Blood and Bourbon
“Only young Kindred believe we subsist on vitae. Any tenured Kindred knows full well that the Damned need lies more than blood to thrive.”
—Pearl Chastain, Toreador Primogen
New Orleans is very much a domain of conflict for the Kindred, and while much of that conflict stems from political factions specific to the Crescent City, a good portion of it comes from the interaction of the covenants. As in so many domains, the dominant covenant is not so fully in control that it has completely pushed out the others, and while no covenant has the might to truly challenge the Lancea et Sanctum’s supremacy, none of them are likely to back down any time soon.
The following discussion of politics, current events and most specifically the major movers and shakers of New Orleans is broken down by covenant. It is vital to remember, however, that covenant affiliation is not the only—or even necessarily the most important—indicator of loyalty and allegiance among New Orleans’ Kindred. Above and beyond devotion to covenant, three different factions claim the loyalty—in lip service, if not always in behavior—of the vast majority of the city’s Kindred. These are the factions headed by the city’s three most powerful Kindred: the formal Prince Augusto Vidal, a Spanish Ventrue; the usurper Lord of the French Quarter and French Toreador, Antoine Savoy; and the inscrutable and fearsome Baron Cimitiere, a Haitian Samedi.
Augusto Vidal’s Faction: The majority of the vampires in New Orleans are part of Augusto Vidal’s faction, by virtue of his being the established authority in the area if nothing else. Although every vampire in the diocese is subject to Vidal’s laws, every vampire isn’t obligated to legitimately support his rule. Of the one hundred or so permanent Kindred residents of the city, about two-thirds believe—or at least pretend—that it is in their best interests (whether short-term or long) to keep Vidal’s house in power.
An important distinction merits stating here. Not every Kindred in Vidal’s faction is part of his covenant, the Lancea et Sanctum. Although it’s true that all of his officers (Seneschal, Sheriff, Master of Elysium, etc.) are among the Sanctified, Vidal’s administration has always made sure that members of the other covenants know that they will be treated with respect in New Orleans so long as they abide by the diocese’s rules. To this extent, even Kindred who are Anarchs can still be considered Vidal’s supporters. Only those who are publicly opposed to his policies or intentionally neutral in Kindred politics as a whole are considered part of a different faction.
Antoine Savoy’s Faction: Antoine Savoy’s supporters in New Orleans are few but both avid and capable. The so-called French Quarter Lord surrounds himself with two types of people—those who harbor some resentment towards Augusto
Vidal and those who genuinely believe Savoy will make a better, less draconian Prince—and prefers that those closest to him possess at least some measure of both qualities. Savoy’s camp is thought to include maybe two dozen vampires. He is, of course, always looking to draw new “believers” to his cause. These numbers also exclude the Sangiovanni and the Followers of Set, who are not members of the Camarilla but believe that a city ruled by Savoy will be more conductive to their interests than the current Prince.
Baron Cimitiere’s Faction: On a Kindred level, the smallest of the three major factions in New Orleans is that of Baron Cimitiere. Although his mortal supporters are legion, Cimitiere claims only a handful (less than a dozen) of undead followers, and he would have it no other way. In truth, Cimitiere seems a little distracted by the presence of other Kindred (especially non-Vodouisant vampires) and is therefore extremely circumspect about what company he keeps and where. Those Kindred with whom he is comfortable, however, are treated as equals (or nearly so) and have the Baron’s true respect.
The Independent: The “independent” is a catch-all term for those Kindred who do not readily fall into any of the three major factions in the city. Most of the time, this is due to their lack of covenant affiliation. Few of those who consider themselves uninvolved in covenant matters are eager to take up with the cause of any one political faction. In other cases it doesn’t pay to get involved, publicly or otherwise, with the city’s factional struggle. Such individuals are assumed to be “with” Vidal but only by virtue of his position.
The Camarilla Covenants
|The Lancea et Sanctum:||Holy monsters, New Orleans’ reigning but divided covenant.|
|The Circle of the Crone:||Chosen of the loa and sacred dead.|
|The Invictus:||Southern lords and ladies yearning for nights gone by.|
|The Anarch Movement:||Ill-content rebels forced to work within the system.|
|The Tremere:||Cloistered seekers of arcane lore.|
|The Ordo Dracul:||Former puppets guided by a mysterious new hand.|
|The Followers of Set:||Purveyors of vice and temptation.|
|The Sangiovanni:||Cruel masters of the Big Easy’s restless dead.|
|The Sabbat:||Monsters before whom even the bitterest enemies unite.|