Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
This beautiful creature resembles nothing so much as a morbid, life-sized doll. Her already petite frame is perhaps a bit too thin, making her appear all the more fragile by way of comparison. Her complexion is porcelain-white. Her face is pretty and youthful with a few sparse freckles. Long honey-blonde hair falls down her back in soft ringlets. No emotion emanates from her gray-blue eyes; no smile is ever present on her cherry-painted lips, only a mask of placid indifference.
GM’s Note: Credit goes to scarybunnie for Elyse’s original concept and character history.
Before being enlightened I use to think about unimportant things. Academics. What others thought of me. My mother. One thing I have never been concerned with was men, boys, lovers, companions, or what have you.
I don’t recall too much about my mortal life. Not because it was so long ago, but perhaps it was because the mind will shield itself from certain events to protect its keeper. I was raised by my maternal grandmother, Helen Athens. A woman of the upper crust stuck in her ways and endlessly fixated with propriety. Was it any wonder why she covered how my mother died? The papers said it was sepsis, but in all honesty she bled out in the bathtub.
My grandmother blamed me from the loss of her daughter. Had I not been born mother would not have suffered from postpartum depression and chosen to end her life. It is the one thing she never let me forget.
Grandmother was always obsessed with her dolls; even now they litter the house, little soulless glass eyes staring back at the world whispering tales of what they have seen and the secrets they know. Only I cannot hear them. That is a gift that belongs to a few of my brother and sisters within the clan.
I am not sure if it was because of her fear of losing someone else, if she loved me, or hated me that caused her to raise me as she did. Maybe it was nothing like that at all. Perhaps she just wanted to mold me into one of her dolls. Whether or not that was her intention, it is exactly what she has done.
What I do know is that I was never allowed to show any sign of outward emotion. Dolls have no emotions. Love, hate, joy, sadness, none of this was acceptable. Reprimands were given for such actions while she was in a fit of hysteria. Do as I say, not as I do. Dolls are pretty and grandmother liked pretty things. Pretty things are without these sorts of imperfections. I now know that emotions are imperfections; they cause Kindred and mortals alike to act as fools. But I would not learn this lesson until after my Embrace, no matter how hard my grandmother tired to drive it home.
I was always expected to be well put together and properly dressed. Appearance in both a social and physical manner was always important to her. At nine years of age I started putting on a bit too much weight, for food made me feel good. I recall it as one of the few things that brought me pleasure, just as it remains one of the two things that bring me pleasure now. My grandmother suggested a way of eating and expelling so that I could have all I wanted to but stay pretty and thin. If you are not pretty and thin you can’t be perfect. Food became a bit of an obsession, I must admit. But instead of binging and purging I simply controlled how much of everything put inside of body, counting every calorie, reading every package. Instead of turning food into a problem and smelling like vomit, I turned it into a solution. It taught me self-control while achieving my goal to be thin and pretty. After the Embrace I remain a picky eater. I simply can’t feed from someone who has let their frame be burdened with excess fat. Nor do I care for a woman of lower caliber; you should not put something in your mouth if you have to question where it has been.
Like me, dolls exude their perfection in another way. I was corrected at the age of twelve, before these unnecessary parts became a problem that could hinder my life in untold ways. Some might call it genital mutilation, or female circumcision. For me it was simply part of the transformation. I know that I could not be this far evolved if it had not happened. Love, sex, masturbation, these acts have always engendered revulsion from me.
It was shortly after that incident I took up my own interest in dolls. I found perfection within their round little eyes, delicate facial details, soft hair and well-crafted outfits. Beautiful and timeless, they always look how their creator intended, expressing but not feeling.
Some might have called it an obsession. I spent hours in my room creating my lovely little darlings. At sixteen I had already starting to make a name for myself with my dolls. Rather than having a coming out party with the rest of the débutantes of New Orleans, my grandmother arranged a gallery event for me showcasing my best creations. That was when I met her, Katherine Beaumont.
Madame Beaumont was one of the movers and shakers among wealthy circles at the time. Little did I know she was Kindred, of the Rose Clan to be precise. My dolls captivated her. She fed me her blood and fed on me. My grandmother had no problems at all with me having the woman as ‘late night friend’. In her eyes I was finally taking interest in proper society.
I was involved in things that mortals should never know. I asked no questions. I sat there like a pretty little thing and listened to all that she had to tell me, or tell others for that matter. She would feed on me, lick the wound closed. Then we would sit and talk while I worked on my dolls. This consisted of a lot of nodding from me or a simple gesture of eye contact once in a while. She was clearly one those people who needed attention in order to validate herself. During my service to her I made dolls for several of her friends and clanmates. Each had their own little look-alike. I must have amused them to no end because most of the Rose Clan still enjoy my talents and call me “friend of the rose.” I have even been to a ball or two.
While Madame Beaumont was not always an agreeable conversational partner, she had an acquaintance among Clan Malkavian who I got along with particularly well. Harlequin was the only name he gave.
He recognized the mask I wore and which had become my reality. I saw perfection in his dedication towards his own beloved masks. We would sit and talk for hours about our ideas of perfection and how to achieve it. Our ideas of perfection were different, but the road to enlightenment is never the same for every Kindred. I thought of him as a mentor, one who I could truly learn under instead of gossiping about what the Harpy wore to Vieux Carre that night.
He must have thought he could teach me something as well. On a cold October night in the year 1957 I walked in to see both Katherine and Harlequin sitting at chess table, each carefully moving their chosen pieces around the board. The word “checkmate” had hardly even left his lips before I felt the searing pain of his bite. It didn’t induce the same sort of pleasure that I recalled with Katherine’s Kiss.
I could feel myself changing as Harlequin drained my life. With the stopping of my heart, so stopped those pestering emotions. Now I longer had anything to hide. It was just not there. With the coldness of my body my flesh turn porcelain and even more beautiful, even more doll-like, even more perfect than before. All I had to do was die.
I do not miss my mortal life. My Requiem is better, more than anything I could have imagined. Now I can truly achieve my vision of perfection. My sire has given me the tools to do so. He has also given me an important task. I would not have it any other way. He has taught me the meaning of family, and how all among our clan are knotted together in a web of knowledge deeper than any of the other clans can understand. I hear my brothers and sisters loud and clear because I listen. I hear their call and hear their screams.
Harlequin said I have been given a gift that is needed by our clan. Not everyone among our kind has the control over themselves that I do. They are mistreated by the others because their gifts are poorly understood. That is why I have to be stronger for my brothers and sisters, a translator and a sane face along our kind. I know we are not insane as they the other clans say. I will prove this, and I will obtain perfection.
- Childe of Harlequin (e. early 20th century)
- Childe of
Clarice Barbaret(e. early 19th century, d. 2005)
- Sire unknown
- Childe of Mother Iyazebel (e. 13th century)
- Childe of the Dionysian (e. 3rd millennium BCE, u.)
- Childe of Nissiku (e. prehistory, u.)
- Childe of Malkav (e. prehistory, u.)
- Elianna Hensley (e. early 20th cenyury, u.)
Rachel Elliot(e. late 20th century, d. 2005)
d. = destroyed
u. = fate unknown