- "My life's been a hard one, but I do not dwell on the difficulties I have faced; I instead focus on helping my fellow man, to lessen their burden, so as to prevent the suffering I have endured falling upon them."
- ―Mortimer Kersey
|Date of birth:||2233|
|Occupation:||Chaplain of St. Peter's Church|
Mortimer Kersey is the one and only priest of Ewing Bay; a lifelong Christian with a deep passion for the biblical texts he has read ever since his childhood, even since his days spent with his father on the run from the rampaging Klansmen Confederacy's acts in Mississippi. His sincere beliefs in his own moral code has naturally led him to butt heads with the more powerful pseudo-aristocracy in town, especially where the matters of slavery and class inequality come to the play; having faced discrimination himself, Kersey's own message of unity and strength have given him a large number of followers in the growing community, mostly made up of members of his own congregation, Kersey's own power in the community is known to practically everyone bar Kersey, who instead puts his full focus into his work at his church, amongst his flock.
Mortimer Kersey was born in 2233, the son of a black farming family eking out a subsistence living on the very edge of the Klansmen Confederacy's rule in Mississippi at the time; unable to sell their products to settlers unwilling to incur the wrath of frequent Klansmen patrols, whom largely ignored this unimportant family of starving farmers, the family had lived in very grim poverty for years prior to Kersey's birth and, as such, had taken up one of the few great comforts available en masse to the poor; the Christian Bible. As a result of this highly religious family unit that Kersey grew up in, Kersey would grow up to be a highly-religious member of the family. His infant education consisted simply of reading the Bible and being taught bare basics about the farm, not to mention that of the dangers posed by the wildlife and, more imposingly, the Klansmen. By the age of five, Kersey would soon find out the brutality of the Klansmen first hand; his father was accused of being involved in an ambush on a prominent Klansman in the area, something which even Kersey in later life would admit may well have been true, and the Klan's patrols descended on the family homestead; only Kersey and his father would escape, fleeing into the night with the young Kersey never witnessing the brutal deaths of his mother, brothers, and grandparents at the hands of the Klansmen, whom later burnt the family's age-old homestead to the ground. Kersey and his father would spend the next seven years roaming on the edge of Mississippi and the outskirts of Louisiana, surviving now as hunter-gatherers, selling meat and hide to any and all who wished to purchase their fairly common wares, often for a mere pittance. Throughout this time, both to help Kersey come to terms with the majority of his family being killed and to keep his spirits up on a more general and frequent basis, Kersey's father would continue to read and teach Kersey sections of the Bible and how to read them; Kersey himself learned to read, for the most part, by re-reading these passages himself, memorizing them and reciting them to himself and others that he and his father ran into, with most of their customers impressed by his dedication to his faith, despite their more often than not obvious prejudices against the two blacks.
By the age of seven, the increasingly religiously-zealous Kersey had begun preaching the gospel to not just potential customers on the road but also to gatherings of people on the road, generating a very generous source of income for him and his father; though Kersey himself felt that to ask for money went against his Christian teachings, his father justified this by repeatedly informing his son about the lack of any charity in the brutal wastes of Louisiana, the former state they now found themselves roaming. In 2256, with Kersey's knowledge of the bible practically ingrained into his mind, Kersey's father health began to fail; a year prior, Kersey's father had suffered severe coughing fits and chest infections; according to one of the doctors that the young Kersey had taken his father to visit in one of the many rustic settlements had stated plainly that it was indeed a cancerous tumour. Despite Kersey's best efforts, his father would continue to fade fast, with the last few days of his father's life spent stationary in an old church, with the young Kersey bringing his father food and water, hoping to stem the inevitable and praying desperately for his return to good health. His prayers would go, obviously, unanswered, with his father dying in the aging church and his son, after a few days of mourning and a fitting cremation of his father's corpse, leaving his old life behind an orphaned child. Despite initial wariness and fear, Kersey became used to hunting local wildlife and dealing with other travellers on the road without his father, comforting himself frequently by reading his small, rather tattered Bible whenever possible, using Biblical passages to find answers to most of his nomadic questions, though a good mix of common sense learned by copying and following his father's actions also helped him in his continuing journeys across Louisiana, eventually bringing him to the place that he would decide to remain in 2260; Ewing Bay, a quaint little fishing town on the coast of Vermillion Bay.
The reasons for Kersey's very conscious decision to stay in the town was, first and most notably, the highly religious townsfolk making up the majority of the town's populace; these very charitable denizens, of mixed heritage and race, were particularly welcoming of the devoutly Christian Kersey, whose knowledge of the bible and more rare ability to read scripture made him a very popular street preacher. Secondly, Kersey felt a great sense of belonging in the town that was furthered when he noted what he rightly considered the injustices of the rich-poor divide in the town; with the majority of his"clients" who asked him to read scripture to them on special occasions, such as weddings and funerals, living in very modest and humble dwellings, this being in stark contrast to the more faux-religious rich of the town living in grand manors and houses, more often than not with a deluge of servants and guards present. The longer Kersey spent in the town, the more he became acutely aware of this divide, occasionally noting the odd civil-strife present within every community. Kersey thus decided to begin preaching largely about equality amongst the workers, now usually congregating around the young man preaching on the side street in tattered rags; reminding them of the divisions present in the Klansmen Confederacy's and the Brethren of the Shroud's territories; he sought to unite them and avoid the same divisions that he had witnessed on the roads of Louisiana and Mississippi. This message, naturally, appealed to many; most of the fishermen and harbor workers had aided each other mostly from cold hard pragmatism, though now many of them could revel in the thought of a good deed done. Kersey's street preaching eventually entered public buildings, notably the bars and tenements frequented by dock workers, where encouragements to aid fellow citizens were followed by bible passages purportedly backing his message. By 2274 the thirty-six-year-old Kersey was now a famed figure in the town, now working in the confines of an old church that had laid mostly in disuse during the period following the Great War; now it was somewhat cleaned up and in use by the newly self-appointed Pastor Kersey, now clad in old vestments recovered from the vestuary of the same church.
Whilst Kersey's message has been one of support for one's fellow man, be it black or white, Ghoul or Human, Kersey's own message of unity has also at times been contradicted by his message of peaceful resistance against those of the pseudo-aristocracy in power over the town; fiery sermons condemning actions undertaken by the pseudo-aristocracy, including the likes of the cold and calm figure of Martin Long, notably one of the most active employers of the fishermen of the town's burgeoning fishing industry, have made the firebrand preacher both a loved figure and a hated one by the town's poor and rich populace, respectively. Kersey also, where possible, has spoken against the practices of the smugglers, notably having convinced some of the more timid of their ranks to leave their otherwise profitable careers in smuggling for the sake of their souls, specifically their practices in smuggling of narcotics and even slaves, though the latter most claim is a supposedly unsubstantiated one. Many times Kersey has been sent threats as a result of this, but for Kersey, his mission is clear; to end the injustices of the wastes and spread the gospel of his beloved, tattered bible.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves; so the man himself may have said.
- "The Lord's will is my duty, sir; I would die to fulfill that duty."
- ―Mortimer Kersey
- "Firearms? I've no need for such weapons when I have the most powerful one of all; the Lord's words."
- ―Mortimer Kersey
- Pastor's Vestments: Recovered from the very same church that many of his sermons are practiced, a tattered pastor's vestments serve as the clothing that Kersey most wears; cleaned heavily and frequently by Kersey, whom often states that "cleanliness is next to godliness" to his flock in his surprisingly clean vestments. Wearing a bowler hat and clad in his usual pair of glasses, the aging priest has become noted for his rather iconic dress.
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