Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Old money heiress, attorney, & childe to the prince
“Inveniam viam aut faciam.”
“Around here we don’t like talk of big dreams
To stand out is a pride, a conceit
To aim high is to make waves to split seams
But that’s not what it seems like to me
Cause I wanna try, I wanna risk
And I don’t wanna walk, rather swing and miss
I’m not above apologies but I don’t ask permission
Got a lot of imperfections but I don’t count my ambition in them.”
“You’re beautiful, you know. I’m sure you do. Death becomes you.”
Tale, pale, and striking in her poise and grace, Caroline was carved from marble to be an icon of the Malveaux and Devillers families, her pale skin all the more so since her Embrace robbed her of her life. Her aristocratic bearing, lovely angles, flawless skin, and haughty eyes, rides the edge between elegance and allure, remaining refined enough to avoid the overtly sexuality of many beautiful women—as befits a woman with her conservative Catholic upbringing. She floats through crowds easily, commands attention effortlessly, and all but imposes her will with only her gaze on, beckoning neatly and banishing just as easily. This is a woman with steel in her spine accustomed to getting her way.
Approaching her, perhaps what is most apparent is her height. At a distance, combined with her lean features, it’s easy to overlook how she stands over people. Up close, it’s startling. She towers over women and even looks down on most men—and that’s before she slides on her typical four-inch heels. It can be intimidating, and she knows it. Uses it. Her first line of defense, to weed out those too meek to approach and to bully those she so easily looks down on. Those eyes take hold next, lovely and precious diamonds, and just as cold as the stones they resemble. While there may be light within them, there is no real life: the light is a reflection off of them rather than an a projection from within. They’re eyes you could spend a decade staring into for all their facets, and it would not be a lost decade. There is, however, so much else to see here, if you can look past the window dressing and break free of that gaze. Her hair is thick but fine, a naturally almost silver blonde that is so very unusual, something she took from her mother. It hangs past her shoulders without ever seeming to get in her way until the violence starts: when she expects such things she braids it in elaborate french braids ahead of such things—she always did when fencing.
There’s a delicacy to her features, and yet that delicacy is a lie, a misdirection. There is no frailness here. Lithe sinuous muscles like those of a jungle cat are hidden under thousand dollar outfits. A too practiced grace is cloaked in her step, hidden behind strut and poise, along with something deeply unnatural. Athleticism doesn’t cut it. She never misses a step, never seems to stumble, and there’s something in each motion that is too fluid. It’s a mystery, that seductive question that begs to escape your lips, that you want to ask, and that draws you in. Close. Closer. Close enough to see those perfect teeth, to realize all too late that she is no docile lamb, and no matter how disarmingly she flashes that smile, how carefully her nails are done, or how perfect her platinum hair is styled.
When you look closely, under it all, is a predator. A hunter that devoured men and women long before the Embrace wrapped her in its predatory cloak. She set herself apart from the kine even when she walked among them. This woman is a queen, she’s meant to rule someday, and in rags or riches that remains. That pride, that demand, that presumption of superiority. Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. And unkind.
“There is little in you that is humble, nor which has cause to be humble. Your pride gives me much to take pride in.”
Caroline is a predator dressed in the latest Southern fashions, disdaining the New York and Paris trends and instead favoring gowns, skirts, and dresses in dark colors accented with diamonds and pearls that echo those worn a hundred years ago in the same halls as today. In life she enjoyed bright colors, yellows, reds, creams, and whites, offset occasionally with the stark elegance of black. Since her Embrace something about black calls to her almost constantly: she’s rarely seen in anything else. Perhaps she’s preparing for a funeral, or in mourning for the death of a loved one. Perhaps it’s her own funeral or death. Maybe it’s because she died in white.
The clothing is, of course, designed to send a message. It’s elegant, it’s eye-catching, and intentionally so. All of it expensive, all of it proper and prim, and all of it disposable—she rarely wears the same outfit twice, and never at formal events. She dresses as a duchess, as a queen, because it is how she expects and is expected to dress, even in private. She’ll never let anyone forget that she is far from common, and if for the particularly unobservant the only cue is the thousand dollar dress, then so be it, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. Among the kine she pairs her wardrobe with jewelry, elegant and clean, not hiding the cut of stones or the quality of the pearls she prefers her throat and ears, or the occasionally colored stones on her fingers, sapphires mostly to match her eyes. Then, of course, there’s the heels. At four inches, they give her that extra height to tower over other women and showcase her long sculpted legs and unwavering balance.
The only constants in her wardrobe are the small crucifix that she typically hides under her shirt among the kine and wears more openly in Kindred company, and the ring she wears on her right hand. The crucifix is a pretty thing, twenty-four carat gold complete with molded Christ on the cross and tiny rubies at his wounds—wrists, ankles, side. Tiny diamonds form his weeping tears. The ring is less elaborate: gold with a forward facing oval engraved with Latin ‘Inveniam viam aut faciam’.
The complete package is always tasteful, even if it does showcase her form. Tastefulness is no excuse for mannishness, or boorishness, or shame. It’s the modesty of the rich and famous, rather than that of the housewife. Never toeing past the line of decency, but always calling with the seductive and alluring possibility that draws men in like moths to a flame and evokes jealousy in women.
Given the choice Caroline enters battle in the boardroom or Elysium, wielding words and influence to end conflicts on her terms. If forced to more direct means, she arrives wielding a steel thirty-nine inch left handed saber with an ornate basket hilt capped with a gold lion’s head, a crimson jewel held in its jaws. With the blade she is an unholy terror, a blur of steel and lightning-fast strikes from every angle. She favors passing, slashing blows, vice direct confrontations: well aware that for all her speed she lacks the strength of many older Kindred.
If given more time—and it’s a relative term for the oh so swift heiress—to prepare she adds to the blade first an arming belt with a main-ganache, two white ash stakes, and a small Makarov pistol with a mounted strobe light underneath with a pair of spare magazines. She next adds a titanium gorgot and conceals it with a thick high collared cream arming coat inlayed with Kevlar. The coat is fire retardant, bullet resistant, blade resistant, and quickly donned atop other clothing if required with its twin breasted buttons.
When expecting trouble is the only time she is frequently seen in pants and abandons her heels—something she sometimes uses to send a message. She favors pants in stark white, standing out all the more sharply against her cream arming coat and swaps to steel toed boots that zip up to mid-calf. Caroline maintains several sets of the ensemble, including coat, pants, boots, belt, and weapons—at Perdido House, at the Giani Building, in her typical convoy, and in several other safehouses in the city—abet with less ornate blades. The lion headed blade is never far from her.
If forced into war and allowed to begin it on her terms with a known foe, Caroline can stack the deck in her favor to a tremendous extent—and does. Such plans begin with the allies and servants she brings to the fight, but she carefully tailors her wardrobe and equipment to match as well.
In the tradition of knights of old, she has developed and maintains a suit of armor appropriate for riding into battle—built and maintained to modern standards out of modern materials. It’s conspicuous enough, obvious, and heavy enough to slow her down—even when built with modern materials—but the protection and options it provides are unrivaled, especially against that most fearful bane to all Kindred: fire.
That protection begins with the same titanium gorgot as her lighter combat gear, covered with a long sleeved, high collared nomex gambeson. Atop that she ads a titanium framed, kevlar based, and ceramic plate reinforced vest rated to provide level IV protection against ballistics. The sleeves—extending to near elbow—are made of smaller, business card sized plats offset with each other and intended to specifically make slicing or tearing through the entire limb almost impossible. Gauntlets of similar make extend to her elbow and slide on (and off) separately and end in sharp talons she can use as a weapon if pressed. The skirt of the vest provides protection to mid thigh, where again interlinking smaller plates take over to provide almost scale-like protection while the titanium toed boots include several layers of the light but incredibly tough metal pressed between their rubber soles—giving her several inches of extra height.
