Index for individual game lines' character lists.
- Mage: The Ascension
- Vampire: The Masquerade
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse
One of the great and terrible mysteries of the World of Darkness, a traveling circus that brings spiritual and physical corruption and ruination in its wake. Mentioned in various sourcebooks, it was left an ominous and unknown mystery until it received its own sourcebook in 1996. Anastagio's Olde Time Lunar Carnival and Midnight Circus is a fallen agency of good, a traveling cult that once fought against the darkness to protect humanity, and then descended into the embrace of the infernal itself. Have assembled itself into a crossroads of the five major supernaturals, it travels in search of mortals to defile and devour, spreading misery and death wherever it goes.
Tropes of the Circus as a whole:
- All Your Powers Combined: The sourcebook states that this is the Circus' greatest might. Supernatural powers from the various races in the setting are pooled at the Circus' disposal. Best illustrated in The Infernal Trinity: A Faerie opens the way for the Circus to travel and avoid the ravages of time, a Vampire casts a Glamour Veil so mortals notice nothing is amiss, and a Mage deals with the entropic powers behind the circus, spreading corruption wherever they go.
- Circus of Fear: Where to begin? The fact the Circus itself is alive and ultimately devours those who attend or work for it and can't resist its thrall? The fact it's overflowing with various demonic spirits, from banelings to wraiths? The fact its acts spiritually taint mortals, even when they don't involve things like death, mutilation and grotesquery? The fact it's a cult dedicated to making the world worse wherever it goes, and to harvesting souls to feed infernal masters? The fact it's full of monsters, and even many of them have no idea just how bad things really are?
- The Corruption: The purpose of the Circus, both mental and physical. In game terms, this is represented with Snares and Barbs (and Investment, which translates to Barbs). Many of their merchandises have Snares, participating in their rides or shows cost money and Snares, and even spending too much time at certain spots can bestow Snares. Five Snares equal to one Barb, Snares will disappear over time but Barbs are permanent. Every Barb means the Circus can exert greater control to the victim, and at five Barbs the character becomes an NPC to join the Circus.
- Cult: Once a benevolent one, now an infernal one.
- Deal with the Devil: The Circus runs on this at the core, where the Ringmaster deals with The Wyrm and Apophis to slake their hunger and ensure their continued patronage to the circus. The players can also trade for various powers, at the cost of Snares and/or Barbs.
- Fallen Hero: The Midnight Circus used to be a travelling cult that sought to protect mortals from the powers of darkness, at the behest of the benevolent spirit Cara. When she was corrupted, and ensnared by the dark spirit Apophis, the Midnight Circus changed into a predator of mortal souls instead.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Circus acts almost like this In-Universe. Because of its diverse makeup, and because most supernatural races don't interact with each other — many of them don't even realise the other races exist — they're often caught off-guard by what it's capable of when it shows up in town. This is part of the reason it's survived this long, despite acting in ways that other supernaturals are usually quick to take notice of and object to.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: It exists as one, and is offered up as a perfect opponent to support doing so for storytellers.
- Monster Mash: You can find representatives from all of the five major supernatural splats here, and even minor splats associated with them. Black Spiral Dancers rub shoulders with vampires, fomori chat with mages, werebeasts share the stage with faeries and spectres.
- In fact, the sourcebook explicitly states that this combination of powers makes truly destroying the Circus virtually impossible for any homogenous supernatural group; only a similar mixture of vampires, werewolves, mages, changelings and wraiths would truly be capable of fighting back against the Circus and maybe ending it for good.
- Ragtag Band of Misfits: No greater gathering of the damned, deranged, diabolic or deformed exists anywhere than the Midnight Circus!
The Fifth Circle
These poor souls represent the lowest of the low, the very bottom of the totem pole in the Circus' hierarchy.
- Fantastic Underclass: Consisting of misfits too dysfunctional to achieve prestige of their own, the Fifth Circle are constantly looked down upon by the rest of the Circus. Regardless of how they ended up here, everyone suffers:
A Gurahl Ursine, Dimitri once hailed from the steppes of Siberia, until he was captured by the Midnight Circus and given over to Koba the Clown. Corrupted by the Circus's baleful aura and abused by his new "master", Dimitri has almost forgotten his true identity and has fallen into line as the Circus's trained bear act. His primary duties are ending Koba's Progressive Clown Show by eating the designated traitor amongst Koba's clowns on-stage (something the audience presumes is all stage-work) and guarding Koba.
- Badass Biker: Dimitri's part in the Clown Show begins with him entering the tent on a motorbike (still in bear form, mind) and charging the designated traitor, who can only flee on a unicycle.
- Bears Are Bad News: Normally, the Gurahl are supposed to be healers and gentle giants of the Fera; under Koba's influence, however, Dimitri is a rampaging monster most commonly encountered eating a man alive on stage.
- Broken Angel: A once-mighty Gurahl shapeshifter reduced to the role of a performing bear and bodyguard, his powers having been crushed under the entropic pull of the circus.
- The Dog Bites Back: It's slight, but there is a tiny chance for the players awaken him from his brainwashing; if it works, Koba and the rest of the clown troupe aren't likely to survive the ensuing rampage.
- More Than Mind Control: As a result of the Circus and Koba's Wyrm powers.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: He's a Gurahl of the Ursine subtype, meaning he's a werebear who was born to a she-bear mother and eventually learned to take human form. Under the influence of Koba, sadly, he's just a tame bear.
Tub of Flesh (Hans)
A young Norwegian boy from the 1600's, Hans' innocent life of adventure and play came to an end when he became lost on the fjords one evening and wound up stumbling upon the lair of a mad Nosferatu vampire. For an unknown period of time, he subsisted on animals and roamed the wilderness, until he was captured by the infamous Tzimisce, Sascha Vykos. Warped into an unspeakably horrific form, he still managed to cling to his unlife, until he was captured by the Midnight Circus. He hates the place with all his heart and soul, and would give anything to flee, but has never succeeded. Until then, he settles for preserving his existence and trying to protect any children who might wander into the Circus.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Tub of Flesh is without a doubt the most disliked and shunned of all the circus' troupe members; even the other freaks think he's a disgusting abomination. Only fear of his endless array of snapping maws and smothering bulk - combined with an edict from the Infernal Trinity themselves - has saved him from Final Death. Of course, that doesn't stop the carnies from throwing things at him.
- Blob Monster: His default form, a colossal puddle of moist, purple-black meat, which constantly writhes, bubbles and oozes. Dozens of blinking eyes and myriad fanged mouths dot the roiling morass, staring at everything around him and emitting a constant litany of plaintive wails and ominous hissing.
- Body Horror: As if having to suffer through the disfiguring Nosferatu embrace wasn't bad enough, Hans also had to endure being melted by Sascha Vykos; needless to say, Tub Of Flesh embodies the raw bodily horror of Vicissitude at its very worst.
- Expy: He looks like a Shoggoth.
- It Can Think: Even many of the troupe members believe that Tub of Flesh is nothing but Cone of Flesh's horrific pet. They'd be aghast to realize that Hans is fully sentient and quite aware of how much people hate him.
