Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
Ice queen & ruthless hound
“The days grow shorter, as the nights grow longer.
The sun starts to pale, as the cold becomes stronger.
The trees become bare, now forests of bones
The ice queen is coming, to reclaim her throne.”
Cold. Severe. Haughty. Ice queen. These adjectives and more describe the sheriff’s only childe and his right hand on the Guard de Ville, Camilla Doriocourt. Few onlookers can deny the beauty in her high cheekbones, pale smooth skin, well-proportioned features, and lustrous brown hair, but equally few souls might love her for that beauty. Much like her sire, Camilla’s lips look incapable of forming smiles: perhaps they never have. No witness can recount having seen so much as a note of warmth or humor in her pitiless gray eyes. Something about them, too, feels eerily false or hollow. Indeed, when Camilla is in the company of her fellow Damned, and concern for the Masquerade slips away, she does not show her eyes at all. Everything above the hound’s mid-nose swims under a veil of shadow. Some witnesses have reported seeing malevolent pinpricks of chill light that look nothing like the “eyes” she shows around the kine, leading some to wonder whether that face is even her real face. Though Camilla’s fellow Kindred do not fear her as greatly as they do her sire, it’s only that—as greatly.
For the sheriff’s childe is feared in her own right.
Camilla dresses functionally, wearing whatever garb best suits her role. As Hound Doriocourt, the enforcer for the Guard de Ville, she favors a gray trench coat, felt hat, black leather gloves, and a rosary bearing the Lance of Longinus instead of a crucifix. (Such rosaries are popular among the Lancea et Sanctum.) This is her most common attire. As Mother Doriocourt, minister to God’s wolves and spiritual guide to a damned flock, she wears hooded black robes trimmed with navy. As Camilla Doriocourt, sometimes seen at Elysium but the most rarely assumed face of all, she wears conservative gowns and skirtsuits in somber colors. Pearls and diamonds sometimes glint at her ears and throat. She spurns chromatic jewelry.
Name: Camilla Eden Doriocourt
Date of Birth: Early 20th century (location unknown)
Date of Embrace: Sometime in the 1950s (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Mid-20s
Real Age: Approx. 100
Eye Color: Gray
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Religion: Monachal Sanctified
Camilla’s mortal past is a blank slate, much like her sire’s, and she seems utterly disinterested in elaborating on her origins. All attempts to discuss her past have been icily rebuffed. Some Kindred say she was a war orphan (of which war?), much like Donovan himself is rumored to be, and raised by her sire—not out of affection, for he hardly seems capable of such an emotion, but as a tool and weapon molded since her formative years.
Some stories say she was only an orphan because of her sire, and that Donovan slaughtered her mortal family before her eyes. That horrific night, her sire dispassionately explained, was the last occasion she would be permitted to cry. Further tears would be punished by death. She never cried again.
Another story, sometimes told as part of the previous one, and sometimes told separately, says that Donovan and his servants raised Camilla alongside six, or nine, or twelve other girls (or boys and girls—why only girls?) and spent years training and testing and brutalizing them to find a single worthy candidate upon whom to bestow the Embrace. Camilla proved herself worthiest after killing her foster siblings.
Actually, the kin she murdered were her biological family. She killed her parents, and maybe some brothers and sisters too, to prove her devotion to Donovan. Maybe she was six and started a house fire as they lay sleeping, or maybe she was a teenager and had enough upper body strength to cut their throats in their beds. Either way, the moribund act was not overlooked by her sire. He knew he’d always come first with her.
Camilla has neither confirmed nor denied the truth of any of these origins.
What is plain is that at some point, probably in the 1950s, Donovan received Vidal’s permission to sire a childe. In comparison to his previous sheriff, Robert Bastien, Vidal waited for quite some time to bestow this privilege upon the childe of his greatest political rival—it doesn’t take a genius to guess why. Only after half a century had Donovan sufficiently proven his loyalty. Then again, maybe the sheriff received permission to Embrace earlier, and simply took his time finding the perfect candidate. He’s never Embraced since then, not in more than sixty years. Logic would seemingly dictate that if Vidal is willing to let his sheriff Embrace once, why not again, but for extreme selectiveness or some reluctance on Donovan’s part.