To protect her head she begins with a nomex flash-hood before adding a titanium framed, Kevlar built, and ceramic plated full enclosure helmet, complete with gold treated lenses that further deflect heat. Small microphones are built into the helmet, feeding internal speakers to attempt to preserve situational awareness, but more frequently she simply amplifies her senses and trusts the dampening effects of the suit to even out with them.
Recognizing that the ensemble, which despite the use of expensive lightweight materials like titanium (that required complete rebuilds from the base products the suit was inspired by) weighs close to forty pounds, Caroline typically adjusts her preferred fighting technique in it. Against kine opponents—notably hunters—or ghouls she relies on fully automatic short barreled rifles or submachine guns such as the AR-57 loaded with armor piercing rounds. Against Kindred foes she favors a shield and spear, having refined the use of the technique against elder ghouls such as the Hussar and Kami to keep them at length using the reach of the spear and defeat their attacks with the spear if pressed. The edges of the steel shield are honed to a razor’s edge and can be used as a weapon, if required. Neither arrangement prevents her from adding a sword at her hip and a pistol on the opposite (typically an FN 5.7 loaded with armor piercing rounds). If allowed to practice her preferred tactics with allies, she attempts to occupy and distract foes, using the shield and spear to harry and hold them at range, while allies wear down those foes with a combination of sorcery, firearms, and flame.
The armor is painted white, and the shield emblazoned with the Ventrue’s scepter in crimson.
“…this lunch is the equivalent of a duchess talking to a peasant.”
Name: Caroline Elizabeth Malveaux-Devillers
Date of Birth: December 19th, 1989 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Date of Embrace: September 6th, 2015 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Mid-20s
Real Age: Approx. 30
Weight: 141 lbs
Eye Color: Blue (formerly green)
Hair Color: Silver blonde
“For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
“Price’s law states that the square root of the number of people in a productive domain produce half the output. This is proven true whether the domain is scientific achievement, creative writing, or finance. What this means, especially in large populations, that that the productivity of the most productive people is so astronomically off the charts that the average person can barely imagine how effective they are. Those top thousand in a million are as productive individually as a thousand other others. Imagine what that person must look like…”
On Price’s Law
• J.D. (Tulane University School of Law, 2012—2015)
• B.S. Premedical (Tulane University, 2008—2012)
• HSDG (St. Joseph’s Academy, 2004—2008)
Extracurricular of Note:
• Tulane Student Bar Association (2012—2015)
• Tulane Catholic Center (2008—2015)
• Tulane College Republicans (president, 2008—2012)
• High school Lincoln-Douglas debate (nationals, team captain, 2004—2008)
• High school fencing (regional semi-finals, saber, trained with Nerea Ericson and Stephen Sauveterre, 2004—2007)
Net Worth: Unknown (believed to be in excess of $10,000,000, plus additional family assets)
• Partner—Monument Law (2016—present)
• Clerk—Louisiana Supreme Court (2013—2015)
• Intern—Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale, L.L.P. (2012—2013)
• Board of Directors (xxx)
• Advisory Committee (xxx)
• Louisiana State Bar Association
• Criminal Justice Committee Member
• Rules of Professional Conduct Committee Member
• Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Member
Criminal Record: None
• Concealed Handgun Permit (Louisiana)
• CPR & First Aid Expert Certification (American Red Cross)
• Driver’s License (Louisiana)
• Law License (Louisiana)
• Notary Public (Louisiana)
Religious Affiliations: Catholic Church (practicing)
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish
“Break a bird’s wing and you might someday release it to fly again. But for us? They broke our wings too young, too often. Now there’s nothing left for us but the cage.”
Born in late 1989 to Abélia Devillers from a short-lived romance with Nathaniel Malveauxm Caroline is the second child on her mother’s side, and the first on her father’s. She split her childhood between her mother’s home in Avignon, France and her father’s home in Baton Rouge. The school year was spent attending the private Catholic (and all-girls) St. Joseph’s Academy. She was raised at home among her younger brothers by her stepmother, Claire Malveaux, and on the campaign trail with her father when convenient. She always preferred the latter. She spent her summers with her mother and ever-growing brood of sisters in France.
Though close with her mother and older sister Cécilia, the influence of her father, and the Malveaux name upon her, tied her more firmly to the United States, and to Louisiana specifically than it did to her sisters—and polluted her French with a distinctly American bent. Never fully existing in either world, she spent much of her childhood trying to be everything both expected of her—and of great expectations she learned much.
To be the daughter of Nathanial Malveaux was to be subject to the political realities of his ambition. It was to chase perfection and recognition, to seek value, to be worth his time and attention.
The Political Prop
She found early on her value to her father, and especially his campaign managers, as a political prop. Local politics, and even state politics, is a game played in votes by the dozens and hundred, rather than thousands. It’s played in making other people like a candidate enough to come out during off year elections, especially for a Republican in a then-blue state. Part of her father’s charm was his ‘wholesome’ appeal—the perfect husband and father.
She played the part of perfect daughter with dutiful joy for the attention it brought her, the time alongside her father, and his praise at her execution of it. Father-daughter photo opportunities, ways in which she could further his ambitions. Amid the heights of evangelical obsession in the early 2000s she joined her father at a Purity Ball, his sweet blonde angel swearing a vow of chastity to him before God. It was a winner with rural voters. Although the Malveauxes were Catholic to their core, Caroline’s father was happy to slip a ring upon her finger alongside a dozen other girls—a ring she keeps to this day, even if the promise is long gone. Amidst Second Amendment anxiety she was a wholesome and nonthreatening image of her father passing down the importance of firearms to the next generation at the gun range—the image of a daughter vice a son played well with female voters who felt otherwise apathetic on the issue. On the campaign stump she was the smiling, always smiling, girl on stage and in his arms, shaving away the hardest edge of his image. Making him relatable. Approachable.
Off the campaign trail, and especially as she grew into her teen years, it was never enough to be good—the daughter of the man with Nathaniel Malveaux’s impeccable public image and important agenda must always be exemplary without being the example. She was to be remarkable without being remarked upon, talented without distracting from her father’s star, never something that might give a foe teeth against him. It was not something she immediately understood. Instead the talented heiress sought her father’s attention with her successes, supported by the family’s near-unlimited ability to support them.
She had an ear for languages, aided in no small part by the family’s ability to procure native speakers for her at will. What started as her mother’s native French and English soon blossomed into a fistful of languages including Latin (to better understand Catholic mass), Spanish, Italian, and even Arabic—the latter facilitated by many of the family’s security force, including one Roger Ferris.
Of course, the daughter of such a distinguished man should be well-rounded too. Her spare time was filled with lessons, with tutors, with instructors. They taught her dance, taught her etiquette, taught her public speaking—which she put to good use on St. Joseph’s debate team. Though originally in choir, that was quickly replaced by her choice of violin or piano—more refined and dignified. She chose the former, though she had no great love for music. No, her love was like her father’s. She loved to compete—and to win.
She swam when younger, but into her teens picked up fencing instead, telling her father (to his amusement) she liked the outlet it provided. Her long reach, balance, left-handedness, and lithe grace served her well, but not so well as dedicated training at Stephen Sauveterre’s academy in Georgia alongside Olympians like Nerea Ericson, even fencing against the future gold medalist as part of the older teen’s training—standing in as an outlier lefty with good reach. Sauveterre said she had talent—a killer instinct that was hard to teach—and tremendous potential.
The heiress put both to good use, dominating regional tournaments for a brief time. She was successful enough that a local paper mentioned her name. That was the end of that. At a regional tournament before the semi-finals, Claire confronted her. Her stepmother explained the way of the world in blunt, brutal, clinical terms. It was vital that the daughter of Nathanial Malveaux be above reproach, that she was talented, that she was well-rounded. But it was just as important that she never be remarkable enough to be remarked upon. ‘Throw the match,’ she was ordered.