- Meaningful Name: Take a look at Blob Monster. Does "Tub of Flesh" sound like a case of Exactly What It Says on the Tin or what?
- Noble Demon: Even though he's a blood-drinking monster quite capable of remorselessly killing when he needs to, Hans still tries to keep other children safe when he can.
- Team Pet: Officially, Hans is little more than a watchdog for the freakshow and an occasional pet of the Cone of Flesh.
- Tortured Monster: Violently embraced, forcibly distorted into a Blob Monster, and press-ganged into the bottom rung of the carnival, Hans is undoubtedly one of the loneliest and most pitiable characters in the entire game.
- Undead Child: Having been Embraced as a young boy, Hans is still technically a child - though you'd be hard-pressed to recognized the fact in his current state.
- The Unintelligible: Given that his mouths are rarely in a consistent position to speak clearly, Tub Of Flesh's dialogue consists of incoherent wails, hisses, and of course, this little quote:
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Hans has at least marginal control over the shape of his body, and can sometimes resculpt himself into a more humanoid form. Unfortunately, he can't hold it for long, and usually ends up dissolving back into a writhing heap of flesh.
- Was Once a Man: Was once a young boy... before running into a Nosferatu... and then running into Sascha Vykos.
- Would Not Hurt A Child: Hans will never hurt another child, and does his best to protect visiting children whenever possible; of course, they still scream in terror at the sight of him, but he takes it in stride.
Tamika Tanaka, aka "NightMime", aka "Hellsister"
A native of Kyoto, Japan, Tamika first came to the United States in the early 1920s to work at her father's store - only to be Embraced at the age of 19 by a Malkavian vampire actor named Albrecht Ausburg. Under the influence of Malkavian madness, Tamika became convinced that she had been drawn into an eternal night-drama by an ancestor-spirit; embracing her delusions of being a Noh player, she was lured to the Midnight Circus when she fell for a Toreador mime named Angelo. He returned her love and they lived happily, working at Calabris' direction to entertain the guests and to terrorize the other troupers - up until Angelo was slain by a Bone Gnawer werewolf during the recapture of Alexander the Satyr, and Tamiko lost the only gauge on her insanity. Tamika dresses in a strange mixture of traditional mime apparel and a Japanese Noh player's costume, wearing makeup that is, again, a blending of mime and geisha.
- Ax-Crazy: Already a Malkavian with a delusion that gives her leeway to kill anyone at a moment's notice if the "play" demands it, Tamika furthers this by having a Humanity score of exactly 1. To put things in perspective, vampires at this stage are so divorced from humanity and reason that there's literally nothing they won't do in the pursuit of their increasingly bloodthirsty desires; Tamika is just one step removed from devolving into a slavering, insentient monster.
- Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder / Living Emotional Crutch: Angelo was this to her; though both were subject to Malkavian insanity, Angelo was just lucid enough to keep his beloved aware of the world around her. Without him, Tamiko has lost her last tenuous connection to reality and gone spiraling off into the land of make-believe.
- The Dreaded: Widely feared among the circus folk for her silence and unpredictability, hence the many ominous titles she's acquired.
- Elective Mute: She can speak just fine, but she simply refuses to do so - and indeed hasn't done so for over sixty years.
- Enemy Mime: Doesn't get much more "enemy" than a crazy vampiress who thinks her need to hunt and kill is just part of the act.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: Almost everyone in the Circus fears and hates her; those nicknames above? They're some of the more printable names that her fellows whisper about her during the day - never to her face, of course. In fact, the only circus folk who treat her with a modicum of kindness are Carmody and Baroque, both of whom have only a passing interest in human concepts of morality.
- I Reject Your Reality: As part of her Malkavian curse, exaggerated by her rock-bottom Humanity score; Tamika sees the world exclusively through her strange vision, a cocktail of Noh theatre, Shintoism and her own imagination, believing herself to be a night theatre actor playing the role of an ancestral spirit that feeds on the blood of the guilty.
- Unholy Matrimony: She and Angelo truly loved each other, and she deeply mourns his death.
- Villainous Friendship: She seems to get along quite well with Lee Carmody and Baroque - the former out of sheer disregard for humanity, the latter likely intrigued by her murderous insanity. Tamika's feelings on the matter are uncertain, but she'd probably kill both of them if the play demanded it.
- Wild Card: Tamika has long since stopped listening to anyone or anything except the script of her delusional "performance," and if the play calls for someone to die, she'll kill without a moment's hesitation. For good measure, nobody else knows the script but her.
The Circus's tattoo artist, a skinny man who used to be a struggling art student who made a living drawing caricatures at a major theme park. Then, one sweltering July day, he just snapped, pushing a costumed mascot actor into a water ride and implicitly killing him. He was soon swept up by the Midnight Circus. Now he gives out tattoos that are laced with Banes, poisoning the souls and mutating the bodies of his customers in service to the Wyrm.
- The Alcoholic: Drinks heavily to cope with both his life in the circus and his debilitating exposure to Bane-tainted materials; according to his character profile, his caravan is constantly littered with empty bottles of cheap whiskey.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his ongoing state of deterioration, Tim is a surprisingly skilled tattoo artist - one of the reasons he still draws customers.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Tim tends to compulsively chain-smoke when nervous, and can usually be found anxiously puffing away.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: The Bane-tainted material he's using to create his tattoos are ruining his own mind and soul. It won't be long before he becomes one of the dregs consumed by the Circus itself to sustain its own existence.
- Nervous Wreck: Life on the lowest rungs of the Midnight Circus' career ladder and constant exposure to Bane material have left Tim as neurotic human wreckage, barely capable of sustaining a conversation without smoking, drinking, or both.
The fat, drunken, brutal thug who serves as the current animal trainer for the show, his alcoholism has made him increasingly unreliable and his viciousness towards his costars have made him hated by everyone. It's no secret that a fatal "accident" is in Bill's future, and the Circus is already looking for his replacement.
- Addled Addict: If Biloc was ever good at his job, alcohol dependency has long since destroyed any trace of it. The management have him scheduled for a fatal appointment with his wolves, but at the rate he's drinking, his liver might just beat them to it.
- The Alcoholic: Drinks incessantly, probably a side-effect of the Circus' degradation of mortal souls and minds. This is making him increasingly worse at his job, to the point he's had to be replaced by Aubrey Dutetre on several occasions due to being too drunk to perform.
- Bald of Evil: His illustration portrays him as almost hairless.
- Bullying a Dragon: He routinely abuses and mistreats his animals... which includes several Black Spiral Dancers (Wyrm-worshipping werewolves). He's already been viciously scarred by one of his own lions after a dispute over pay with Mr. Flint. He's going to die, just as soon as the Circus can get someone to take his place.
- Fat Bastard: Overweight and long since past his prime, Biloc also has no problems taking out the frustrations of his career on his animals.
- Jerkass: Bill Biloc is not well-known for his pleasant temperament even when he isn't drinking.
- 0% Approval Rating: Easily one of the most hated figures in the entire circus, Biloc has ended up making an enemy of just about everyone - hence the reason why its going to be pretty easy for Cavendish to put him down when the time comes.
