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William Thomas was born in the winter of 1897, his mother a seamstress, his father a tailor. A prideful boy with his parent’s artistic flair he often had to prove himself in rough and tumble with the other local boys. In 1914, barely more than a boy, and still feeling the sting of childhood taunts he went to war in the trenches of WWI to serve his country and prove his manhood.
William (never Bill) seemed to lead a charmed life, unscathed while so many people died around him. He brightened up the trenches with paintings and drawings, and darned socks and fixed uniforms for his fellow soldiers, making him much loved (if often made fun of) That luck finally came to an end at Ypres in 1917 when he has engulfed almost directly in concentrated mustard gas.
William’s blisters covered most of his body and became horribly infected. He was bed-bound for years but never lost his upbeat attitude or appreciation of beauty, painstakingly painting and sewing over months with trembling, blistered, raw fingers.
After years of this, he was tracked down by an officer, Captain Jonathan Carstairs, he had served with, now a vampire, seeking to retain his links with his humanity. Finding William in such a state he took pity on him, reasoning that – already disfigured and yet well-adjusted – he would adapt well to his transformation. Carstairs was not wrong.
Even disfigured, William was – now fit – able to return to his family, using the half-truth of his flayed skin as an excuse to live a nocturnal life, out of the sun. He inherited his father’s tailor’s shop and employed his brother (and later his nephew and grand-nephew) to run the store by day, while he ran his own unique service by night.
William has mastered his art in the intervening years and his family are in on his secret. He holds himself apart from the politics of other vampires and the Thomas Tailor store is granted a unique status as neutral ground and a permanent elysium, a safe place for vampires – of any sect – to engage William’s skills, in exchange for blood.
William has innovated with threads and coating that resist blood, that resist bullets (while retaining a fashionable and tailored line) and he has even begun to experiment with more supernatural materials, worthy of his skill.
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