No matter their ‘humoring’ of her interests, words like ‘champion’ or ‘Olympian’ must never enter the same sentence as her name. Her shine must exist only to shine a light upon her father, never herself. She should always be ‘his daughter,’ her accomplishments tied to him. Never the reverse. She threw the match. She petulantly threw down her interest in competition thereafter. She couldn’t stomach losing. It was easier to find things she was less talented at, that she cared about less, that she could excel in without being excellent at.
She dutifully settled into her role as her father’s reflection, the blow perhaps softened by her mother’s and sisters’ 2005 arrival in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She played her role to perfection through her teens, the exemplary good Catholic girl at St. Joseph’s Academy, complete with matching (and chaste) Berchmans Academy boyfriend—their star pitcher. The good Catholic girl still wearing her evangelical purity promise ring as she cheered him on at his baseball games. Henry told her he was happy to wait until marriage. Told her how respectful he was of her promise. How, since they kept their relationship so pure, long distance wouldn’t be a problem when she was pushed into Tulane instead of an Ivy League by her uncle (a punishment for disobeying his command not to dance with her cousin Adam after the new priest took his vows). What Henry didn’t tell her was how far in the closet he was. Not even after he broke up with her over Christmas Break of her freshman year at Tulane.
It remains unclear to her even now how much the seneschal of the city, Philip Maldonato, influenced the ‘grooming’ she received as a potential childe to her future sire. In hindsight, many matters—her turn to fencing, her assimilation of languages, her education in what are essential rules of politics—align well with the education that any Ventrue childe might require in their Embrace. Those same experiences could just as easily have flagged her to the seneschal as a potential candidate, however. Whatever the case, it is known that Maldanato carefully examined, watched, groomed, and laid plans for the possible Embrace of a number of promising ‘candidates.’
Her first year at Tulane, under less family supervision but with higher expectations, was a vicious learning experience. She declared a pre-med major and excelled academically, but several experiences proved formative in her development.
The Political Scandal
First among them were the scandals that rocked her father’s party whip, Maxen Flores. After discovering the party man’s daughter (and fellow Tulane student) Celia both physically injured and carrying a firearm, the former seemingly at her father’s hands, Caroline was among the first to report the unusual goings-on to her own father. Instructed to intercede in the matter, her efforts were mixed at best, much to Nathaniel’s disappointment.
The experience—intruding into the darker side of her father’s growing political machine and failing it—shoved her firmly from observer and beneficiary of malfeasance straight into an active agent of it. It demonstrated the lengths her family would go to—that she would have to go to—in the pursuit of power. It forced her to violate any moral code she might have clung to, all but knowingly turning a blind eye to domestic abuse in favor of party narrative. It immersed her in darkness. She has reflected, more than passingly, that her decision to become an active party to the worst activities of the family had no small part in her damnation. The irony of the daughter of a powerful man, wreathed in darkness, becoming the childe of a powerful prince so similarly renowned for his authoritarian excesses is not lost on her. It contributes to her faith in God and in the message of the Sanctified: we all chose our damnation, bought it, deserved it.
The Older Man
Her second formative experience was the dismissive breakup with her high school sweetheart, hot on the heels of her father shaming her so for her failures with the Flores family. Summarily dumped via text message, the second blow to her self-image—and seeming shattering of some fairytale romantic notion she might have harbored—pushed her to seek validation from a source closer at hand. Isaiah Wellington seemed an agreeable solution. Among the more rumor-shrouded and authoritarian professors at Tulane—and one of the few not to lavish praise on her—Caroline set her sights on the much older man. Part validation, part rebellion, part self-destruction, part twisted fantasy fulfillment, part attempt to ‘grow up,’ Caroline came onto the more than willing law professor.
The relationship burned neither long nor bright. For Wellington it was always an enjoyable diversion, an affair with an energetic and beautiful young student eager for his approval. He never even invited her to his home, allegedly because he was enrolled in the state’s Address Confidentiality program due to death threats received in his former job. For Caroline it was a mistake, a rebellion with no target, a relationship with no future, and another source of regret in a failure- and fault-filled freshman year. Long after she broke it off with the much older professor, she still had to look him in the eye, sit in his class, and remember the things she did with him. The memory of his insistence on a hotel room vice his home made her feel like a cheap whore.
She entered her sophomore year a much-changed young woman. Gone was whatever vestiges of youthful innocence that had clung to her. Caroline was resolved to never feel weak, never feel useless, never feel used ever again. She’d make her father proud, prove she deserved a place at the Malveaux table as more than a bystander. That resolution drove the rest of her life.
It drove her personal interactions. She needed allies not friends, tools not comrades. Her relationships were built on convenience, not passion. She built networks, made inroads at institutions, did everything she could to broaden her reach, cultivating such wide-ranging associates as madams, doctors, police, attorneys, and judges. Even her best friend Aimee Rosler was strategically chosen as a potential future chief of staff. She did anything to never again be as powerless and to be valuable to her father. It made her cold.
She proved herself when her brother Westley came to Tulane. Always acting out—the eternal middle child—his excesses repeatedly threatened to spill over into the press. Caroline was there each time to clean them up. Flushing drugs down the toilet, helping him sober up, arranging payment to witnesses and victims of his excesses. It came to a head when Westley’s drunken partying and habitual driving under the influence killed a girl. There was Caroline again, covering things up, hiding the details of his involvement, and painting it was a terrible accident instead of what it was: manslaughter. She was close to her brother. Perhaps she enjoyed the glow his follies cast on her perfection, or perhaps she simply understood him: he never thought he could live up and so he gave up. For Caroline that was never an option, no matter how tempting. She had to retain her cool, cold focus.
Something tried to warm her in her junior year. Neil Flynn was a northeasterner turned Californian, a Democrat, and a good man: all things that should have pitted him and Caroline in opposition to each other. The only thing they shared was their Catholic faith. Though one might have expected their differences to push each other away, they drew the two together. They drew Caroline away from the darkness, at least for a time. Neil was a pre-med student one year older than his girlfriend and went on to chase his MD at Tulane. He fully expected her to join him the following year. More than a year into the relationship, it seemed as if Caroline’s fate might not be intrinsically bound to her family’s, especially once her father’s decades-long campaign to flip Louisiana red came to fruition during the 2010 elections and brought a trifecta Republican government to power. Her family’s work was done. She was free to love Neil, maybe the first person outside the family she’d really loved in her life, who wasn’t solely a means to an end, who wasn’t part of a carefully constructed image. She could even see a future with him. A home. Children. She thought she might even be happy that way.
Then came 2011. Her father’s dreams had been fulfilled, with Louisiana flipped red amid blue collar backlash to a president they thought belittled them. Nathaniel’s ambitions, however, were not done. He started talking about national office. Perhaps the presidency. He told his children as much. Called them to him. Caroline could not resist the call. She applied for law school instead of medical school.
Neil’s and Caroline’s fight was a cruel, mean-spirited, savage thing. They went on a ‘break.’ She went to Europe for the summer with her mother’s family to get away. What she did there, and what she had to do when she got back—what she forced Neil into—ended them. It was better that way, she told herself. Better that she showed him her true colors. That she cut him loose before she could cut him any more deeply. She showed herself, just as much as she showed him, just how far she would go.
Back in the dark, in the cold, she returned to her previous course. To where she belonged. Building herself an empire in her father’s shadow. Extending his reach. She was always her father’s daughter.
GM’s Warning: Major spoilers for the posted adventure logs follow below.
Several things happened in 2015.
