Image by Ulysses0302. Please do not use without permission
Ralph Treganan falls half-way between the Web and Gekko factions of the Carthians. He agrees with the Gekkos that any Kindred attempt to help mortals directly is bound to fail, but he does believe that the Kindred can remove the obstacles that prevent mortals from helping themselves.
The third son of a country squire in the late eighteenth century, his family’s connections secured him a job as an curate in a small fishing community on the south coast. It was a job to which he was grossly unsuited – except that the parson of the church was also the head of a smuggling ring that turned a rich profit bringing in wine, spirits and tobacco from France. Young Ralph found his niche as the parson’s second-in-command, living a secret double life as a pious assistant priest and a smuggler who loved the danger and excitement of outwitting Revenue officers – with a little boozing, whoring and gambling to let off steam.
That ended when a lucky shot from a pursing Revenue ship left him with a bullet in his gut. His own ship got away, but it was plan that Ralph wasn’t long for this world.
The parson had been working for Thomas Wyncham, and Wyncham, contemplating his first torpor but needing someone to keep Mother supplied with vitae while he slept, decided that the situation was a nudge from fate, and Embraced him.
Treganan arrived in London in 1809. For about seven decades after he first showed up in London, he was counted amongst the ranks of the Unbound, but he managed to carve out a niche for himself, despite his lack of Covenant affiliation, because he spent a lot of time on the South Coast. He was, in effect, a go-between between the Prince of the Saxon Shore, and the London Invictus. Even those Invictus with their own close personal links with the Eagle (like Marlowe), occasionally found it convenient to use Treganan as a courier.
Treganan's instincts were always against the Establishment, the stagnant status quo, and as the Carthians started to gain influence and supporters, he increasingly began to side with them, bankrolling them and sometimes providing the more outspoken ones with a safe route out of the city when they went to far. He officially joined the Movement in 1889, but he had been allied with them for a long time before this. He lost patronage from the Invictus by openly declaring his loyalties, but the backing of the Carthians compensated enough that his status in Kindred society didn't really suffer.
He is known as something of a dilettante, and he keeps up with the latest trends - social and technological. He maintains a smuggling network partly out of nostalgia for his mortal days, but partly because the ability to move things and people about with no-one the wiser helps to secure his position in Kindred society. He did a lot of work for Wyncham while he (Wyncham) was still an Invictus Primogen - the business with Bosworth wasn't the first job that Wyncham more-or-less put his way
Ralph Treganan is a curious paradox. He could be called an adrenaline junkie if his adrenal glands still worked, addicted to danger and excitement (preferably illicit) even tonight. Yet he has a strong moral core which makes him favour nefarious activities with some sort of redeeming social value, what Dr. Knox calls a "Robin Hood complex". He wholeheartedly embraces the Carthian ideology that change is good. In the past, he's given financial support to the Glastonbury Festival, Gay Pride, the Suffragettes, and the anti-racism movement, cooling on each as they became, in his own words, "about as anti-Establishment as Royal Ascot". He's also not above doing things out of sheer devilment, or to shock his jaded contemporaries. When the Tories launched their ill-fated "Back to Basics" campaign, for instance, he responded to their moral crusade by deciding to become a porn star. Unable to appear in photos or video, he instead commissioned a struggling artist to produce photo-quality portraits of him in a series of underground graphic novels. "And graphic", remarked Dr. Knox, "is certainly the word".
He's a dilettante in his interests, with investments in everything from high technology to farming, although he retains a fondness for the smuggling business from his mortal days, and has a hand in a good percentage of London’s drug trade. He and Van Lutyens dance around each other with exquisite courtesy in criminal circles, careful not to tread on each others’ toes.
In the early 1990s, the Carthians started to get nervous at the thought that no-one from their own Covenant was privy to the Temple's meetings. Wyncham suggested that Ralph Treganan join to address this, on the grounds that (a) he was acceptable to both the Web and Gekko factions of the Carthians, and (b) he already had clandestine contacts with Van Lutyens, so they might as well be put on an official footing.