The Fourth Circle
The largest of the circles, this grouping covers all of the rank and file performers, concession workers and roustabouts who form the oft-ignored backbone of the Midnight Circus. They may have little power, but the Circus couldn't run without them.
A Bagheera tribe Bastet, Aubrey was born the son of an Indian woman and a French diplomat. He joined the Midnight Circus after his friends Guy Raison, Jean Raison and Colette Blance joined it, seeking to rescue his friends and to find out more information about the mysterious and ill-omened traveling carnival for his tribe. Unfortunately, although he has confirmed that the place is Wyrm-tainted, it has already driven deep hooks into his soul, stealing his desire to leave his place as one of its acrobats — fortunately, Belle Star has managed to fire up his desire, so that he's slowly building up the energy to try.
- Cats Are Mean: Aubrey isn't genuinely mean at heart, but he's definitely got the feline aloofness and vanity; plus, the Circus keeps him around by encouraging his sense of apathy.
- Cultured Badass: A skilled acrobat and a member of the Bagheera tribe, Aubrey also has a passion for Sartre and Kierkegaard, and will eagerly discuss them if given the opportunity.
- Gone Horribly Right: Joined the Circus to find out what was going on. He succeeded, sort of, but now he's unable to leave.
- The Mole: He entered the Circus intending to serve as this to his tribe; unfortunately, leaving with the collected information turned out to be a bit more difficult than he imagined.
- More Than Mind Control: The pull of the Circus is a subtle one in Aubrey's case, encouraging him to stay put simply by encouraging his apathy and appealing to his belief in existentialism.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: He's a were-panther.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Aubrey might be aloof and somewhat vain, but he's still a very caring person at heart - and maybe even fun to be around if someone successfully engages his enthusiasm.
- Token Good Teammate: He's one of the tiny minority of troupers who are fundamentally benevolent in nature.
An outlaw in the service of the Confederates, Belle was mortally wounded in a gunfight in the year 1889 - only to be rescued and embraced by Wind-Walker, a Gangrel vampire. She desperately sought to use her new powers to make amends for her sins by doing good deeds, something the Circus used to trick her into joining them: lured into the Circus by a child actor pleading for its help, Belle Star now reluctantly serves as a sharpshooting act for the Circus, all the while trying to escape. Whenever she does, though, she proves incapable of resisting the spiritual wounds it's left in her, which compels her to return.
- The Atoner: For her outlaw past, and for her need to drink blood to keep on existing.
- Cowboy: An outlaw cowgirl who lived through both the Civil War and the Wild West, Belle still wears her classic getup and hat - and indeed, seems quite uncomfortable at the prospect of wearing anything else.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: As close as you can get to this in the World of Darkness.
- The Gunslinger: A skilled gunfighter since her days among the living, Belle's proficiency with guns has been worked into the circus as a sharpshooting act.
- Nice Hat: Still wears a cowboy hat.
- Noble Demon: She may be a vampire and a former outlaw, but she's determined to make up for all the things she's done.
- Token Good Teammate: She's one of the few troupers who're genuinely decent people. Moreover, she's one of the smaller number who realises that the Circus is evil and actively seeks its destruction.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She fell for this, when the Circus sent a child actor to plead for her help, only to realize too late she had been lured into a trap.
A Nebraskan counterculturalist who ascended as a member of the Cult of Ecstasy, his continual disillusionment with humanity led to him first falling to become a Nephandi barabbi, and then to voluntarily joining the Midnight Circus. He serves as the operator for the Tunnel of Love, secretly using it to terrorize people and spiritually violating them, in hope of making them "wake up".
- At Least I Admit It: One of the reasons he prefers the Circus over the rest of humanity - it at least has the decency to admit its own corruption, and makes no bones about its habit of devouring souls.
- Berserk Button: Carmody doesn't appreciate cruelty to animals, and will ensure anyone mistreating animals in his sight will suffer for it.
- Evil Sorcerer: He's motivated by bitterness and resentment towards people rather than more commonplace hunger for power, but Carmody's one none the less.
- Fallen Hero: Once a benevolent hippie and a member of the Cult of Ecstasy, now a bitter, jaded old man hell-bent on ending the human race.
- Lean and Mean: Very tall and thin, almost "spectral."
- Misanthrope Supreme: Believes humans as a whole are stupid, worthless sheep who deserve extermination.
- Nice Hat: Never goes anywhere without his Stetson.
- Plague Master: He's attempting to magically construct a virus that will only infect and kill smug, stupid, power-hungry people - in other words, most of the human race.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: Wants to kill off most humans because he finds them so unpleasant.
- Seen It All: Constantly bored and profoundly jaded, almost nothing seems to surprise Carmody anymore. Even the days when he has to scrape bits of the Cone of Flesh off the ride and the patrons don't phase him anymore.
- Villainous Friendship: One of the few members of the Circus who seems to like Tamiko in any way, likely because Carmody's too jaded to be afraid of her and too misanthropic to care about her human victims.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wants to prune the human species so only the best parts of it survive and rebuild. Admits that this means exterminating most of humanity. Doesn't care.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
A quartet of horseback riders and animal trainers, the DeEquesto siblings trace their lineage to a Florentine dynasty of mercenaries-turned-Wyrm-cultists. Originally running their own small circus, the family realised that their circus and the Midnight Circus had much in common, and chose to join the Midnight Circus instead. With sister Messora as Death and brothers Bellicus, Fillipo and Morell as War, Famine and Sickness respectively, they perform for the crowds and serve as the messengers and hunters of the Infernal Trinity. When troupers escape the Circus, they are the ones who track them down. Likewise, they are the first line of defense against interlopers and intruders.
- Affably Evil: Fillipo, who firmly believes that he has an obligation as a nobleman to care for the wellbeing of his fellow circusfolk; as such, he can usually be trusted to treat carnies in a gentlemanly fashion.
- Blade on a Stick: Fillipo wields a enchanted spear created by Cavendish, which causes victims stuck by it to be potentially crippled by sudden, intense hunger pangs.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Bellicus is a loud, brash braggart who's constantly picking fights, usually over women, as he fancies himself a lady's man.
- BrotherSister Incest: Not explicitly so, but many of the troupers assume that Fillipo and Messora's closeness extends to this.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Messora, recognizable by her "captivating white face and long dark hair."
- Evil Cripple: Morrell. As well as being clubfooted, he's also one of the nastier members of the group, he believes that the group's noble lineage means they should be entitled to more of the profits than the other circus-folk.
- Handicapped Badass: Morell has a clubfoot, much to his shame, but has trained so extensively that it doesn't hinder his riding skills at all.
- Hellish Horse: They ride horses possessed by Banes sent from Lord Steel, the Duke of Hate. The possessed equines can see in the dark, have inhuman reserves of stamina, and can scream with lethal force.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Their overall motif, down to wielding weapons inspired by their namesakes. Fillipo calls himself Sickness instead of Pestilence, though.