First, Caroline received a midnight phone call when several of her sisters and their friends were arrested on trumped-up charges. The girl had played a malicious prank on a fellow student at their school and the police officer who’d responded had suffered a tragic aneurysm. When Caroline’s siblings were released from custody following their mother’s arrival, her sister Yvonne was inexplicably shot by a Detective Richard Gettis. Caroline narrowly saved Yvonne’s life, along with that of Sarah Whitney, another heiress who’d been shot by the murderous detective. The police hunted Gettis ruthlessly and allegedly gunned him down in a shootout with SWAT. The trauma of the event pushed Caroline into a spiral of drinking, cutting class, of falling apart. It lured her into attending Southern Decadence (the ‘gay Mardi Gras’) with Aimee, something she’d have never previously considered.
The second event to occur was Caroline’s attempted rape by a human predator. She was saved by an immortal predator, the Ventrue René Baristheaut. Though he initially seemed content to play hero, the two conversed over the nature of evil in the world, and Caroline’s insistence that God’s forgiveness extended towards all appeared to greatly anger him. Resolved to show Caroline the true depths of evil, he spirited her away to one of the worst dens of iniquity in the city, a Kindred-run ‘bondage club’ known as the Dungeon. René showed her the exquisite suffering of that place’s victims and made her one of them. He tortured her past all endurance, then fed her his vitae to keep her alive and extend her agony, and finally left her for dead.
GM’s Warning: Major spoilers for the posted adventure logs follow below.
But Caroline was far from dead. The Dungeon’s mistress, Mother Iyazebel, would not allow her suffering to end so easily. Servants of the ancient Malkavian took Caroline to the club’s ‘deepest circle’: a horrifically twisted realm where her agony descended into such depths that Caroline truly believed she had died and gone to Hell, with the sadistic elder her torturing demon. She wanted nothing more than to cease to exist.
Philip Maldonato, however, had long watched over Caroline (and other prospective childer of his lover) from afar. His agents brought word of her abduction. Feeling responsible for her fate, he descended into the Dungeon and clashed with Mother Iyazebel in a battle of biblical proportions, the kind of direct conflict not meant to occur between Cainites of such vast age and power. At the peak of their struggle with each other, a war that had all but destroyed both evenly-matched elders, a broken and nearly dead Caroline took up the seneschal’s discarded blade in her raw, ravaged hands, and cut down Mother Iyazebel.
Maldonato fled the Dungeon with Caroline, who later concluded that the laws of reality themselves were warped by that twisted realm: there was no other way she could have remained alive, much less conscious, after the torments she had suffered. Taken from the Dungeon, she was no longer subject to its twisted laws. Not even the seneschal’s powers could mend the hurts inflicted by his destroyed nemesis: their kind were not healers by nature. In recognition of Caroline’s valor, and faced with the alternative of letting her die, Maldonato bestowed his lover’s blood upon the Malveaux scion. She rose again as one of the Damned, the unacknowledged and unknown childe of Prince Augusto Vidal.
“Empires aren’t built in a night.”
|Carson Malveaux||The Casquette Girls||Cécilia Devillers||Neil Flynn|
Cécilia Devillers (b. 1989)
Occupation: Charity organizer
Carson Malveaux (b. 1952)
Occupation: Criminal judge
The Casquette Girls (g. late 18th century)
Ghouled: Late 18th century
Neil Flynn (b. 1988)
Occupation: Medical doctor
|Adam Malveaux||Becky Lynne Adler||Conroy Westphal||Roger Ferris||Talibah Mahmoud|
Adam Malveaux (Lasombra/Lancea et Sanctum, e. 2016)
Lineage: 8th gen. childe of Philip Maldonato
Covenant: Hardline Sanctified
Embrace: 2016 (born 1985)
Caroline’s cousin in life and the presumptive heir to the title of ‘Father Malveaux’ as the firstborn son in the generation, Adam Malveaux was Embraced much to the surprise of much of the city in 2016 by the seneschal, Philip Maldonato, following the disastrous Battle of Mount Carmel. The only known childe of the well respected elder, Adam has adjusted well to his Embrace and maintains his Masquerade as a priest in the Catholic Church even as he has assumed the same title within the ranks of the Sanctified. He is presumed to work closely with Caroline managing not only the affairs of their mortal family’s empire, but also maintaining his own significant domain within the Catholic Church in New Orleans, where he has been extended great authority by the prince.
Becky Lynne Adler (Ventrue/Invictus, e. 2004)
Lineage: Childe of John Harley Matheson
Embrace: 2004 (born 1986)
Conroy Westphal (9th gen. Lasombra/Invictus, e. 2005)
Lineage: 9th gen. childe of Suleiman ibn Abdelmalek
Embrace: 2005 (born 1994)
An ambitious, narcissistic, but highly rational boy genius Embraced into Clan Lasombra, Caroline and Conroy have been allies since 2016. Exactly where they made each other’s their acquaintance is unclear, but shortly after his arrival in New Orleans he joined her in battle against the then sheriff, Donovan in the Battle of Mount Carmel, risking his Requiem against one of the fiercest foes in the city. In the aftermath Conroy, Roger Ferris, and Talibah Mahmoud more officially codified their association as a cotree together as The Leviathans. He has since made inroads among the Invictus and established his position within the city that includes a childe and a seat at The Low Table. Well regarded in Lasombra circles as representative of the clan’s ‘best’ traits, if young for his current ambitions.
Roger Ferris (10th gen. Lasombra/Invictus, e. 2016)
Lineage: 10th gen. childe of Conroy Westphal
Embrace: 2016 (born 1970)
Roger, a former CIA station chief, has known Caroline since she was a teenager while he was in service to her family. Following her Embrace he—by then a hunter serving Claire Malveaux—worked with Caroline to arrange her step-mother’s death and was rewarded with ghouling. That lasted only weeks before he earned his Embrace during the Battle of Mount Carmel at the hands of the Ventrue’s ally, Conroy Westphal. The two have since continued their association on more even terms, as members of The Leviathans, The Low Table, and hounds.
Ruthlessly pragmatic, though his goals are unclear.
Talibah Mahmoud (10th gen. Lasombra/Unaligned, e. 2001)
Lineage: 10th gen. (diab.) childe of Shadya Kanaan
Embrace: 2001 (born 1975)
A secretive, dismissive, and obsessive Lasombra magician, the origins of Mahmoud’s association with Caroline are unclear, though they are presumably akin to the relationship with Conroy, as she answered the same call to the Battle of Mount Carmel and fought alongside the Ventrue there. She has since founded The Leviathans with them and joined The Low Table. She is presumed to be one of the Ventrue’s teachers responsible for her increasing proficency with Lasombra sorceries, and it is assumed in kind that Caroline provides many of the material needs that Talibah is unwilling to concern herself with in her continued pursuit of mystical knowledge.
|The Giani Building|
The Giani Building
A luxury building renovated in 2015, the Giani Building was a tasteful choice long before Caroline saw it renovated and furnished for her needs. All original art hangs on the walls, comfortable and designer furniture fills public spaces, and the building itself puts off a polished, clean, and fresh atmosphere rarely seen in New Orleans. Though some older Kindred are turned off by the sharp lines and coloring of much of her furnishings, or by her steel appliances, few can deny it is far from middle class or mundane.
Though the location of Caroline’s haven within the Giani Building is a relatively open secret among Ventrue and other ‘friendly’ Kindred, it’s exact location within the sprawling 6-story building is far less clear by intention. Caroline takes few beings home, keeps not only her own name but also that of her prominent ghouls off of any of the documents, and otherwise works to obfuscate its exact location as much as is feasibly possible. Her indirect control over the building’s office and knowledge of contract-know-how has also served to protect her privacy by obfuscating documentation and details of the building as a whole.
