"What's yer name, boy?" "...M-Macawi" "Make-a-whuh?! That's not a name.. I'm gonna call you Thomas. Say it with me. Taw-muhs."
Black Dog was a son of the Cheyenne Tribe. His father, a Cheyenne brave, and his mother, a medicine woman, met and wed on the lands of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation. Soon conceiving a son, they aspired to raise him capable and prepared for the dangerous times that lay ahead. With fighting still raging between the North and South, the dead rising on the battlefield, and strange and terrible tidings from the Hunting Grounds, the new parents were content to stay far away from the armies and tribes their people had already fought previously. The father raised the boy as his father raised him, and his father before him. He taught him to walk silently among the trees, even as leaves covered the ground. He taught him to mimic the cries and calls of the birds, to spy the tracks of game, to run swiftly, and to hide in the night. His mother taught him as well. She showed him how to forage for all types of berries and roots, how to mend his clothes and tools, and how to speak the stories of the Cheyenne. She explained to him the majesty and grace of all that surrounded him, and even that which he did not know surrounded him. She taught him to respect all life and the Spirits that guided it.
Disagreement soon came between the two parents, fostered by change and uncertainty. Sitting Bull had founded the Sioux Nations, and she desired to take the family and go join the Northern Cheyenne, who had been afforded a lesser place among the Nations. His father, however, adamantly refused. He would not abandon his tribe for the safety of the coalition, and declared it as an ultimatum. Black Dog's mother didn't care, taking the boy and gathering with a small group of tribe members who likewise wished to join with the Sioux Nations in their newly claimed territory. They made the long and arduous journey north, traveling from the southern half of Colorado to the Dakota Territory. It was there they settled and Black Dog began his new life as a member of the Sioux Nations.
The Northern Cheyenne were not Council members of the Sioux Nation tribes, and would thus have to gain the favor of one of the more powerful tribes if any of them ever desired to air any grievances or request any aid. This led to a feeling of resentment for Black Dog, who couldn't understand why his mother would leave his father and his tribe behind for second-class citizenship and foolish ideals like safety and security. The boy was also forced to begin studying as an underling of the of the shamans of the Sioux tribes, to learn more of truth of the Hunting Grounds and the Old Ones, and the changes occurring in the world. He practiced combat and studied war with the warriors of the Sioux, This, combined with the loss of his old home and the increasing pressure from his mother to learn and prepare for the future, led him to feel isolated and anxious oftentimes. This would only worsen when two short years after moving away from his tribe, he caught word that the Cheyenne, along with the Comanche, Kiowa, and various other smaller tribes had formed their own coalition known as the Coyote Confederation.
Black Dog often considered leaving to find his old tribe, but he knew that he would never survive the journey without the knowledge and strength that only the tribes could give him. So he stayed, and studied the Ways of the Old Ones. He learned of the Spirits that surrounded and guided all living things, and how to thank and appease them. He was taught of the Wendigo, and the Skin-Walkers, and the various creatures that waited in dark caves and corners to devour anything and everything at all.
The warriors of the tribes, taking him out with their hunting parties to sharpen his skills, took to calling him "Macawi." A Lakota word for Coyote and a reference to his old tribe and given moniker, Black Dog quickly adopted it in favor of the mouthful that was his given name. He was strong and agile, and hunted well as part of the pack. He grew taller, his voice deepening. His muscles grew lean and corded, and his skills formidable. The interactions between the people of his tribes and the settlers and traders who came to their lands had taught him to be wary of swindlers and cheats. The sureness of experience slowly built within. He knew the time had come.
Twelve years after leaving the Cheyenne, the man called Macawi met with his mother and told her goodbye. He sought the blessing of the Wicasas, listening to their wisdom as they bade their farewells. They told of sacrifice, and duty, and honoring the Spirits. They warned him to be cautious, and kind, and just. Finally, they told Macawi to seek not just his own tribe, but those who aimed to heal the deep wounds done to the world. Gathering his belongings and setting out on his horse he traveled many miles to the South. After countless days of riding and nights of watchful slumber, dodging wildlife, weirdos, and who-knows-what, he arrived at a town in the Northeast corner of New Mexico called Brimstone. During his first foray into town to trade for supplies, a chance encounter with a friendly drunkard led him to drop his guard. After a long conversation and a newly-acquired taste for alcohol, Thomas had already gathered a few leads on the different groups in town, including some called "The Explorers" who were always looking for new blood. Taking the inebriated man's inability to say his name as sign, he adopted a new name: Thomas.
Now, Thomas "Black Dog" Macawi, has decided to set up camp outside of town and see what work can be done, and then what he can find out; about his father, his old tribe, the Explorers, and what he can do to help!"