Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Big sister to the Big Easy's Anarchs
He or she who controls the mob, controls Mid-City, Caroline’s political mind translates. The very idea cuts into her from both sides. On one, it’s the model of American democracy, the very one her family has exploited for generations. Political power through controlling the mob, and the Malveaux family is, for everything else, thoroughly Americanized.
The idea of rabble having an equal voice, of claiming parity with the most vulgar Kindred cuts against their upper-class upbringing. Against her upbringing. To say nothing of the Ventrue lessons she’s slid into. The Clan of Kings. The Blue Bloods. There’s a degree of not only truth, but also appeal in such titles. Everyone wants to think they’re better. Everyone wants to be better. And some, especially in a society of immortals that grow only stronger with age, truly are.
And yet… across from her sits a queen of the Damned in this city, centuries old and skilled enough, intelligent enough, strong enough. Enough to crush others if she so desired. Instead she plays that game. It’s difficult to judge it, to scorn it.
“Primogen Duquette—pardon, she prefers ‘Coco’—Coco is as much of a paragon of good taste as one should expect among the Anarchs. Even more than that, actually. Not too hard on the eyes, either.”
“Most Brujah are hardly worth the time it takes to put them down. They were once a clan of scholars and philosophers, but they have abandoned those roots and descended into barbarism made all the worse by their lack of purpose and place. At least… the young ones have. Primogen Duquette is one of the older exceptions, a diamond plucked from a field of rocks. Refined, educated, and controlled, she bucks every stereotype of both her clan and covenant. That she’s also managed to mitigate the worst inclinations of the Anarchs in New Orleans and carve out a place of legitimacy for herself at the same time is nothing less than a tribute to her shrewdness and will. That it also meant we were at odds far less frequently than I might have feared when I entered Prince Vidal’s service was also appreciated—and for entirely selfish reasons.”
“A non-violent revolution is not a program of seizure of power. It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power.”
One would need no magic mirror to know that, among the members of New Orleans’ Cabildo, Coco Duquette is the fairest of them all. Her beauty is striking to be sure, but what gives it a quality all its own is the undeniable fire behind her eyes and the rousing stir in her velvet voice whenever she is engaged in the act of oratory or philosophical debate. Her cause is her passion and her passion fuels her cause, and few who give her leave to speak upon it are ever anything but enthralled (especially among mortals and young Kindred). Coco appears to have sworn off traditional “feminine attire,” preferring dark turtlenecks and slacks that recall the beatnik style of the 1950s, although she dons fully modern ones just as easily. She regularly dyes her hair different colors and currently has it bright red, providing a striking contrast to her piercing blue eyes.
“Change is best accomplished through working within the system.” For good or ill, this philosophy has long guided the hand of the city’s Brujah Primogen and co-Regent of Mid-City. Coco does not lack for violent bonafides, however, and was Embraced in Paris during the height of the French Revolution. After enduring the subsequent Terror, Napoleonic Wars, and the 19th century’s seemingly endless waves of revolutions and counter-revolutions, Coco washed her hands of French politics and her home country’s “inability to decide what government they wanted”. She made her way to New Orleans, then a common destination for French immigrants.
As a result of her early Requiem’s experiences, Coco does not believe that violent revolution is able to create lasting governments—or at least not when peaceful revolution hasn’t been attempted first. She thus makes a point of working alongside Prince Vidal to advance the Anarch cause, which she has chiefly done by obtaining a Primogen seat and establishing Mid-City as a Regency for the Anarchs to implement democratic governance on a localized scale. Such a free hand in running her parish isn’t free, of course, and is contingent upon the Brujah Primogen’s continued political support. Many Anarchs balk at the idea of supporting a religiously fundamentalist tyrant like Vidal, but Coco holds she’s made it work.
Like many elder Rabble, Coco has adapted with the times better than her contemporaries. Licks in Mid-City address her as “Coco” rather than by formal title. She is one of the few elders to wear (casual) modern clothing, and she can frequently be spotted scrolling through a smartphone. While the Anarchs are stubbornly resistant to the idea of having a formal leader, Coco is viewed as something of a “big sister” to the Movement, together with their “big mama” Miss Opal.
Coco led the Anarchs on their flight to Houston during Hurricane Katrina, a journey made all the more perilous when the city’s native Anarchs concurrently overthrew its Invictus regime. Coco managed to negotiate a temporary place in the Bayou City for her (surviving) people, and was one of the signatories to the so-called “refugee settlement” agreement at the 2006 Gulf Coast conclave. The Brujah Primogen’s influence has been on the wane in recent months, however: her response to the John Harley Matheson scandal was to counsel a “wait and see” approach regarding his guilt. Roughly half of the city’s Anarchs, led Veronica Alsten-Pirrie, consequently defected to Antoine Savoy and accused Coco of being a sellout. She has remained adamant that she’s made real gains for the Movement and her critics haven’t. They usually shoot back that those gains are old and stale, and Matheson was guilty.
These nights, it’s rare for a conversation to last past that point.
• Sire unknown
• Coco Duquette (e. late 18th century)
• Micheal Kelly (e. early 20th century)
• Roderick Durant (e. early 21st century)