Security cameras keep watch in the hallways and lobby, armed guards wait in the lobby behind a security door with a vicious guard dog, multiple steel cored security doors allow each floor to be sealed off, state of the art fire suppression systems protect the building. All work to render Caroline’s haven quite secure, even by Kindred standards, to say nothing of the number of ghouls that live in the building almost certain to rally to her defense. It would take not only a determined, but also a proficient and numerous force of attackers, to effectively storm in on the Ventrue’s daytime resting place. Given its location in the CBD, any attackers would have only a limited amount of time to make good their attack before they were swarmed by mortal authorities (or reinforcements the Ventrue’s ghouls may call in). Though Caroline rarely spends her days here anymore, this haven is far removed from the compromised sand castle she was repeatedly terrorized in by everyone from the sheriff’s ghouls, to hounds, to her own stepmother. Woe to those that seek to invade this haven—it seems likely the biggest headache they would produce would be how to handle all the bodies.
Caroline’s apartment is sprawling on its own, but the use of the upper floor deck house and basement floors give it more than enough space to not only provide for the Ventrue heiress’ security, privacy, and comfort, but also for her less conventional storage needs and potential meeting places.
Caroline has created and maintains an unusually large number of ghouls for a neonate (though less unusual for a Ventrue) toward a variety of ends. She has been particularly aggressive in maintaining a number of ghoul bodyguard despite what has been a frightful attrition rate among them. Such extensive protective arrangements are more common among ancillae, but have carried over from the earliest nights of Caroline’s own Requiem. These guardians are supported by ghouls cast off by other domitors such as Autumn Rabinowitz and (formerly) Gerald Bishop.
|Autumn Rabinowitz||Brian Fuller||Sarah Widney|
Autumn Rabinowitz (g. 2011)
The last of Caroline’s original stable of ghouls, Autumn enjoys a level of trust and influence with Caroline matched only Roger Ferris. A former cleaner for the Krewe of Janus, Autumn left their service under unusual circumstances and fell into the service of Caroline very early in her Requiem. Her knowledge of the supernatural, and of Kindred society in particular, was extremely valuable to Caroline in her early months.
Caroline maintains Autumn in comfort, if not luxury, employing her officially through her firm for PR and outreach matters with a healthy salary and not insignificant expense account. Unofficially, Autumn remains a cleaner for Caroline, though the Ventrue has increasingly tasked her with developing additional resources so she can spend less time in field. Attending college again in pursuit of her MBA in the hopes of increasing her value to her domitor.
Brian Dunlap Fuller (g. 2015)
Mr. Fuller, prior to his ghouling, was a retired Corpsman with a largely redacted past indicative of those with special operations experience. He appears to handle most matters of personal security for Ms. Malveaux-Devillers and was ghouled shortly after her release. In Fuller Caroline has another of the former military types that she’s come to so rely upon: straightforward, honest, and devoted. Each of the qualities has its own appeal to Caroline, and with the influence of the bond all but assuring Fuller’s loyalty, Caroline’s own trust in the former corpsman has only grown over time. He’s a fixture around her without being truly close to her, a watcher and protector that tends to voice his opinions more behind the scenes.
Unlike most of her ghouls, Fuller is largely self-sustaining, enjoying not only his own business (though it has suffered for his inattention) but also a generous military pension. Much of the income he receives from her goes into buying aggressive upgrades for his own equipment, her own protection, or as subsidies for those he’s recruited for her. More than anything else, Caroline feels safe around Fuller, something that cannot be oversold. She’s uncomfortable when he’s not present, or at least available. She enjoys, if not his company, then at least his presence.
Sarah Anne Widney (g. 2015)
One of Caroline’s ‘second generation’ of ghouls, Ms. Widney serves as Caroline’s night-to-night personal assistant, dealing primarily with the incredibly mundane (but also incredibly important) affairs her mistress is unable to personally see to. Accounting, services, even day to day shopping all fall under her umbrella, along with a significant percentage of Caroline’s disposable income.
|Aimee Rosler||Amanda Turner||Annette Green||Audrey Morrow||Curtis Morris|
|Diego Rivera||Gerald Bishop||Nerea Ericson||Nicole Polk||Roger Ferris|
Aimee Rosler (g. 2015)
“Why do you have to be such a pain?”
All of five foot five (which she would have happily told you is exactly average for a woman in the United States), with brown hair, and matching eyes Aimee Rosler was never what might be described as more than pretty. What she lacked in ravishing beauty however she made up for in intellect and ambition. A third year law student at Tulane University, she lived off-campus with Caroline and grow into the scion’s closest friend in New Orleans prior to Caroline’s Embrace. A devout Catholic, the middle-class girl nonetheless had a rebellious streak that led her to convince Caroline to join her at Southern Decadence 2015. Aimee was ghouled by Caroline for her involvement in a Masquerade breach at then-Father Malveaux’s direction. She was subsequently tortured and abused by various Kindred, Caroline among them, until she was little more than a nervous wreck terrified of Caroline and badly scarred. She disappeared in late 2015 in the custody of Caroline’s stepmother and is likely presumed deceased by those Kindred who knew of her.
Amanda Turner (g. 2015, d. 2015)
“I trust you. I’m still here because you did your job. If you hadn’t, I’d be getting tortured right now in ways you can’t imagine. Not wallowing in self-pity.”
Deceased: 2015 (26 years old)
Amanda enlisted in the Marines when she was 17 years old, just in time for the Iraq War. Angry, hurt, and wanting to lash out she was infuriated by her exclusion from combat roles, particularly as many of her friends and comrades came back maimed or dead. She left the service after four years and found the private sector more accepting of her desires. Her commander called her suicidal. Her squad-mates called her a crazy fucking bitch. She didn’t really care. When the last Blackwatch merc was pulled out of Iraq it was the saddest day of her life. Amanda was a fiery and fearless young woman,always spoiling for a fight, even with men twice her size. Perhaps especially with them. Her commander had threatened to have her thrown out of Blackwatch if she put any more of his men in the hospital. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers ghouled the soldier of fortune as a bodyguard, but was forced to execute her a week later as punishment for attacking the Hussar. At the 2016 Battle of Mt. Carmel, Caroline discovered that Turner had become a ghost. She joined the other wraiths in their early attack on Caroline and her ghouls, foreshadowing the later treachery to come.
Annette Green (g. 2016, d. 2016)
Deceased: 2016 (30 years old)
The name Annette Green is a pseudonym, a cover identity for the second in Ms. Malveaux-Devillers’ security. Ms. Green is present whenever Mr. Fuller is unavailable (and in particularly dangerous circumstances in which he is) and exercises a degree of authority over her more mundane security. A former Blackwatch mercenary, Green is now more directly employed by Ms. Malveaux-Devillers. Her law enforcement background makes her particularly valuable to Caroline when dealing with the police. Known for being particularly blunt and willing to voice her opinion. She was slain by agents of Donovan concurrently with the 2016 Battle of Mt. Carmel.
Audrey Morrow (g. 2016)
Caroline kept Audrey in luxury, if not in confidence. The onetime whore and sometime body double for the Ventrue, who was trusted to manage her ‘escort’ business (which doubled as Caroline’s herd), enjoyed significant wealth and authority in her service. It did not prove to be enough, even with the bond, to maintain her loyalty. Instead Morrow proved a treacherous servant, planting numerous spy devices in her mistresses haven and eventually betraying her entirely, vanishing into police custody. Exactly who she betrayed Caroline to does not seem to matter to the Ventrue, who has instructed her servants that if found Morrow is to be delivered to her alive.
Curtis Morris (g. 2016, d. 2016)
“Marine ’til the end.”
