Blood and Bourbon
Hidebound relic of an age gone by
“The Roman Corinthian column is lauded as the quintessential architectural pairing of form and function of the classical era. Despite an archaic facade, it has evaded aesthetic obsoletion by pure merit of its structural integrity. Le Maison Carrée or the Temple of Apollo would not have withstood the ravages of time without the support of this integral component. So it is with New Orleans and my sire.”
"Primogen Chastain is a lovely lady of the Crescent City, and I won’t hear a word against her just because you think she’s ‘out of touch.’ "
“Primogen Chastain is a shining example of how poorly many are suited to immortality. At the height of her powers when I arrived in New Orleans, she was likely the most powerful individual in the city next to Prince Vidal himself, charming all she met (myself included) and wielding that charm as a weapon before her descent into torpor. That remarkable individual appears to be long dead, having been buried alongside her and never risen. The relic dusted off and placed before others when I last saw her in 2005 bore almost no resemblance to the vibrant being that had previously occupied the same shell of a person. Unable to adjust after her long period of torpor, she’d squandered affection and alienated allies. More than simply having simply failed since awakening, she’s shown herself to be a failure, unable to recover or adjust to a new world. In hindsight might have been more merciful to put an end to her while she slept, and I wonder if she too, like the lamed and degenerated masses locked in assisted living, would not have rather died. What’s that saying, ‘better to burn out than fade away’.”
Pearl is considered somewhat gauche in her tastes among her clanmates. She ceased trying to keep up with the various fashions and cultural trends a long time ago, and in her attempt to go for a “timeless” and “classic” look, she ends up coming off as antiquated and dated. Although she was Embraced in her late 30s (“early” 30s, she says), she has a dusty, forgotten air about her that betrays the decades she has endured. Although trapped at the moment of death, it is as though her body has continued to bear the weight of its passing years. Yet the sagging jowl, the twin fans of wrinkles around her cloying eyes… these are products of her aged spirit, not reflections of physiological change.
As much as she would hate to admit it, Pearl Chastain is a relic of an age gone by. As one of the oldest active members of Prince Vidal’s Primogen council, Pearl has seen and weathered a great deal. She’s watched the city blossom into the jewel it is tonight, but as a result, she knows the sadly high price paid for that transformation.
Pearl remembers little of her days as a mortal woman, and that fact has troubled her more and more of late, especially while she sleeps. During the city’s booming period in the mid-to-late 19th century, Pearl was one of the most active and influential Kindred in the city. She had the respect of nearly every Kindred, and worked very hard to ingratiate herself with even the most reticent of souls. In her time, Pearl made allies of bitter enemies and princes out of paupers. She led her clan to estimable achievements, always coming off as the soul of modesty, and even managed to make a lasting ally out of an ideologically opposed Prince. But that time is gone… her time is gone. After falling into torpor during the close of the Victorian Era, Pearl awoke nearly a century later to a world much-changed.
She could not change with it.
Come the 21st century, Pearl is but an echo of her former self, bereft of vibrancy or even motivation. She still holds the power and prestige she has amassed, but only by virtue of not wishing to see it taken from her. Pearl is a Kindred who has passed her prime, but like all the undead, she has been forced to continue on into perpetuity, denied even the dignity of retiring quietly from view.
Pearl Chastain has Embraced at least several times in the New World. These childer have gone on to Embrace progeny of their own, and the majority of New Orleans’ Toreador claim descent from Chastain’s lineage.
• Accou Poincaré (e. 18th century)
Bruno Courtet (e. 18th century, d. early 20th century)
Barthélemy Lafon (e. early 19th century, d. 2005)
• Adelais Seyrès (e. mid or late 19th century)