John Noir

Incubus Private Investigator


John is a fairly handsome man, not overly tall (5’11") with brown hair and blue eyes. He is clean shaven but generally sporting stubble and wears his hair short. In his fae mien, he is gaunt, with alabaster white skin and hair, and his eyes are completely black pits which seem to suck in the light. He seems not entirely solid, like he weighs nothing and even appears translucent when he hasn’t fed in a while.

He wears a tan double-breasted trenchcoat, charcoal grey two-piece suit and tie, and white sneakers as his “work uniform”. When he’s being more casual, he generally does jeans with a button-down white shirt and a sweater (if the weather’s cold). He always wears a St. Michael medal, a gift from his mother on his Confirmation.

He is a frequent patron of Verdant and practically lives off of Golden Palace Chinese takeout. He is an avid rock climber. On free weekends, he often drives an hour to Great Barrington or even the three hours to Stowe, Vermont for ice climbing at Smugglers’ Notch (“Smuggs”).


John Michael Ellis was born on September 29th, 1974 in Athens, Massachusetts to John and Kate Ellis. John was a cop and Kate a home-maker. His first seven years were fairly happy. When he was eight, his mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and she suffered terribly for the next two years until her death (Feburary 14, 1984).

His father fell into despair and alcoholism, withdrawing from his son except for the time they spent restoring a white 1970 Dodge Challenger. He spent most of his free time in his room reading comic books and mystery novels or out with the school rock-climbing club. On graduation from high school, his father gave him the car and the two parted ways. John hasn’t spoken to his father since.

He took a job working for Jim Bolt (a private investigator, former cop and friend of his father) and spent five years learning the trade before getting his license in 1997 and going into business for himself. During this time he also developed a social life and his propensity for one-night stands. His early career had him working for other investigators when they needed extra help, but eventually he started to take on lucrative “domestic” cases and it became the cornerstone of his practice. Part of what drew him to the work was the availability of the disgruntled wives and girlfriends who hired him and he started habitually sleeping with his clients.

In 2003, he was hired by a woman to follow her husband as part of a custody fight. Their daughter was currently in her husband’s custody and she was looking for leverage to change that. She presented herself as very sympathetic and gave him reasons that she suspected her husband of negligence (but not abuse). His instincts told him she was up to something but after she slept with him, he ignored them and did the job as she asked. After a week of establishing the husband’s routines, his client abducted her daughter and disappeared. He immediately came under police scrutiny as an accomplice, particularly when it came out that he’d slept with her. Although the charges were eventually dropped (he suspects due to his father and mentor being ex-cops), he nearly lost his license and felt immense guilt, particularly after the husband confronted him after his release.

He tried to stop the womanizing after that, settling down with a woman for over a year (the longest relationship he’s had). They had a fantastic vacation in New Orleans for Carnival in 2005 but broke up on Valentine’s Day, the day after they returned, when she brought up the issue of marriage and his response didn’t please her. On the anniversary of his mother’s death, John just couldn’t bring himself to committing to someone. He fell back into his bad habits not long after.

He was involved in a nasty divorce case in 2007 that ended with the husband (a friend from high school) killing his wife and three children before committing suicide. He took a long trip to Bar Harbor in Maine where he spent most of his time rock climbing and trying to put recent events from his mind. When he returned, he stopped taking domestic cases for several months but eventually the money drew him back in. He still took other work, though, and maintained a good relationship with other private investigators in the city. Despite his bad habits, he is known for being good at what he does and reliable. His colleagues joke that his personality gives him a unique insight into his client’s sordid affairs. He has been approached, on occasion, with job offers by corporations and government agencies, even the police, but he likes his independence.


