Blood and Bourbon
Savage Scourge turned rogue killer
scourge: Italian “scoriada,” ultimately from the Latin “excoriare” [to flay] and “corium” [skin], comprises a whip or lash, especially one used for the infliction of punishment. The typical scourge (in Latin: flagellum or flagrum) has several thongs or lashes attached to a single handle, as in the cat o’ nine tails.
“I am not offended by you pointing out that I fear my sire. I do. Look at you. Are you saying that I would be wiser to not fear her?”
“You ever been to hell, Rocco?”r
“I’ve seen hell. My sire is charged with visiting it upon those who have broken New Orleans’ laws past all point of mercy. She is the monster Prince Vidal lets loose to hunt other monsters.”
—Rocco Agnello to Jacob Grunewald
The Scourge is a bloody Kindred office that traces its origins to the early Middle Ages. The Scourge would patrol the borders of a Prince’s domain and act as their personal executioner, hunting enemies of the domain (primarily Caitiff, autarkis, and unwanted trespassers) and acting when the Sheriff could not because of political circumstances. Unlike the Sheriff, the Scourge never had any pretense of investigation, as they were searching out vampires who were guilty by their very nature. The Scourge was not a deputy of the law: they were an assassin. Due to the position’s unsavory reputation, many Cainites who held it were outcasts or criminals seeking pardon for past offenses. More than a few were degenerates who simply liked killing and welcomed the opportunity to commit murder under a Prince’s official sanction. Most Princes in the Modern Nights do not maintain a Scourge and consider the office a barbaric remnant of nights long past.
Augusto Vidal is not one of them.
Caitlin Meadows is one of the most feared weapons wielded by the Prince of New Orleans. Although she is not Vidal’s only enforcer, hers is the fiercest, most ruthless reputation. Any vampire who has dwelt in the Big Easy for long knows full well that when the Scourge comes to see you, the Prince has already decided he doesn’t care what you have to say.
In her mortal life, Meadows was an orderly at a small 19th century insane asylum. Vidal heard stories of the cool vigor with which the woman manhandled even the most disturbed—or heavily muscled—of its patients. After learning that she had once tracked an escaped inmate across town, subdued him with no assistance, and brought him back to the asylum, the Prince decided that a Kindred like Caitlin Meadows could be useful to his purposes. While it is unknown who Embraced her or what incentive Vidal offered the fledgling Gangrel to assume such a reviled office, she has faithfully served her master since the closing years of the nineteenth century. The most frequent targets of her wrath are Caitiff and foreign Kindred who fail to present themselves, as well as the yearly Sabbat incursion during Mardi Gras. Vidal is well-pleased with his Scourge’s efforts, both for their direct results—something has to keep the numbers of Caitiff down—and the fear they strike into his enemies’ hearts.
Or at least, all this was true until a few seasons ago.
Meadows disappeared for a stretch of perhaps four months—too short for torpor to be a likely culprit. Since then, the brutal Kindred has utterly abandoned her fealty to Vidal. Instead, she seems to have made it a personal mission to obliterate those who violate the precepts of the Lancea et Sanctum as she sees them. She has destroyed at least three vampires since her return and has made attempts on the unlives of Natasha Preston, Malia Eliza Curry, and Gus “Gutterball” Elgin. A small handful of less notable vampires have also vanished in the months since her turn, though no evidence directly links her to their disappearances. Through it all, Meadows has appeared at several Elysium gatherings, participated in various religious rites, even spoken to Vidal and the Cabildo, and then disappeared into the night. She has always succeeded in losing any pursuers well before she departs Elysium grounds, making it impossible for them to take action against her.
Rumor suggests that Vidal is very near to calling a blood hunt on Meadows and has so far refrained only because her targets are mostly Kindred he himself wouldn’t mind seeing destroyed (her abortive attack on Elgin notwithstanding). Until she moves against one of Vidal’s allies, or against someone with enough clout that he cannot afford to remain still, it is likely that the Prince will allow Meadows to continue dealing with those irritants that he has either not been able to eliminate, or who have not made themselves so aggravating that he can justify an official reprisal.
- Caitlin Meadows (e. mid 19th century)
- Rocco Agnello (e. late 19th century)
- Dahlia-Fleur (e. mid 20th century)
- Andrew Philip (e. late 20th century)
- June (e. late 20th century)
- Cleo (e. late 20th century)
- Rocco Agnello (e. late 19th century)
- Meadows has never spoken of her sire. Gangrel are notoriously poor at tracking their lineages due to the clan’s habit of abandoning recently-Embraced childer, and Meadows herself may well be ignorant who granted her the Embrace.
- None known
- Rocco Agnello (e. late 19th century) Embraced while Meadows was little more than a neonate herself, Rocco Agnello has gone on to become the senior-most Hound serving under Sheriff Donovan.
- June and Cleo (e. late 20th century) Meadows Embraced two progeny in the mid-’80s to help combat the Setites, whose influence greatly benefited from the crack epidemic. They have had little contact with the Kindred of New Orleans and are known to spend much of their time hunting Serpents in the bayous.