Brian Dunlap Fuller
Deceased: 2016 (27 years old)
Marine rifleman turned civilian (never a former marine), Curtis knew Brian Fuller from their time together in the Middle East. Returning to his home town of New Orleans after finishing an eight-year stint during a draw-down in U.S. forces, he ended up on a short list when Caroline instructed Fuller to identify potential security personnel. Officially, Curtis was employed by Canal Camp Apartments LLC to provide security for the Giani Building, but the rifleman knew well which side his bread was really buttered on. He was grateful for a job that more closely resembled the one he knew (having a weapon in hand felt right), and all the more grateful for the free ammo that Fuller dropped off for him every week to maintain his proficiency. He always missed the more regimented life of the military and enjoyed working with other former military professionals, even Army and Navy ‘pukes.’ Moonlighted as a personal trainer. Curtis was ghouled following an attack on the Giani Building by Claire Malveaux’s hunters that he helped fend off, but his service was not to last. Curtis met his end at the claws of Caitlin Meadows when the scourge appeared at the Giani Building to destroy Isabella Suarez. Curtis was literally torn apart after being caught between the Gangrel and her escape from his shockingly dangerous domitor and her team of ghouls.
Diego Rivera (g. 2015, d. 2016)
“I guess there was… no way this was gonna end well.”
Deceased: 2016 (28 years old)
Mr. Rivera was an outlier among Ms. Malveaux-Devillers’ ghouls and small-time thug among the Cottonmouths, a local Latin street gang. Her exact use for him was unclear, but he exercised considerable and growing influence among the gang until their untimely deaths. He, along with his gang, were summarily executed by Caroline after he torpored the then-fledgling Amelie Savard, fed her blood to his fellow gangbangers, and took her teeth as trophies.
Gerald Bishop (g. 1969, d. 2016)
Deceased: 2016 (72 years old, 47 years ghouled)
Former ghoul to Francesca Dumont and Rebecca DeMatthews, Gerald Bishop was relative latecomer to Caroline’s ghouls, with significant experience with other domitors and a history of both instability and unreliability. Caroline’s approach to Gerald was cautious, slow, and incremental. She valued his experience, but was wary of the opportunity for him to either fail or betray her. As a result she used him sparingly, and kept him insulated from many of her more sensitive operations, focused on the set up and organization of ‘her’ firm in his own name. He was successful enough in that role, but his life was declared forfit as part of the punishment Prince Vidal levied for Caroline’s failure to coordinate Claire Malveaux’s death with the sheriff. He was chosen by name by the sheriff from among her ghouls as one of two to die by his hand. His mutilated body was delivered to Caroline by the Hussar, and she later staged his death alongside Nerea Ericson’s in a fiery car crash, collecting a substantial sum for the firm under a ‘dead peasant’ insurance policy.
Nerea Ericson (g. 2016, d. 2016)
Caroline Malveaux-Devillers to Roger Ferris
Deceased: 2016 (33 years old)
World champion fencer turned attorney turned Kindred blood slave, Nerea Ericson’s history with Caroline went back more than a decade, to when she was practicing for her Olympic run. Brought in as entertainment and then a gift for Caroline’s acceptance into Clan Ventrue, Ericson proved a willful servant that Caroline even made plans to have killed at one point. Sheriff Donovan chose Ericson as one of two ghouls whose life was declared forfeit by Prince Vidal in punishment for Caroline’s failure to coordinate Claire Malveaux’s death with the sheriff. The sentence was carried out by the Hussar, who slaughtered her in a ‘duel’ and delivered her decapitated body to Caroline. The Ventrue staged her death alongside the similarly executed Gerald Bishop in a fiery car accident, collecting a substantial sum for her firm in a ‘dead peasant’ life insurance policy and subsequently suing Ericson’s automotive repair shop for faulty repairs, collecting an additional undisclosed amount prior to trial.
Nicole Polk (g. 2016, d. 2016)
“I don’t want to live forever.”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t want to either.”
Nicole Polk to Caroline Malveaux-Devillers
Deceased: 2016 (29 years old)
Originally from Mississippi, Nicole grew up a tomboy and went to school on an athletic scholarship, graduating with a degree in criminal justice and joined the Secret Service out of college. First working out of a field office, she eventually made it onto a protective detail and was later selected to join a tactical response team as part of a political initiative to open those jobs to women. It was a role she thrived in right up until 2014, when responding to a call she mistakenly shot an innocent civilian under unclear circumstances. The event was used as an excuse to shut down the pilot program she was a part of, and she herself was fired and given a black mark on her record that made future employment as a law officer almost impossible, though she never faced formal charges. After spending a few months wallowing in self-pity she dusted herself off and signed on with the best available option going forward: Blackwatch’s personal security division. She was not particularly happy the outfit, finding many of her coworkers unprofessional. She spent only a brief time in Caroline’s service after being hired on as the Ventrue’s bodyguard prior to her release. Polk was killed while in the Ventrue’s service by then Father Malveaux during the events that led to Rene’s capture. The priest later claimed she was a hunter.
Roger Ferris (g. 2016, e. 2016)
“I have need of you, Roger. I need your expertise. I need your knowledge. I need your connections. I need your loyalty. My own ghouls are good at their jobs, but none of them are you. They lack your subtlety, your finesse. That attack on my haven was a work of art.”
A former spy and CIA agent, Roger Ferris was a remarkably dangerous man even before he was fully initiated into the supernatural by Claire Malveaux and became a vampire hunter. He flipped his loyalties following Claire’s death at Caroline’s hands and became her ghoul and de facto dual-hatted chief of staff and head of operations, quickly asserting dominance among her other servants. Indeed, his performance was such that after suffering fatal injuries during the 2016 Battle of Mt. Carmel at Camilla Doriocourt’s hands, he was Embraced by his domitor’s coterie-mate Conroy Westphal. Ferris thus became the first (and, to date, only) ghoul to leave Caroline’s service not either dead, marked for death, or a nervous wreck.
|The Giani Building||The Walter Robinson House||Perdido House|
The Giani Building Haven (Building)
The Giani Building has been many things to Caroline. First it was an emergency haven—a redoubt from which she marshaled the early nights of her Requiem following her near-disownment by her family. Later it also became a base of operations for many of her ghouls and servants, housing the majority of them for both their safety and her own as she fortified it.
In those nights her ties to the buidling were potent, but indirect: her name appeared on no leases or documents—not even her apartment, which was instead rented by Sarah Anne Widney through a dummy corporation that existed purely for the sake of holding the lease on the apartment and several other assets for Caroline. Tonight the building as a whole is owned more directly by Ms. Malveaux-Devillers—a sign as much as anything else of both her growing hold over it, its growing importance in her emerging empire, and its fading importance to her personal Requiem (for she would never so easily put a target upon her haven).
While she once returned to the Giani Building each night, making it her de facto haven, these nights it is exceptionally rare for Caroline to spend her daysleep here. Instead the building has become something else: a fortress, a border keep, that anchors the southern end of her sire’s domain within the Central Business District. Like any good lord’s keep, it retains a suite for her, but long gone are the days and nights in which it was the center of her (and her ghouls’) Requiem.
The legacy of those early nights remain: the extensive and ghoul monitored surveillance system in the hallways and common areas; the security office staffed with those hand-selected by Mr. Fuller (mostly Marines) and watched in turn by ghoul supervisors; the strictly enforced ‘no pets’ policy. It too remains in the nuanced execution of those things: security tapes are, in contrast to many systems, on an internal network only, and typically are passed off to Kindred agents direct rather than destroyed or sent off for external storage. Many of the other services in the building are influenced by Caroline directly and indirectly as well, including internal maintenance, the renting office and even cleaning services.
The Giani Building Haven (Unit 612)
Located on the sixth floor of the Giani Building right on the edge of what was Rocco Agnello’s territory in the Central Business District, Caroline’s first haven is a 3,000-square-foot luxury apartment—the largest in the building.
