|Known Background: Howard Saunders was working as a freelance writer for the Chicago Tribune when he got a tip that something strange was going on in the woods behind Rockford College. Hoping that this might be the story that would make his career (or at least get him hired on fulltime), he headed out to find out what was going on. When he got there, he was the strangest scene of his life; a group of people were dancing around a large bonfire in a ritualistic manner while others were bound and gagged in the shadows. His initial thoughts that this was some sort of demented fraternity prank died, though, when the dancers began to morph into were-creatures and attacking those bound. Startled, he made a noise, just loud enough to draw their attention. That was the last thing he remembered for the next three days.|
|When he awoke three days later, he found himself in a different area of the woods, surrounded by the dead bodies of the revelers. Searching the area for clues of what had happened, all he was able to find was an ancient book, bound in what looked like leather and written in some strange language. Taking the book with him, he left the scene. Over the next three weeks, he tried to forget what had happened, but knew that he couldn't. Then, at the next full moon, he found himself transforming; but this time he knew what was happening and was able to keep the animal inside at bay. He was a werewolf, but in complete control of his faculties. Over the next few months, he found he could control the transformations during the rest of the month and even learned how to tap into his abilities on a limited scale. He used these talents to get ahead in the business, enabling him to gain the position of staff reporter by the time the Hawk formed.|
|Joining the Hawk proved to be the best and worst move he could make. His public appearances with the team drew the attention of Beastia and the other werewolves who wanted revenge for what had happened to their pack mates in the woods. She attacked and transformed him again, this time trapping him in the form of a wolf. Fortunately the Hawk were an understanding bunch and gave him shelter, eventually getting in touch with Dragon of the Champions of Justice who used magic and the knowledge within the book to partially restore him to human form. But being a wolf-man was a lot better than the alternative, so he was grateful. He was hired on by the Hawk to do PR for the group and was even able to start a relationship with Christina Cameron, who was used to odd situations. When the Hawk merged with the CoJ, Howard stayed on, tackling the job of public relations for the entire organization.|
Personality: Howard is a full believer in living life to its fullest. Being trapped in wolf form made him long for, and therefore appreciate, the finer things in life: a juicy steak, a fine wine, the love of a good woman, and even the occasional scratch behind the ear. He loves to have fun, will do so at every opportunity and will make humdrum situations entertaining for himself and those around him. It's this ability that makes him a good PR man as he can win over a crowd with a few well-timed jokes and a friendly demeanor. He can even occasionally make them forget for a few moments that he's the wolf-man.
Powers/Tactics: When in his werewolf form, Howard had enhanced speed, strength and stamina far superior to a normal human being. His claws were razor sharp and could tear through 2x4 planks like tissue paper. His enhanced senses made him an excellent predator. When fighting, he would allow himself to go to the brink of letting the animal out, just keeping it enough in check to keep him from killing anyone. To this end, he developed a berserker fighting style that he can still duplicate today, though with far less power behind it.
Appearance: In his completely human form, Howard used to stand at 5'8" tall and weighted a "pleasantly plump" 210 pounds. After several months as a werewolf, however, he trimmed down and replaced the fat with muscle tone. While in his werewolf form, he inexplicably gained 8" in height and 80 pounds in mass. Now, in his wolf-man form, Howard has split the difference and stands 6'2" tall and weighs in at 240. His heightened metabolism manages to keep him in decent shape in spite of his fast food habits. His brown hair color has followed him in all of his forms with his brown eyes darkening in color when any evidence of wolf is involved. The fact that no gray is visible in his hair makes him look younger than he is (in late 30's). He often wears shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops for comfort around home and office (his claws aren't as sharp as they used to be, but they still do a number on fabric if he's not careful), but has been known to dress formally when the need arises (and then gets back into comfy clothes again as soon as possible).
Howler was created and designed by Jim Caswell. He is an NPC.© Copyright 1994, 2023 - James E. Caswell
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Last updated on 30 May 2023