- Sinister Scythe: Messora wields an enchanted scythe created by Cavendish, which has been crafted to be far more lethal in combat.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: Morelle wields a hunting bow and uses Wyrm Fang Arrows, dark arrows that leave wounds festering with unholy diseases that will rapidly kill a victim unless they can receive magical healing.
- Wicked Cultured: Fillipo; studious, vain, and an aficionado of music and poetry, he's known as the intellectual of the group.
The Scribunda Sisters
Three gypsy women who serve as (real!) fortune tellers for the Circus; Aurora, Meridia and Fata are the last remaining cultists of Cara still operating in the Midnight Circus, secretly trying to keep people from falling to the depredations of the Apophis-worshippers who have so corrupted their once-proud carnival.
- Circus Brat: All three sisters were born and raised in the Circus.
- Fortune Teller: All three of them, providing services ranging from simple dowsing to full-blown vision quests. Of the three, Fata's visions are the longest and most insightful.
- Healing Potion: One service they offer is the creation of a potion that can actually cleanse the players of the Circus' influence; called "Durga's Cure," it can remove at least two barbs from an afflicted player - but unfortunately, it can only be used once per player.
- The Hecate Sisters: They fall into this archetype - Aurora being young and shy, Merida being mature and businesslike, Fata being old and insightful.
- Last Of Their Kind: The last true worshipers of Cara to be found at the Circus.
- Tarot Motifs / Themed Tarot Deck: The Sisters are noted for their possession of an unusual deck of Tarot cards based on the Circus and its key figures - Bishop as the Fool, Calabris as the Magician, Astarte as the High Priestess, Devyn as the Emperor, and so on.
- Token Good Teammate: Like Belle Star, they're actively fighting against the evil of the Circus from the inside; unlike Belle, they're the very last of the circus folk who still uphold the ancient ways of Cara.
A female Wendigo tribe werewolf of the Homid breed, Orenda is an unwitting pawn of the Circus, having been mind-whammied into believing she is actually the last of the lost tribe of the Croatans. Kept around mostly to keep the Circus from being attacked by large groups of werewolves, she entertains customers by telling Native American legends with elaborate performances.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Orenda had been on a quest to find the last of the Croatan when the Circus caught her, having been fascinated by the tales of the tribe's Heroic Sacrifice. She wasn't counting on becoming the last of them - or being brainwashed into believing it.
- Believing Their Own Lies: In the earliest stage of the brainwashing process, she was aware that she wasn't actually the last living Croatan, having only been led to believe that she was the reincarnation of a long-dead Croatan wise woman. However, Orenda was so enamored with the idea of being the last Croatan she'd sought after for so long that she willingly rewrote her entire life-story; then, with a few subtle nudges from Cavendish, she began to believe it - to the point that she forgot that she'd ever lied in the first place.
- Brainwashing: A victim of Cavendish's skill in hypnosis, Orenda is now utterly unshakable in her belief that she really is the last Croatoan.
- Last of Her Kind: She's supposedly the only remaining Croaton werewolf left in existence. It's a lie, but nobody but the Infernal Trinity knows that.
- More Than Mind Control: Cavendish was very, very subtle in dismantling Orenda's mind. Instead of just wiping her memories and implanting her cover story in one go, he inflicted such subtle compulsions on her that at least part of the brainwashing was self-inflicted - to the point that Orenda knowingly and willingly rewrote her own biography to fit with the suggestion Cavendish had given her, and then forgot that she had changed anything thanks to further brainrape.
- Stepford Smiler: Orenda seems content with her lot at the Circus... but that's only because she's been the victim of a brainwashing so thorough even she can't guess at the truth.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of the Infernal Trinity. Her entire existence is a lie, meant to dissuade other werewolves from attacking the Circus en masse by at best spinning lies about how the Circus is actually a remaining node of balance between Wyld and Wyrm and at worst serving as a Red Herring, so the werewolves will be more interested in rescuing this "last survivor" than in razing the Circus to the ground.
Courtesans who work out of Semiramis' Loft, the Circus' private brothel, they are charged with corrupting the visitors invited to the loft and seducing potential recruits for the Circus. Though relatively powerless as individuals, their status as a group allows them to remain part of the Fourth Circle. Four specific Hetaerae are named in the sourcebook, though many more likely exist, and visitors who make the mistake of spending too much time at the Loft might just end up joining their number - though it's just as likely they end up as part of the Freak Show instead.
- Celebrity Resemblance: The Loft's proprietor - a member of the Cult of Ecstasy known only as Mr Smiley - bears an uncanny resemblance to Pee-wee Herman.
- Den of Iniquity: Semiramis' Loft. Surprisingly respectable by Circus standards, the brothel is open exclusively at night and admittance is by invitation only; customers lucky or unlucky enough to receive one of the fabled invitations are given access to exotic dance shows, refreshments of any kind (including blood), and a private room tailored to the customer's wildest fantasies. Because this is the Midnight Circus, actually staying for any length of time usually results in the customer getting fucked in a completely different fashion.
- High-Class Call Girl: The Hetaerae as a whole, being some of the most exclusive, talented and thoroughly expensive courtesans at work in the World of Darkness. Among other things, the Loft is only accessible by invitation, their powers allow for experiences beyond description, and their services might just cost your soul.
- Knife Nut: Most of the Heterae are equipped with knives, though likely only as a precaution, given that any sexual encounters that turn violent usually result in the offender being booted into the Violence pocket realm. Rati is armed with a poison knife, Iolanthe keeps a chimeric knife on hand despite her retiring demeanor, and Alexander retains a klaive from the days when he still (apparently) served Gaia.
- Perpetual Smiler: Mr Smiley, as demonstrated by his illustration.
- The Vamp: All of them, having been charged with using their their skills as courtesans to entice victims to their doom.
A former Unseelie changeling (Wilder Sidhe of the Pishogue and Orchid legacies), Iolanthe was originally a member of House Scathach before being driven out due to her Unseelie excesses. Joining the Shadow Court, she became a mercenary specialising in hunting sidhe nobles. When she recognized Astarte as a sidhe noble from House Fiona, she sought to chase the fallen faerie down. Astarte lured Iolanthe to the Circus, using its powers to strip Iolanthe of her memories and forcibly reshape her personality into something more... useful to her.
- Chickification: In-universe example! Once a mercenary and a warrior, Iolanthe has been brainwashed into a dizzy prostitute with a marked aversion to violence.
- Mind Rape: Iolanthe's present personality is a complete inversion of her original one. If she ever snaps out of it, she's not going to be happy.
- Mystical White Hair: One of her more distinctive features.
- Our Elves Are Different: Iolanthe looks like a stereotypical elfin maiden; tapered ears, slightly upturned eyes, white-gold hair, storm-gray eyes and ethereal frame.
- Stepford Smiler: Thanks to her Mind Rape, she's eternally happy and joyful, and completely incapable of understanding the true horrors and ugliness of the world around her.
A Toreador of Indian origin, Rati was seduced into joining the Circus and embraced by none other than Calabris himself in 1725. She views her position in the Circus as a holy act, serving the fundamental force of life itself.
