Betas of the Uratha

Steve Cullen

Blood Talon Ithaeur

Alpha of the Temple Guard Pack

The first sign of Steve Cullen's remarkable knack for technical work came when he dismantled the toaster at the age of three. On that occasion, he didn't manage to put it back together - something which his family still hasn't stopped teasing him about. As he grew up, however, he proved that he was as good at putting things back together as he was at taking them apart.

Steve Cullen's father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all serving soldiers, and Steve himself always planned to follow in their footsteps. Although proud of his decision, his father and grandfather agreed that it would be a waste of his talents for him to join a conventional infantry platoon. Instead, they encouraged him to join the Royal Engineers.

Steve's First Change came late, when he was 23. Fortunately it happened when he was at home on leave, and his grandfather - also an Uratha - recognized the signs and made sure that no-one got hurt. His Dad wasn't Uratha - the trait had skipped a generation - but he was delighted to see the family heritage manifest in his son.

Steve Cullen served with distinction in both Northern Ireland and Gulf Wars I and II. The death of his grandfather in 2006 prompted him to re-evaluate his life, and he returned to London to participate more fully in Uratha society.

With his record and abilities, he had no trouble obtaining a job on the London Underground as an engineer. At that time, the Temple Guard pack, a new young group made up of two Bone Shadows and a Storm Lord, were just coming together. Steve took control of the pack without a struggle - the youngsters were, if anything, honoured to have a battle-tested Blood Talon as their Alpha.

He discovered that the Underground contained some fairly nasty things, things that would have been better left undisturbed. He took the job of keeping them under control. The task of providing security for the meetings of the Temple came as a near-accidental by-product of that primary duty, but he had no objections to taking it on. Steve Cullen is a strong supporter of the Temple, for purely pragmatic reasons. His engineer's mentality makes him willing to use any available resource to solve a problem, and that, basically, is how he sees the Mages and Kindred - as a resource to be exploited to further the wider goals of the Uratha. Although he's not himself a member of the Temple, he knows everyone who is, and remains on fairly good terms with all of them. When Van Lutyens eventually steps down, Steve Cullen is the most likely candidate to replace him.

Harry Marchment

Storm Lord Cahalith

Beta of the Treasure Bearers Pack

Most people who meet her assume that Harry Marchment (don't call her "Harriet" if you know what's good for you), comes from an upper-class background. Her accent and manners certainly seem like something produced by centuries of inbreeding and an exclusive finishing school.

She gets that from her Dad. Bill Marchment was one of the most gifted con-men of his generation, and impersonating aristocrats and the idle rich was one of his specialties. In fairness, Harry did get the finest education that (someone else's) money could buy, but she's a hell of a lot more street-wise than her usual outward persona would suggest.

Her mother abandoned her and her father before she was two - or so she believed until just after her nineteenth birthday, when he First Change made her understand exactly why her mother had left. Harry wouldn't have trusted the predatory nature of an Uratha around a small child, either.

She was lucky - her First Change took place when she was camping in the Brecon Beacons. She was doubly lucky that the boyfriend who'd suggested they stay there was himself an Uratha, a Bone Shadow of the Highgate Pack, who had recognized the signs of her impending change and made haste to get her away from civilization.

She soon realized that there was an "underworld" of sorts even amongst the Uratha, and quite deliberately set out to impress Van Lutyens. She succeeded - her inherited abilities as a con artist, her intelligence and resourcefulness, and her coolness under fire, all won his approval, and eventually, the coveted position as his Pack Beta and lieutenant. She's completely loyal to Van Lutyens, and despite her membership of the Storm Lords, has no ambition to supplant him.