On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, a beautiful woman came into his office and said she had a job for him. He was more attracted to her than any woman he had ever met. The details were hazy but he couldn’t resist her. She spoke of rich rewards and said it would only take three days. When he agreed, she took him back to Faerie. He doesn’t remember a lot of his time there, which seemed endless. Wherever he was, it was dark. She would come to him and take her pleasure with him, draining him of everything he had, leaving him an empty husk. He would fall into delirious, dreamless sleep and, when he awoke, it would start again. He remembers feeling lust which overrode everything and a soul-deep sense of hunger and emptiness growing in him. He never would have escaped but for the invasion. Being taken prisoner allowed his mind to clear and when a prisoner of the invader proposed escape, he took it. The only thought to peek through his lust-addled mind during his captivity had been that he would never see his father again. It was his father that drew him back.


John escaped with fellow prisoners Jaime Tyler and Jack O’ Dreams but they were captured by slavers Jared and Bertie and taken to market for sale. Jared took an almost immediate dislike to John and treated him very poorly. Jack worked on Bertie, trying to build a rapport, and one night she gave him a ring, telling him to display it at market. On the way, they got the attention of a Summer Court patrol and Jack flashed the ring, which seemed to interest them. At the market, the patrol showed up with King Abacus, who purchased them for the price of a soul in a globe. He seemed angry and took the ring. The three were taken by Alexandros to the The Sweet Water Motor Inn where Moose gave them rooms, clothes, and some money to get them started. Abacus forced them to swear fealty to his court before removing their slave collars and showed them their “clubhouse” in the cemetery.


It was Saturday, September 28. John had only been gone three days and was anxious to return to his life. He found that his father was being taken to AA meetings by his fetch, who had tidied up his life and taken a new case. They observed him staking out the club owned by the Spring Queen and talking with John’s mentor. John also had a dream of killing children and woke covered in blood. After seeing Mark Strauss again, he remembered who the children were: the children of Gavin Karns, his former client who killed his family. That night, after tailing him all over town, the three entered John’s apartment and were set upon by the fetch, who spoke of his twin and getting the short end of the stick before gutting John. All three of them were needed to take him out, with John draining off the last of his life force to heal some of his injuries. Jack observed the ghost of Gavin departing the fetch before it broke down into its components: bloody childrens’ toys belonging to the Kerns children and a doll with John’s hair. Securing these items in a backpack surrounded by a salt circle in his closet, John changed into his own clothes, gathered his things, and went back to Sweetwater. His apartment just didn’t seem like home anymore.


  • 1974 Sep 29: Born.
  • 1979 Sep 4: Started kindergarten.
  • 1981 Oct 4: Confirmation.
  • 1982 Jun 20: Mother took him to see E.T., told him she is sick.
  • 1984 Feb 14: Mother died.
  • 1988 Sep 6: Started high school.
  • 1989 Winter: Joined the rock climbing club for a girl.
  • 1989 Summer: Got into comic books after seeing Batman movie.
  • 1990 Summer: Started restoring the Challenger with his father.
  • 1990 Oct: Got his driver’s license.
  • 1991 Winter: Lost his virginity in the Thunderbolt Ski Shelter on Mount Greylock.
  • 1992-1995: Played drums in band Event Horizon with high school friends.
  • 1992 Summer: Graduated from high school, started working for Jim Bolt.
  • 1995 Sep 14: Saw NIN and David Bowie in Hartford on Dissonance/Outside tour.
  • 1995 Sep 29: Got his Class A License-to-Carry permit.
  • 1997 Apr: Got his private investigator license and began to work for himself. Hale-Bopp comet.
  • 2000 Spring: Opened his own office.
  • 2003: Client abducted her daughter, he was arrested and nearly lost his license.
  • 2005 Feb 5-13: Trip to New Orleans for Carnival with his girlfriend of a year.
  • 2005 Feb 14: She broke up with him over his unwillingness to get engaged.
  • 2007: His client, Gavin Karns, murdered his wife and three children, committed suicide.
  • 2007: Spent two weeks in Bar Harbor, Maine rock climbing.
  • 2009 Jun 3: Saw NIN in Mansfield for NIN/JA tour (supposedly their last).
  • 2013 Sep 25: Abducted by one of the Others and replaced by a fetch containing the ghost of Gavin Karns.
  • 2013 Sep 28: Returned to Athens.

John Noir

Athens AutumnBerg EricBerg