- Born Lucky: Rati possesses the merit "Luck," and her biography reflects this; born into the Brahman caste, lived a life of luxury and ease, blundered into the Circus - and not only survived, but caught the eye of Calabris and went on to carve a very comfortable niche for herself among the Hetaerae.
- Lady in Red: A vamp and seductress from beginning to end, she can easily be recognized by the vivid red and gold garments she wears.
- Master of Illusion: Having learned and mastered the disciplines of Chimerstry and Obfuscate from her sire, Rati is an expert in the art of illusion; she's even learned to manipulate the Glamour field around the circus through the "sleeper spells" Calabris left behind.
- Unholy Matrimony: Downplayed. She was seduced into the Circus by Calabris, but their romantic attraction has cooled over the centuries. Still, they're very fond of each other, and Rati is still quite protective of him.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Toreador are already prone to this particular trope, but Rati takes it even further than most; described as a master of sex in all forms, she is particularly fond of tantric sex, and even considers her sex to be part of a sacred mission - believing herself to be more of a high priestess among the Hetaerae than anything else.
The newest member of the Hetaerae and the only incubus so far, Alexander is a Russian Silver Fang (Homid) werewolf who stumbled across the Circus after fleeing the battlefield. Surrounded by the beauties of the Hetaerae, and grateful to be out from Baba Yaga's Shadow Curtain, so far, he's seen no reason to try and leave the Circus. Distrusted by his peers, they have secretly infected him with a Bane to begin truly molding him into one of them.
- The Berserker: All werewolves are prone to rage, of course, but the Hetaerae have secretly infected him with a Bane that will turn him into a psychotic berserker at a command from them.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Another distinguishing feature.
- Dirty Coward: He fled in battle, leaving his pack to die; the only reason why he didn't flee when he saw the Wyrm-influence surrounding the Circus was because he fainted at the sight of it - and woke up among the Hetaerae. To this day, he refuses to leave the Circus because it means going back to fighting. Alexander's cowardice is so ingrained that the other Hetaerae have had to infect him with a Bane just to make him more useful in emergencies.
- Miles Gloriosus: He carefully set up a reputation for himself as a legendary warrior destined for greatness. However, this backfired on him when Baba Yaga awoke and unleashed a horde of Wyrm-spawn upon Russia, meaning that for the first time in his life, Alexander was required to actually fight. In the end, he was so shaken by the fact that his campaign for greatness was no longer a harmless game that he fled in combat and left his entire pack to die at the hands of the Wyrm-spawn.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Alexander only wears the very best tailored suits, the more expensive the better, and often looks as though he's just wandered out of a fashion magazine.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Even after humiliating himself in the field of battle, Alexander still hasn't lost his ego - and goes out of his way to tell customers how lucky they are to be with him.
A Rubenesque older whore, not technically a member of the Hetaerae, rumored to be Mr. Smiley's lover. As her stage name suggests, she's still very flexible and sensual, even given everything, and Mr. Smiley reserves her for those with "special tastes".
- Big Beautiful Woman: She's on the larger side, but she is full of confidence in her womanly charms.
- Dirty Old Woman: Her age hasn't stopped her from actively enjoying working as a whore.
- Flat Character: We know she's a human, she's a mature and somewhat amply fleshed woman, and she's a whore. That's basically it.
Perhaps the most visible sign for mortal customers that something isn't right about the Midnight Circus, it still upholds the long-shunned practice of presenting deformed people for customers to gawk at in exchange for money. Quartered in a pressboard maze dubbed "Freak City", the Freaks of the Midnight Circus are a pretty diverse bunch, including relatively ordinary victims of birth defects, magically-crafted monsters, even full-blown fomori; some were even former audience members. Regardless of their origins or their status, however, all of freaks are ultimately in thrall to Freak City's unofficial master, the Cone of Flesh.
- Body Horror: A common feature among the Freaks, from the Cone of Flesh to the lowly pickled punks.
- Freak Show: In a nutshell. The nature of the show varies: sometimes the freaks are exhibited in morality plays encouraging the audience to "judge not lest ye be judged," a tenet that most customers are very quick to forget; at other times, the freaks are allowed to give a relatively straightforward grossout performances.
- Punished with Ugly: Like most attractions at the Midnight Circus, Freak City is just another way for customers to accumulate Snares and Barbs, and audiences of the freakshow accumulate them at a rate of one Snare per minutenote . Unlike other shows, visitors to Freak City are punished for lollygagging by gaining a unique deformity and losing a point from their social or mental attributes for every Barb they acquire. Should the characters manage to escape before gaining their fifth Barb, their deformities will eventually fade - though the Circus will still maintain a powerful grip on their soul. On the other hand, if the characters stick around long enough to get five Barbs, they end up joining the freak show.
- Would Hurt a Child: Children are strictly forbidden from entering Freak City; those who go so far as to sneak in are usually never seen again.
- Wretched Hive: Freak City. Given a wide berth by even the most hardened of circus folk, few can guess at what goes on behind the pressboard walls and few want to know; even paying customers are only allowed as far as the theatre and the corral, the living spaces being officially off-limits to guests. Of these living spaces, most are little more than garrets and stables for the less-important freaks; more prominent freaks get better quarters, while Cone of Flesh - having claimed Freak City as its personal fief - lives in obscene luxury. Worse still, not only does the Cone have a habit of eating unwanted visitors, but it has the power and the muscle (in the form of the Batlows) to ensure that its hold over Freak City remains permanent.
"Born" as Freakfoot #149-J in a Pentex lab in the early 90s, the fomor that would go on to be called Mr. Bile was deemed a defective creation and was scheduled to be recycled into fomorach, before the plant was attacked by Garou and he escaped in the confusion. Initially seeking out his fellow escaped Freakfeet, #149-J found even they wouldn't have him. Alone and lost in the world, he was saved by the Circus, and now happily has found a place where he can be respected.
- All the Other Reindeer: The guy is so weird to look at that even other fomori rejected him for being too freakish.
- Body Horror: He's got two heads, a body structure more like a caricature of an ape, and generally looks like a "demented, booze-sodden Muppet".
- Everyone Has Standards: His character sheet notes that the one thing he dislikes about the Circus is working under Cone of Flesh, shudderingly noting that he is a real freak.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Fomori are supposed to be an Always Chaotic Evil species. Mr. Bile is just a sad, pitiful little fellow who just wants to be treated decently, and makes no active attempt to accelerate the world's corruption or decay.
- Multiple Head Case: He's got a second, smaller head that he calls "Little Ralph". The two of them seem to get on okay.
- Non-Malicious Monster: In stark contrast to most other fomori, Mr. Bile has no desire to hurt people.
- Primal Stance: Like all Freakfeet, he has a fundamentally ape-like body, with long, powerful arms and too-small legs. This means he gets around by walking on his knuckles.
- Super Spit: The source for his stage name; imbued with the Stomach Pumper power, his "special" stage act, restricted to only the most jaded or depraved of clients, consists of various grotesque displays of forcing food & beer down one or both heads and then vomiting copiously for the crowd. Common displays include throwing up from both heads at once, or taking food down one head and throwing it up with the other.