Whatever her sire’s reasons, Camilla proved the exception as the sheriff’s first and only childe. Nothing else is known of the circumstances of her Embrace.
Many Kindred like to boast that they “adjust quickly to undeath.” Most of those boasts are empty. Only a seriously disturbed individual, or someone raised by an exceedingly wise and compassionate sire, could quickly come to terms with being a blood-drinking corpse that preys upon their former species.
Donovan, though, may have been an exception, and left his childe no alternative but to.
Camilla’s presentation before Prince Vidal went smoothly. Many Kindred believe Donovan spent a long time instructing her in the vagaries of Kindred existence, for she joined the Guard de Ville and began study as a deacon not long after her release. Antoine Savoy’s agents, though never the Toreador elder himself, extended offers of friendship and cooperation on matters of mutual interest. All were icily refused. For all that Camilla was two steps removed in vitae from the French Quarter lord, she had been raised in Vidal’s service and never knew any loyalty to her grandsire—nor gave the appearance of wishing to so much as associate with him. She knew where her loyalties lay. Doubtless, she was also keenly aware that any indication otherwise would threaten her sire’s favor in Vidal’s eyes.
No, childe would follow after sire, and Camilla served zealously and capably as one of the Guard de Ville’s hounds. She was ordained as a priest within a decade by Clarice Barabet, though Father Malveaux was the Kindred who schooled her for years in scripture and theology—he had long been a close ally to her sire. The Ventrue priest further tutored her in Theban sorcery and allowed her to bring greatly valued magical skill to the Guard de Ville, something that had been absent since Jonathan North’s departure from the city. Decades passed thus and loyal service as both Hound Doriocourt and Mother Doriocourt brought commensurate rewards. Camilla’s fortunes rose alongside her sire’s and helped further elevated his own. What (if any) true affection might exist between these two frigid Kindred can only be guessed at, but none would deny that Camilla’s sire values her more than any other Kindred, save perhaps Father Malveaux. Should Donovan’s star continue to wax, hers shall surely wax with it.
Those stars, however, unexpectedly plummeted with the 2016 Battle of Mt. Carmel, during which Donovan and Camilla attempted to slay Prince Vidal’s new childe Caroline Malveaux-Devillers. Camilla fled the battle that destroyed her sire and was pursued by the prince’s agents. They apprehended her attempting to abscond with secrets and financial wealth looted from Donovan’s haven and slew her in the resulting confrontation.
Camilla holds domain over a prosperous section of the Arts District. She prefers downtown’s sterile, avant-garde venues over the “eternally backwards-looking” Garden District. (Domain •••)
High Society: Camilla has influence over a number of galleries in the Arts District. Taking a cue from the CIA’s sponsorship of artists during the Cold War, she believes the art world is no less important a battlefield to confront the Baron and Antoine Savoy on than the streets, and works tirelessly to undermine venues for traditional African-American culture that she believes allows Vodoun to flourish.
Police: Camilla is one of the few Kindred permitted to hold domain among New Orleans’ police force, where she concentrates her efforts on the Public Integrity Bureau, Internal Affairs, community outreach, coordination with federal agencies, and other ‘behind the scenes’ areas of police work in contrast to Donovan’s focus on NOPD field work.
Camilla is a priest among the Lancea et Sanctum and accorded great respect in her role. (The Lancea et Sanctum allow female ordination, for they do not see the Kindred as men and women, but equally dead and damned things.) Her work for the Guard de Ville, too, has been indispensable to Vidal’s continued reign. (Hardline Sanctified Status •••)
Camilla is her sire’s right hand and the informal second-in-command among the Guard de Ville. Although she’s served as a hound for decades, it’s only following Rocco Agnello’s loss of face in 2016 (following an embarrassing loss of control in Elysium before Isa Suarez) that Donovan has clearly and publicly indicated Camilla’s primacy over her fellow hounds. This might have been seen as nepotism earlier, but she’s long since proved her mettle on the Guard. She often serves as an interrogator of prisoners—a role in which she excels. (Guard de Ville Status •••)
Camilla is an established member of the Camarilla. She’s valued for her work on the hounds and has established herself as a figure of no little influence—and fear. She isn’t as feared as Donovan, but some neonates have quipped that’s like comparing a tiger shark to a great white: you’re still dead if one sinks its teeth into you. For all that her sire and grandsire might be at odds, she also hails from one of the city’s most prominent Kindred bloodlines. (Camarilla Status •••)
Camilla is relatively respected among her fellow Toreador, among whom she’s ranked as a journeywoman in the Guild of Nemesis. She has more interest in contemporary art than her elder clanmates, though she’s managed to avoid being labeled as a poseur by them. Her chill artistic critiques are as feared as her sire’s. Still, it’s plain to all that her duties to her covenant are more important to her than clan affairs. (Toreador Status ••)
Spoilers for the adventure logs follow below.
