Well, I’ve officially joined Zanaikin’s Imperium Project. Although my first attempt at writing the shared history of Canan and Exam, the characters who were subsequently placed under my charge, failed hard, eventually everyone on the project agreed that its core concepts were good and could be used if I could just edit my original draft. I’ve finally done just that, and while this new draft feels like a complete rewrite, it’s also a lot smoother and more focused than my first, and contains some input directly from Zanaikin. So I’m a lot more confident about this one – at least, enough to share it with the Internet.
Potentially massive spoilers after the break.
This time, Canan and Exam first meet roughly two years prior to the beginning of the game. At this time, Canan is a member of Arcanum working… somewhere under contract to identify and eliminate significant terrorist leaders. In the course of her investigations, Canan encounters Exam, who despite not being a terrorist was taking similar precautions to hide his identity as a vampire.
Canan, aware of the existence, however rare, of vampires on Earth due to her employment with Arcanum, nonetheless attacked Exam as part of her duty to that zealous organization. However, although she fought with all of her murderous intent, Canan’s abilities were far inferior to Exam’s, and she was quickly and painfully defeated.
Although he had wounded her seriously and left her unconscious, Exam chose not to kill Canan. There was no sense or purpose in it – Canan posed no threat to Exam, nor did he need to feed at that time; and despite being a member of Arcanum, Canan was an infiltrator, a role that didn’t exist within Arcanum. This girl was more useful to Exam, or somebody else, if she was alive. As it stood, after stabilizing her health, Exam left Canan somewhere where she could be found and treated more completely.
Canan was recovered by Arcanum and restored completely to health, but she realized that this was only because the vampire, who had possessed the full opportunity to kill her, had allowed her to live. Determined to understand more – about vampires, herself, Arcanum, her attacker, and these recent events – Canan began dedicated research, making use of every document available to her. What she discovered was an astounding amount of information regarding the lengths to which Arcanum had gone to suppress, eliminate, or absorb other magical or magic-relevant entities. The organization possessed almost a Crusaders-esque zeal for persecution. Canan adopted a divided stance towards this information; while it was still necessary for her to serve Arcanum, she was no longer willing to accept its doctrines as law in all cases, particularly on the subject of vampires.
Armed with new knowledge, Canan sought Exam once again and, fortunately, was able to find him, albeit in a very different place than their original meeting. Rather than blindly attacking each other, this time the two engaged in diplomatic conversation, and eventually established a friendship. However, as both Canan and Exam wanted something in particular from each other, this friendship quickly developed a student-master dynamic.
Canan was very interested in the techniques that Exam had used to defeat her in their first meeting – techniques similar to her own, but refined to a much higher level. Exam therefore agreed to teach her whatever he could. In exchange, Canan told Exam about Arcanum, her role in it, and the discoveries that she had made and continued to make in her various research projects.
Exam, meanwhile, was in need of the social contact that Canan could provide. As a relatively young vampire, some 50 years old, and an adherent to the unpopular philosophy of feeding only when necessary, Exam was somewhat separated from his kind; and neither did Exam embrace his identity, evidenced by his decision to live alone and to act and dress as a girl. He told all of this to Canan, who, herself recognizing the potential importance of disguises, empathized.
Ultimately, this closeness and knowledge of each other’s secret lives led Canan and Exam to become lovers, despite the various taboos they were knowingly breaking. However, there was little time for the two to enjoy their relationship, as general signs of unrest caused Arcanum to regroup and prepare to act in case of a major event. It was necessary for Canan to join in this – but Exam, correctly expecting no quarter from Arcanum, remained where he was. He was able only to promise that he would rejoin Canan at the earliest opportunity, regardless of the wait.