- Token Good Teammate: Although not actively heroic, Mr. Bile still counts as this for being a quiet, polite, friendly soul who just wants a place to call home, rather than actively trying to be a monster. Really, Mr. Bile is only with the Midnight Circus because it's the first place he's ever felt like a person, rather than a thing. Notably, he's the only freak confirmed as having befriended and cared for Herm-Aphrodite, the bearded lady, whereas most of the others taunt her.
:"What do you mean this circus is evil? It's the only place in my life where I've been treated with human dignity!"
- Token Heroic Orc: In stark contrast to most fomori, he's an affable and pleasant soul who doesn't want anything but to live in peace.
- Tunnel King: Like all Freakfeet, he can squeeze down the tightest of gaps, such that he's quite capable of crawling into a toilet somewhere and coming out of another with ease.
- The Woobie: He may be a deformed monster, but you really just want to give him a hug. Let's face it, when even your fellow deformed monsters want nothing to do with you and call you "freak", you're kind of pathetic.
Mulella the Mule Girl
A recent acquisition to the freakshow, Mulella claims to have accepted her deformity, but it's probable she's lying. Attention-starved and desperate for compassion, she's sometimes easy prey for abuse.
- Berserk Button: If you make fun of her, there's a chance she'll fly into a violent rage as a result.
- Body Horror: She has a face that looks like a mule's, only devoid of fur and with pale white skin.
One of the Circus' more bizarre mysteries, a "living scarecrow" who only shows up during the night act, where he amazes the customers with displays of mid-air dancing, impossible acts of contortion, and haunting, wordless singing. The rest of the freaks have no idea that he's not one of them — he's a manifest Atrocity Realm Bane, who follows the Circus for his own reasons. A malicious and remorseless killer, he also enjoys silently whispering to selected victims from the Penumbra, striving to drive them into committing heinous acts.
- Immortality: He has the Reform Bane Charm, which makes it almost impossible to kill him; he just keeps reconstituting himself afterwards.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Thanks to his Tracking Bane Charm, he can track a victim almost anywhere, which he usually uses to track down and kill those who he thinks have attacked the Circus.
- Scary Scarecrows: He looks like a scarecrow, but is otherwise literally a fiend from hell, to all practical extents and purposes.
- Sinister Scythe: He wields a lethal sickle.
Born to an aristocratic German family, the freak now called Herm-Aphrodite repulsed her parents by suffering from hirsutism; shunted from one orphanage to another, she narrowly avoided being sent to the death camps in World War II by being scooped up into the Midnight Circus. A pretty woman if one can look past the hair, she is a little slow, but not so much that she doesn't realise how she's mistreated. She puts up with it because she's well aware that she's got nowhere else to go.
- Flat Character: Invoked; In-Universe, Cavendish only rescued her because "every circus needs a bearded lady".
- Girls with Moustaches: She suffers from hirsutism, making her a classical "bearded lady".
- The Woobie: It's hard not to feel a little sorry for her. Even the other freaks tease and mock her, and her stage act consists of being led around the ring on an ostrich for a gawking, jeering crowd before being humiliatingly used as an example in Dr. Owl's display of human oddities and defects.
A ruthless family of canny, vicious midgets, the Barlows "keep the peace" in Freak City, serving directly under Cone of Flesh.
- Depraved Dwarf: They're midgets who serve as Cone of Flesh's secret police, terrorizing the other freaks into keeping in line and assaulting any perceived intruders to the Circus.
- Transformation Trinket: They all sport Bane-fuelled tokens that let them disguise themselves as ordinary human children.
McTargart the Dog-Faced Detective
A human with a birth defect, he knew he would never make it in society with his deformed facial features. Thusly, he voluntarily joined the Midnight Circus and now serves as the "in-house detective", mostly by manning the information booth and helping rejoin seperated families or recover lost items.
- My Instincts Are Showing: Has a tendency to act like a dog as well on occasions.
- Token Good Teammate: Despite his freakish looks, he's a noble and kindly soul who enjoys helping people, and would be up for helping a party if they managed to convince him of the sinister goings-on in the Circus.
Ali Nyerere, aka "Vesuvius the Fire-Eater"
An heir to a long line of Tanzinian fire eaters and performers, Ali Nyerere was a struggling street performer who was easily swept up into the Midnight Circus by the promise of showmanship and fame.
- Flat Character: He's a Tanzinian fire eater. That's about all we know of him.
The Third Circle
Troupers who have attained this rank are individuals who have, through force, chance or the caprice of even higher powers, acquired some real influence in the Circus, usually complete with personal power and private followers.
Gerlach Augustus Eule, aka "Dr. Owl"
Born in 1850 to a prosperous Frankfurt family, the man who would become Dr. Owl became enamored with the studies of Voltaire and Rousseau in his youth. Consequently, he left a promising career in law to study natural sciences, first in Frankfurt, and then in Vienna. Here, having mastered the science and philosophy of his day, he fell in with Dr. Kristian Sonne, a mage in the Electrodyne Engineersnote . Finding a kindred soul, Gerlach Eule unknowingly ascended to magedom, honing his skills before falling in with members of the Cabal of Pure Thought, precusors to the modern era's New World Order. Eventually settling in Paris, Gerlach was invited by some friends to attend a traveling country carnival, which turned out to be the Midnight Circus. When he stood up in the middle of one act, a display of "captured Greek gods", to debunk the manager, Cavendish the Ringmaster offered the naturalist a place running the act instead. To his friends amazement, Gerlach accepted... unwittingly dooming himself to the services of the Midnight Circus.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Dr. Owl basically looks like "everyone's picture of a Mad Scientist". He's tall, gaunt and hard featured, with white, wispy hair and a propensity to dress in practical dark clothing, topped with a billowing black cape and walking with the aid of a silver-headed cane.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: He champions this belief and his entire reason for being part of the Circus is to try and fight it. Ironically, he's fallen prey to this trope himself; his sheer belief that there is nothing supernatural keeps him ridiculously ignorant to the true magical nature of the world around him.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Beyond the fact he's from the mid-1800s, courtesy of the Circus' immunity to aging, Dr. Owl's character sheet describes him as literally a prisoner of his own 18th century Enlightenment world-views.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: He's completely dedicated to a rational, enlightened view of the world in which science explains everything. Completely ignoring that he works with and amongst genuine supernatural creatures. And even the fact he's a wizard himself!
- Friendly Enemy: Clymene the mermaid; though she's never stopped trying to escape from the circus, Clymene has actually developed a twisted fondness for the old doctor, and the two of them will occasionally bond over discussions of poetry and philosophy.
- Golem: His "Gigantism" display is actually a flesh golem called Husk, which he created to guard the Museum after one of the captive changelings, the Horned Man, managed to escape for the first time. For good measure, Husk is impossible by modern Technocratic standards, and has only survived thanks to Dr Owl's lack of vision.
- Insufferable Genius: Arrogant, vain and contemptuous of all around him, Dr. Owl treats all others as ignorant schoolchildren in comparison to himself and is utterly convinced of his own importance.
- I Reject Your Reality: This is actually pretty standard modus operandi for mages in the World of Darkness, but Dr. Owl is a particularly vehement case.