The suite was renovated prior to her move-in (in preparation for her move-in) and is tastefully decorated in the stark blacks, whites, and grays—metals, glass, and stone—that Caroline favored even before her Embrace. Thick black curtains hang in each room to block out the sun throughout the apartment during the day as required (as well as block surveillance into the apartment), but they are hardly the only accommodation made to support the Ventrue’s desires and preferences. Hardwood and tile floors dominate in favor of carpet, and the entire aesthetic is almost austere, even cold, in sharp contrast to New Orleans as a whole. Most of the art takes the form of digital photography, often in faintly morose or disturbing black and white pictures by a now long dead artist. They are as close as the apartment comes to hinting at the monsters it hides. While other apartments in the building have been converted to hold caches of heavy weapons, medicine, and blood, this apartment is strictly legal. The common areas are suitable for entertaining small groups, including groups of mortals, with a small bar and a moderately stocked kitchen that shows signs of semi-regular use (by Caroline’s ghouls or mortals she entertains).
The bedrooms, in contrast, are quite private and off limits to visitors, sealed away behind a covert security door disguised as a more ordinary fixture (much like the door to the residence) and typically barred from the inside during daylight hours. Opening the door during the day sends a ping to Fuller’s and Autumn’s phones: (violent responses are all but sure to follow. One bedroom is appointed as a ‘guest’ bedroom for a ghoul or other that might spend the day, while the second is a working office for Caroline. Most of the readily available material inside is relatively mundane and related to several of the businesses that Caroline is involved with. The ‘good’ stuff is hidden on an unnetworked and encrypted computer that contains detailed files on not only many Masquerade-sensitive matters, but also on individuals of interest or importance to the Ventrue heiress, including extensive blackmail folders and notes on those that hold the assets she has interests in. More than a handful of failed logins results in a time-lock on the system, but in truth even this system is largely a legacy: very little that is truly sensitive can be found on it.
More than anything else, the Giani Building apartment now exists as an ‘official’ residence for Caroline’s kine identity, a place in which she can meet with members of the Malveaux family away from Perdido House, keeping them at arms length, and conduct other business necessary to maintaining her personal Masquerade.
The Giani Building Haven (Bedroom)
The final bedroom is Caroline’s rare daytime (and even more rare nighttime) sanctum. If the living areas are austere, Caroline’s private chamber is striking in its severity. It’s cold—much more so than the rest of the house, with temperatures rarely rising to the lofty heights of 60 degrees, and lit with soft and pale blue lights largely recessed into the ceiling or under the lips of the sparse furniture. The lights are typically kept low, low enough to be uncomfortable for human eyes, to leave long and dark shadows and black corners, though they are more than sufficient for Caroline’s needs. A large but low and comfortable bed dominates the room, wrapped in black sheets and blankets of silk and satin. White and black paper and steel free standing room dividers screen both doors in the chamber from the bed—both that leading out into the rest of the house, and that leading into the master bathroom and walk-in closet, and create an illusion of disconnectedness and security in the room—as private as a tomb. A small nightstand sits beside the bed on the left—a home for Caroline’s phones, including a glossy black landline that is fantastically loud when called—loud enough to wake the dead. The faint sound of running water fills the entire room, the product of a fountain that runs the length of the wall opposite the bed’s headboard, a flowing river that fights its way around several stones placed in its path.
The master bathroom includes an attached spacious walk-in closet, large tub, shower, double sink, and combination black and white marble floors and counters respectively. Velvety towels hang on polished steel racks and give way to a wardrobe fit for an heiress and heavy on blacks and whites. There’s something off about the entire thing that does not immediately jump out to a casual viewer, but upon a deeper examination becomes clear: the bathroom, like much of the house, does not feel truly lived in, or rather, it is missing common items that a bathroom should have: extra toiletries, personal hygiene products, and the like. Clearly it is used, but there is an absence of life. Everything is too polished, too neat. There are no stray hairs scattered about, no fingernail clippings or used razors in the trash. It’s too clean. Too perfect.
The Walter Robinson House Haven (Part I)
If her haven in the Giani Building is a reflection of who Caroline was, or at least became following her Embrace, and her haven in Perdido House a reflection of who she believes others (especially her sire) might wish her to be, Caroline’s haven in the Walter Robinson House is an expression of who she might have wished to be—or at least a version of herself she was never allowed to be. It’s light where the others are dark, warm where they are cold, and feels distinctly alive where they are still.
Located on the second floor, and with its own attached bathroom and closet, the room makes ample use of the Walter Robinson House’s ample space and gloriously lofted ceilings. Paneled in white, and gilded in gold, and brilliantly lit by recessed overhead lighting and a fantastically bright chandelier, there’s a purity to the room utterly absent from her other resting places.
Furniture in the sprawling room is sparse, leaving plenty of open space. The bed is a massive, lavish affair in white silk and gold thread, with a cushioned wrapping headboard enfolding it, bracketed in either end with small, tasteful, nightstands. Two small, low, tables sit on either end further off covered in fresh gardenias that fill the entire room with their potent fragrance: twice a week deliveries of fresh follows arrive.
Two sets of curtains exist for the windows—a lighter white set for privacy, and heavier cream-colored ones sufficient to black out the entire room if required. The latter match the soft carpeted floors and gold gilding on part of the ceiling.
There is no obvious technological giveaway that the room is anything other than one plucked from a century ago—Caroline would not deface the work of art that is the Walter Robinson House that way. No televisions, phones, computers, or other electronics to intrude into this place of peace and stillness—except by its mistress’ invitation. Power outlets are discretely concealed (though available) behind curtains, paneling, and furniture as required for portable electronics.
The Walter Robinson House Haven (Part II)
Against the far corner, only slightly out of place in the otherwise largely impersonal room, is a small display case. Behind the glass the trophies in it are small, modest, appropriate for small regional events: but all are gold to match the rest of the room and all bear the name Caroline Malveaux-Devillers. Displayed among them is a fencing saber, the fine black leather around the hilt in some places worn down to bare steel and the blade and bell guard scoured by innumerable tiny scores. Beside it is another, finer, more obviously functional blade—neither blunted on tip nor edge. There is a small framed photograph as well of a dozen smiling young women and teens, most in padded white fencing outfits and some still holding blades, their hair braided or tied back, and mostly streaked with sweat. The embroidery on the uniforms can just barely be made out and reads ‘Sauveterre Academy.’
The bathroom is a matching luxurious space in whites and gold, complete with marble counters, gold fixtures, a bathtub large enough that even Caroline’s 5’11" form can comfortably stretch out. The main room includes a large vanity, the bathtub in the corner near the windows, and a large marble shower opposite with several show heads to spray on its user from multiple directions. Twelve hundred thread count towels in white and gold await from gold racks, or beside the tub’s massive enclosure. One of the few sacrifices to modern comfort over classical sensibilities, there are several discrete water jets in the tub, and a heating system that keeps the water at a desired temperature no matter how long it’s used.
The walk-in closet has wood floors—a break from the carpet of much of the house, but shares the same lofted ceilings. A small island sits in the center as one comes in and is surrounded by all sides by Caroline’s wardrobe. Thousand dollar shoes in neat rows alongside dresses that cost more than most mortgage payments and a vast array of accompaniments, including a well-stocked jewelry case and array of purses (most smaller clutch items). Two floor to ceiling mirrors on either side of the door allow Caroline to carefully scrutinize her choices and the final effect before journeying out into the world. As is her habit, much of the wardrobe is in black and other dark colors, though there’s a fair amount of white, gold, and even a splash of red: iconic colors even before she was Embraced into the clan of blood and gold.
|2139 Chartres St.||Monument Law||The White Room|
2139 Chartres St.
The White Room
Located in the sprawling and labyrinthine confines of Perdido House is a chamber built for Ms. Malveaux-Devillers that she calls “the White Room.” It is, in fact, two chambers, one encompassing the other, though only the interior one is worthy of note. The external chamber is little more than a hallway that surrounds the internal one, its walls covered in noise-absorbing materials on one side and an array of weapons from nearly every martial tradition on the other. The inner chamber is a large white tiled and white walled spaced absent everything but the nearly blinding overhead lights.