Caroline Malveaux-Devillers encountered Camilla Doriocourt at Perdido House. The hound performed a sorcerous ritual to divine Caroline’s Kindred ancestry and identified her as a member of Clan Ventrue. This act spared her from being put to death as an illegally Embraced Caitiff.
Stories Six through Twelve
Though it was not the first time Jade had seen the hound at various functions, she ran into Camilla at one of Sundown’s clubs while searching for a fortune teller. The two Toreador did not converse.
At a later Elysium the pair butted heads when Natasha Preston made noise about Vidal being an out of control tyrant by sending the Guard de Ville to stake and kidnap Kindred not even accused of crimes. Elyse Benson, Hound Doriocourt, and the harpy Adelais Seyrès converged on the Malkavian, but Jade jumped to her defense by implying that the Guard was barking up the wrong tree in regards to Bishop Malveaux’s disappearance: she’d heard from a leak inside the Guard that the prime suspect was a Hardliner rather than a Bourbon. Doriocourt took the bait and traded a handful of barbs with Jade, then implied that she’d have to question the other Toreador about the leak. Everyone present heard the threat in her words, making Vidal and his Hardliners look even more draconian for overreacting to mere rumors.
Jade was kidnapped the next evening and brought to Perdido House, where Doriocourt did proceed to torture and question her about the supposed leak and a separate (and surprising) accusation of being an infernalist. Jade managed to hold out for a time, lying without directly lying, but she eventually stretched the story too far and had no choice but to come clean after Camilla started sawing off her limbs. Jade told the hound the truth about who she was: Donovan’s childe and loyal agent, and Camilla’s own sister-in-blood. The hound verified Jade’s through sorcery and further questioning, then revealed that her true allegiance also lay to their sire. The two siblings-in-blood shared a heart to heart moment as Jade listened to Camilla’s stories of abuse suffered at their sire’s hands and still continuing to serve him anyway. Jade came to regret the years she’d spent hating Camilla for being the favored childe when she never was. Camilla helped secure Jade’s release from Perdido House at no small personal risk, but required her sister-in-blood to trade something of value to the Hardliners to explain a Bourbon’s release from captivity. Camilla also cleared the infernalism charge brought against Jade.
More to come.
• 5. Unknown sire
Maria Pascual (e. 13th century, d. late 19th century)
Fernando de León (e. 16th century, d. early 19th century)
• 8. Unknown sire
• 9. James Robertson (e. early 20th century)
Olympe de Mendoza (e. 17th century, d. early 18th century)
• 7. Antoine Savoy (e. 17th century)
Donovan (e. late 19th century, d. 2016)
Camilla Doriocourt (e. mid 20th century, d. 2016)
Félicité Duparde (e. 17th century, d. late 18th century)
Sauvole (e. early 18th century, d. mid 19th century)
Capucine Beauchene (e. mid 18th century, d. 2005)
• 10. Nicholas Ventoux (e. mid 19th century)
• 11. Annalisa Degas (e. late 20th century)
• 11. Gail Marcy (e. late 20th century)
Éléonore Boulet (e. mid 18th century, d. early 19th century)
• 7. Quentin “Quinn” Rivers (e. late 19th century)
Camilla is the childe of Donovan, the sheriff of New Orleans and one of the most feared vampires in the city. Donovan is the childe of Antoine Savoy, the de facto regent of the French Quarter, a long-time contender against Vidal for the princedom, and one of the three most politically influential vampires in New Orleans. Savoy was childe to Maria Pascual, the former regent of the French Quarter and one of the city’s Toreador primogen. She was assassinated during the 1890s by parties unknown. Pascual’s sire is unknown, but she was believed to be of the sixth generation and a great-grandchilde of Arikel.