- Irony: He's a devout 18th century Enlightened Rationalist... who actively works magic and is keeping real magical beings as his prisoners. To say nothing of his railing against belief in the supernatural when he himself is supernatural.
- Mad Scientist: Well, technically an Evil Sorcerer who thinks he's a scientist, really. His character sheet notes that, in Mage: The Ascension terms, he's a Technocrat with the alchemical skills of a member of the Sons of Ether.
- Magic Powered Pseudo Science: As a member of the Electrodyne Engineers, all his "scientific" skills and abilities are actually magic being channeled through pseudo-scientific mediums.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a "Doctor" of Natural Sciences and Rationalist Philosophy rather than medicine, but he still fits. It's noted that he's unaware that the Electrodyne Engineers have long since broken away from the Technocracy to become the Sons of Ether, and even if he did, he would be incapable of understanding the philosophical motivations for why the split happened.
- Pet the Dog: Despite his grandiose vanity and monumental self-importance, Dr Owl still has a few redeeming traits. Among other things, he treats Leon Carpenter with respect and understanding, and he never mistreats his captives in the museum. Indeed, he seems inclined to treat them as his students, and some of them mention his tendency to read Goethe to them.
- The Scapegoat: In the event that Devyn Cavendish ends up being investigated by the players, his first plan of attack is to blame everything on Dr Owl and let him take the heat until Cavendish is ready to tackle the players on his own terms; of course, Owl already believes that he really is the master of the Circus, and will quite readily agree with any accusations made in this direction.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Put it like this; his character sheet, under "Roleplaying Notes", has this to say.
: You run the Midnight Circus. Yes, the Ringmaster draws them to the sideshow acts, and Calabris does his childish illusion displays. As for Astarte's quaint folk show, the less said the better. But the Museum of Oddities brings the citizens face-to-face with cold, hard, scientific truths. Since childhood you felt it was your duty to bring the world into an age of scientific reason, dispelling the myths of a less-enlightened past. To this end you have gathered a collection of Nature's oddities, mutations and freaks. In former times these specimens were considered gods by the ignorant masses. Herein lies your point; by displaying and bursting the divine myths of the ancients, you hope also to storm the citadels of modern reactionary conservatism. All gods are dead or fakes behind bars. Vain and contemptuous of all around you, you love to lecture the citizens on the importance of your museum.
- Unwitting Pawn: He has no idea about the infernal natures of the Midnight Circus, or that he's being used; his Museum of Oddities and his efforts to further stock it with new specimens generates a constant stream of fuel for the infernal and Wyrm powers that feed from the Circus. This is the only reason he's tolerated by the Infernal Trinity.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: He actually wields both mage energies and Banality, a potentially deadly anti-faerie energy that he unwittingly uses to depower and restrain many of his "Oddities", who're actually changelings and other fae creatures.
- Wicked Cultured: A lover of poetry and philosophy, Owl can occasionally be found discussing the works of Goethe, Schopenhauer and Plato with his captives.
A "lion-faced man" born in Tonopah, Nevada, his parents seperated in mutual accusations of blame as to who was responsible for Leon's birth defects. Faced with cruelty his whole life, he drifted between various side-shows until he wound up in the Midnight Circus, helping Dr. Owl look after the Museum of Oddities.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He is deeply loyal to Dr. Owl because the bitter naturalist accepts him, despite his ugliness.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: His origin story suggests his deformities may be because he was contaminated by radiation from nearby testing sights in-utero, or it may be a side effect of his mother having worked for one of the many Pentex subsidiaries, given the company's practice of serving up Wyrm-taint as part of its products.
- Token Good Teammate: Zigzagged. Although a compassionate soul who strives to look after the "collection" and keep it comfortable, he will never turn against the Circus in general or Dr. Owl in particular, as he regards it as the only place where he can be accepted despite his freakishness.
Cone of Flesh
An aberration spawned in the fomorach pits of the Seventh Generation labs in the 1920s. It killed a member of the Medical Caste who noticed no "specimens" were returning from that pit and went to investigate, and five members of a security team sent in after him before being brought into the light. Seventh Generation initially tried to make use of the surprisingly intelligent creature, but its voracious appetite for other fomori soon outweighed its usefulness. Cone of Flesh barely managed to escape with its life, taking refuge in the Midnight Circus. It spent some time in Dr. Owl's Museum of Oddities, but eventually traded up for the freak show, which it soon took over.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: If Cone of Flesh feels like it, it can turn human victims into fomori. Such unfortunates end up either on its menu or added to the freak show.
- Body Horror: Resembles a nine-foot tall conical pillar of rippling, off-white fatty flesh, with an effeminately malevolent, piggish face near the top. It has no legs, just concentric rings of fat that grow wider and wider, until the slimy, often roach-infested base, which is three yards wide. The first impression it leaves is of a giant pile of rancid mayonnaise, something not helped by its persistent stink of bad cheese.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Loves the taste of human flesh... with a catch. See below.
- Meaningful Name: As with Tub of Flesh, it's a case of Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: Cone of Flesh is perfectly happy to eat humans, but prefers the meat of other fomori. Unfortunately, it has powers that let it turn humans into fomori, so running out of meals is never a problem.
- Sissy Villain: It's technically asexual, but it conducts itself with camp effeminate sorts of behavior.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Quite capable of feigning this to get people to let their guards down.
Jergif Sacha, aka "Koba the Clown"
One of the three "clown bosses" of the Midnight Circus, a rival to Blotto and underneath the Bishop, Koba the Clown leads a band of auguste and character clowns, with the later styling themselves after working men and hobos. Jergif's past is something of a mystery, even to him; born in Russia, he was originally destined for the seminary before he stumbled across modern scientific writings which "broke the orthodoxy fever". A street performer and thief since childhood, he joined a comedy troupe of subversive actors led by the underground comedic genius, Tosya Karolek. A true believer in Tosya's cause to revolutionise comedy with a new "progressive" approach, he eventually came to inherit the troupe when Tosya died from a heart complication after the political climate finally changed. Jergif's story from there is mostly lost, save the most important detail; one of the magicians in his troupe was possessed by a Mind Eater Bane, conscripted as an agent to serve Baba Yaga. When the magician was killed by a Garou, the dying Bane jumped ship and merged with Jergif, eventually leading to their joining the Midnight Circus.
- Charm Person: As a result of his union with the Bane inside ofhim, Jergif can use its Animal Control power, which is how he has enslaved Dimitri.
- Enemy Within: Averted. The Bane is too weak to truly influence Jergif's actions, and besides which it sees no reason to; Jergif already acts in ways that the Bane considers appropriate, needing no nudging from it to continue down his dark path.
- Monster Clown: A murderous, crazy, Marxist clown with a case of Demonic Possession.
- The Starscream: Wants to kick out the Bishop and take his place as the Chief Clown of the Midnight Circus.
- The Symbiote: The clown and the Bane benefit equally from each other's presence, and have become almost impossible to unlink from each other.
