where he was raised by the vampires. He looked down and saw that his arm was no longer solid, which horrified him.
He’d had the foresight to cancel his meeting with the major drug supplier, but couldn’t have known that decision would result in the Brothers following his fore-lesser home and decimating him. When he returned home, he saw Mr. D’s car in the driveway and immediately knew something was wrong. He drove around to the front of the house to check that Xhex was still there.
Lash still does not feel 100% and believes that since lesser blood helped, what he really needs is a female lesser. Luckily he still has Xhex.
He asked the Omega to turn a female into a lesser for him, without her needing to become part of the society. His father replied that he’d never turned a female before, but never directly refused. Lash pushed ahead and made plans for Xhex that night.
He noticed his skin becoming worse.
With Xhex gone, Lash picked up a prostitute, but when he arrived at the farmhouse only he knew about, the new recruit had left and his father hadn’t appeared. He tried to go to Dhundh, but was shut out. His cell rang and the new recruit told Lash he was his new boss and he was going to kill him. Bringing up a female to his father was a mistake.
Lash made good his escape and after hiding himself behind a force field that would keep him hidden from other lessers and hopefully the Omega, he turned the prostitute into a lesser.
The next night Lash woke, horrified to find his skin was coming off, with only oily black covering his muscles, organs and bones.
He has to use all of his powers to keep himself together and hidden, so is reduced to walking. He found a party at the farmhouse and his replacement arriving in style. Killing his replacement has become a higher priority even than being with Xhex because he wants to send a message to his fickle father.
His replacement had put the word out about the party to gather bodies for a mass induction into the society. Lash had been based in the vampire world, so didn’t have the sheer number of human connections to be able to impress his father like this.
He decides that the enemy of his enemy is his friend and calls the Brotherhood to give them details of the new induction.
He puts the prostitute lesser out of her misery and the power he’d driven into her returned to him, explaining why Butch is such a threat. He found another pro to feed from, but her blood tasted bad. He noticed that his hand had turned to black fog, but his wrist was still corporeal. This time he’s not horrified to see his transformation because he realises he’s becoming like his father.
A would-be mugger with a muscular build gave Lash the idea to create his own lesser army. He also plans to resume establishing a relationship with the drug supplier and usurp his replacement.
He also uses coke to keep himself going when his strength is low and has the power to temporarily influence humans for a second or two, like mentally giving one the suggestion to crash his car into his neighbour’s house.
He turned three more after interrupting their drug deal and forces the supplier Benloise to give him an advance. His bodyguards deliver but he quickly returns to his car to see what set off his alarm. Xhex is there and he ignores everyone else to focus on her. Benloise’s bodyguards return to shoot him and everyone but JM takes cover. He tried to kill him with an energy ball but Xhex tackles him. This is the perfect opportunity to take her and use her as a shield. He can’t throw a force field over them because he is too weakened by his slow transformation and his bullet wounds.
Tohr shoots him directly in the head, forcing him to let go of Xhex. The second shot lands him on his back, but he still gets his knife into Xhex’s stomach. As JM comes to her rescue, Lash taunts him with how he raped her and that Xhex would always be HIS filthy female. JM knocks him in the head with the hilt of his dagger before passing it to Xhex who makes the kill, sending him back to the Omega, just like any other lesser.
The Safe Place
Having Havers evict her from his home shortly before dawn and the threat of the mandatory sehclusion order (which would make unmated females unrecognised as an individual by society—all contact must be made via a male relative who has the right to grant and deny as he sees fit) made Marissa realise that unmated females have nowhere to go in an emergency, and given their sensitivity to the sun, this could easily mean the death of these females.
She sold a necklace and used the proceeds to buy a house in which she was planning to live, but inspired by a young patient at Havers’ clinic and her mother, she instead turned it into a shelter for females and their young who have no place to go. Many of these females are victims of abuse who had no other options.
Marissa sought Mary’s advice on setting up the shelter, given her work at the suicide hotline and Mary also acts as a counsellor. Jane regularly makes rounds there as well, as many of the females are more comfortable with a female doctor. Havers also refers cases of abuse to the shelter, but they have no other contact. Marissa’s discussions with Butch (who has seen his share of abuse as a homicide detective) about the shelter has brought them even closer.