The Three Mystics
The Court of Astarte
The Second Circle
The First Circle, aka The Infernal Trinity
- Evil Sorcerer
- Magicians Are Wizards: Played With. Calabris has legit magical powers, primarily pertaining to Chimerstry, but the sourcebook states that regardless of his spectacular performance to the audience, it is all done using mundane tricks rather than his powers.
- Badass Mustache: Evil variant! Cavendish is immediately distinguished by his impeccable waxed mustache - and as the single longest-surviving ringmaster the Midnight Circus has ever acquired, he's undoubtedly badass.
- Big Bad: As Ringmaster of the Midnight Circus, he's the penultimate source of all the damage it does... not the ultimate source, though; that would be the Infernal/Wyrm patrons of the Circus, who serve as the Bigger Bad.
- Conspicuous Gloves: Cavendish always wears a ringmaster's white gloves, specifically to cover the Eye of Kadir set into his right hand. Of course, most mortals don't pay much attention to this little quirk - after all, he is the Ringmaster, and the glamour surrounding the Circus does tend to ward off unwanted questions.
- The Corrupter: As a servant of the Wyrm, he ensures that the Circus is fully prepared to ensure the moral downfall of anyone who makes the mistake of visiting, sometimes through Pentex-made arcade games and sideshow games, sometimes through spiritually-corrupting opportunities at Semiramis' Loft. One way or the other, few customers can leave the Circus without succumbing to corruption, and as ringmaster, Cavendish is guaranteed to appear on the scene to ensure that the visitors give in with abandon - ideally by getting in deep enough to willingly sign over their souls.
- Deal with the Devil: One of the many ways he can secure a soul for his tribute to the Board of Directors is to literally sign a contract forfeiting the bearer's soul. This most often comes into play at Fortuna's Wheel, where gamblers are all too eager to sign on the dotted line if it means getting back three-fifths of their lost funds; of course, most think that the contract is just a joke... right up until they start experiencing the side-effects. Before long, the gamblers are back at the tables, trying to win back their souls or cut deals with Cavendish - some even offering to sacrifice the souls of their loved ones to pay off their debts.
- Of course, as a Nephandi mage, Cavendish himself is no stranger to acquiring dark gifts by bargaining with Infernal entities, hence the Eye of Kadir, and he's still busy paying off the resulting debt to his masters to this day - while still taking the time to skim a little off the top for the sake of his own sinister experiments.
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: One of his many specialties, having a 5 in the sphere of Entropy.
- Evil Sorcerer: As a Nephandus, this is pretty much a given.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Cavendish has an eyeball set directly into the palm of his right hand; known as the Eye of Kadir, it's actually a magical artifact capable of controlling minds and one of Cavendish's most valuable possessions, having acquired it via a bargain with the Infernal powers.
- Fallen Hero: Once upon a time - when he was still known as Anastagio Salvatorio - Cavendish actually used to be a pious member of the Celestial Chorus. Though considered one of the best and brightest of his order, he ultimately made the mistake of reading certain Nephandi texts that had ended up in his possession; seduced by the power they offered, he escaped his chantry and sought out a powerful Nephandi for more information... and the rest is history.
- Faux Affably Evil: Devyn Cavendish has the "charming showman" act down to a fine art, luring in unsuspecting victims with honeyed promises and jovial camaraderie - especially visitors to Fortuna's Wheel, who he likes to greet with "We gamblers have to stick together!" Behind the scenes, of course, he's an oily, scheming trickster with no regard for any of the innocents he suckers in, always anxious to appease his patrons with more souls, always ready to eliminate certain members of the Circus should they prove too troublesome to be useful anymore.
- Gadget Watches: Cavendish is in possession of an Edwardian pocket watch that just so happens to double as a powerful magical weapon; this talisman, known as the Entropy Watch, is most commonly used to induce decay and deterioration in its targets, resulting in Rapid Aging - sometimes to the point of death. Worse still, it's been attuned to him alone, meaning that nobody else can use it.
- Horrifying the Horror: An Evil Sorcerer in the business of stealing souls and enslaving monsters from all over the World of Darkness, Cavendish is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with; the only thing guaranteed to frighten him is a visit from his masters' representatives - arguably the only time Cavendish can be seen grovelling.
- Hustling the Mark: His antics at Fortuna's Wheel; already canny enough to willingly lose several hands and charming enough to trick gamblers into staying at the tables, his grasp of Entropy magic allows him to easily win once he's finished setting up the marks. Then, once the players are well and truly bankrupt, the Faustian Contract is offered...
- Large Ham: Part and parcel of the ringmaster's role. Cavendish rarely does anything without flamboyance and drama, especially if there's an audience in attendance - willing or otherwise. Just look at his dialogue after he kills off Patrick the Bone Gnawer:
Essence de Lycanthrope! Still fetches a price on the infernal market! Real werewolf, ground to a fine powder! Lacking stamina and courage with the lasses, sir? Try this rare remedy, ground from the heart of a Lycanthrope hunter and warrior! Lacking animal magnetism? Not anymore! Brings out the beast! Half price discount under the full moon!
- Lean and Mean: Both character notes and illustrations portray Cavendish as very tall and thin, an impression only enhanced by his top hat. And nobody could doubt how nasty the ringmaster can be...
- Manipulative Bastard: Cavendish toys with human emotions both regularly and adeptly, either in conning gamblers into throwing all their money away on rigged game, brainwashing Orenda into voluntary service, or misdirecting the player troupe into dead ends on their investigation.
- Nice Hat: As ringmaster, he's easily distinguished by his spectacular top hat.
- Really 700 Years Old: Anastagio Salvatorio was born in the 15th century and didn't really settle into the job of ringmaster until around 1499. Five hundred years later, he hasn't changed much except for his latest name change and a slight greying of his hair.
- Red Right Hand: The Eye of Kadir remains permanently set in Cavendish's right hand, making this an almost literal case. Though it's useful for controlling and brainwashing enemies, Cavendish is careful to ensure that nobody sees it, hence his always-gloved hands.
- Repulsive Ringmaster: The greatest and most infamous of the Midnight Circus's ringmasters, Cavendish is also a Nephandi, a willing servant of both Infernal entities and the Wyrm, a cold-hearted killer, a ruthless enslaver of men and women, a thief of literally thousands of souls, an unrepentant con-artist, a gambling hustler, and an all-around scumbag.
- The Starscream: Cavendish joined the Midnight Circus by becoming an apprentice to the current ringmaster, the hedge wizard Mauritius; once he'd finished learning everything his master had to teach him, it wasn't long before Chronic Backstabbing Disorder set in. Not long after Mauritius refused to hand over his position, he was found inexplicably naked and barking like a dog - the perfect position for him to be hunted down and ripped to bits by his own hounds. Cavendish took over the show soon after.
- The Sociopath: Cavendish is a Nephandus, and as becoming a member of the Nephandi twists the recipient into a sociopath, Cavendishs actions (which usually involve duping people into giving up their lives and souls with gambling games, underhanded tricks and backstabbing his former boss to an Undignified Death by his own dogs) along with his complete lack of remorse over them show that hes no exception.
- Whip It Good: Makes use of one in the prologue, during his fight with Patrick.