The White Room serves three functions for the Ventrue. First, it servesas a dojo of sorts where she is able to indulge the more martial pursuits she’s long been inclined towards. The savage beating she received from the Hussar, to say nothing of the brutal life and death conflict with Donovan were eye-opening experiences for Caroline about how outclassed she truly was by many of the older and more powerful vampires and ghouls in the city, not only in raw supernatural potency, but also in refined skill and experience. She has worked exhaustively to close that gap in skill, knowing her supernatural potence is unlikely to do so in the immediate future. Her typical (though not exclusive) sparring partners are elder ghouls in the service of her sire or the seneschal. In them she finds not only opponents of tremendous skill and experience to dwarf her own, but also foes tough and strong enough that she is (relatively) unlikely to harm them inadvertently—even if forced to frenzy.
In addition to the elder ghouls she’s aggressively recruited opponents both Kindred and kine, though the latter mostly provide instruction in different and new martial schools, rather than outright sparring partners. That actual instruction inside formalized structures has gone a long way towards refining the basic self-defense education she received in her teens which carried her through many of the early conflicts of her Requiem only by virtue of her raw aggression and blinding speed.
Tonight, she’s added to her already lethal skills jujitsu for grappling, eskrima for handling armed opponents when unarmed and to take better advantage of the superior hand-eye coordination that accompanied her Embrace with two-weapon styles. She introduced akito, drawing on the style’s preference for cuts that prove so much more effective against Kindred than thrusts. She’s even added some wun-chun, discovering the acrobatic and lightning-fast blows melded well with her supernatural gifts which allow her to rain down half a hundred blows in a heartbeat from every angle. Then she’s taken that knowledge and worked against actual killers, Marines and special forces operators, stripping away style in favor of lethal function. Whatever artistry remains in how she fights is incidental, rather than intentional. Everything is function, rather than form.
Though the seneschal has frowned on the time she has devoted to improving her own martial prowess—it will serve her poorly enough in the intended capacity as a young figurehead ‘prince’—she’s doggedly found time and opportunities to do so, citing additional benefits to the hours she’s spent in the chamber. Among those benefits: many opportunities to test herself against the Beast under trying conditions. Hurt, attacked, bleeding, and even nearly overcome with thirst her vicious matches against elder ghouls (especially the Hussar) have lured out the Beast on more than one occasion—and tried to on many others.
It has also given her ample opportunity to adjust to her significantly amplified senses, relative to her existence as a kine. Particularly in the early days, it was not uncommon for her to add an intermittent third party firing off gunshots into a wall, high-intensity strobe lights, flickering candles and torches, or freshly spilled blood, or any combination of them to her duels to increase the challenge poised as she fought to maintain her focus on her opponent amid the overwhelming barrage of sound and light.
The second function of the White Room is more incidental to it’s first: it’s an excellent space to turn loose a frenzying vampire. Whether awoken from torpor, unstaked, starving, or simply pushed to the edge of their self-control, there is little harm any but the strongest Kindred might do when they succumb to the Beast within the concrete-walled, soundproof chamber. Caroline has made use of the chamber herself for only that purpose on occasion, unleashing her Beast to rage impotently, but it is also a ‘safe’ and less hostile space to awaken a torpored vampire.
Finally, the space provides an opportunity for her to ‘bond’ with Kindred that she otherwise shares few connections and shared interests with—especially some of her fellow hounds that are less interested in formal events.
|Abélia Devillers||Augusto Vidal||Fatimah al-Lam’a||Philip Maldonato||Slane Holland|
Abélia Devillers (nature and age unknown)
Allegiance: The Devillers Family
Augusto Vidal (6th gen. Ventrue/Hardline Sanctified, e. 13th century)
Lineage: 6th gen. childe of Urcalida
Covenant: Hardline Sanctified
Embrace: 1212 (Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa)
Fatimah al-Lam’a (7th gen. Lasombra/Ashirra, e. 10th century)
“You are, I think, everything my sire might wish me to be, Emira.”
Lineage: 7th gen. childe of Sharif al-Lam’a
Embrace: 10th century
Philip Maldonato (7th gen. Lasombra/Hardline Sanctified, e. 14th century)
Lineage: 7th gen. childe of Shu’ayb al-Mohager
Covenant: Hardline Sanctified
Embrace: 14th century
Slane Holland (9th gen. Ventrue/Hardline Sanctified, e. 1876)
Lineage: 9th gen. childe of Dominique Toutain
Covenant: Hardline Sanctified
|Lena Merinelli||Luke Malveaux|
|The Camarilla||The Guard de Ville||The Hardline Sanctified||The Leviathan Committee||The Low Table||The Ventrue|
Camarilla Status X
Guard de Ville Status ••
Caroline is a member of in good standing of the current incarnation the Guard de Ville under Sheriff Holland and often serves as his immediate second by dint of lineage, faith, and clan as much as competence. It’s a role, for all the whispers of nepotism, that she stepped into surprisingly well. When jokes about her lack of competence fell flat harpies shifted their though attack to asking whether her proficiency was due to skill as an enforcer of laws or due to her history as a breaker of them. These nights, even those needles have grown dull as she has well earned her place among the prince’s leg-breakers, investigators, and keepers of the peace. Her (relatively) good working relationship with other hounds has not hurt—there were benefits to wiping out the old guard and replacing it, overwhelmingly, with a newer order more tied to her.
Hardline Sanctified Status X
Leviathan Committee Status •••
Caroline is a member of a coterie of neonates that go by “The Leviathans” publicly and “the Leviathan Committee” in private. The latter is something of an inside joke among them following a decision she made in the moment that she “did not have time to discuss in committee.” Though authority within the group is decentralized, and each member is ambitious and active in their own right, it would be fair to characterize the Ventrue as a ‘leading’ member that commonly brings matters of mutual interest to the group for support. The group has repeatedly faced down tremendous odds together in life and death struggles, and shares a dark secret that could destroy any or all of them were it to come out. The result is a more tightly-knit coterie than most, willing to risk their Requiems on each other’s behalf—if unwilling to do so without complaint. After all: each of those struggles has led them out from the desert to their current positions of influence. Their association has been, and remains, mutually beneficial.
Low Table Status •••
Ventrue Status X
|The Devillers||Malcontent LLC||The Malveauxes||Monument Law|
Devillers Family Status •••
Caroline is an older sister within the family, and one of tremendous means and influence. Her younger sisters view her as both mentor and role model, and are strongly inclined to both seek and follow her counsel. She directly finances and controls many matters on behalf of the family, including the large group of private bodyguards that entered their service in recent years, and serves as legal counsel for the family when required. Her position within the family makes her privy to many secrets, and gives her the authority to act on behalf of the family in most matters, especially within the kine world. She may freely call upon both her sisters and her mother for help, and readily expect them to leverage their own influence on her behalf – and is expected to do the same in turn for them.
Malcontent Status X
Malveaux Family Status X
Monument Law Status •••
Once a shadow financer, these nights Caroline is the managing partner in the rapidly expanding firm. She holds executive authority on high level decision making and initiatives within the firm, though much of her power is deputized to more senior partners to handle the day to day needs of the firm that cannot wait for her night to night interest. Though her interaction with staff if limited by her vampiric condition during the day (barring periodic appearances by disguised ghoul servants for the sake of the Masquerade), none of the firm’s employees have any doubt as to who their ‘boss’ is when push comes to shove, even if they report more directly to their supervisors.
“Your sire was not René Baristheaut, but Augusto Vidal. […] Your mortal background made you a compelling candidate for his Embrace.”
Ventrue (e. prehistory, d. many millennia BCE)
Tiamat (e. many millennia BCE, d. 3rd century?)
Urcalida (e. several millennia ago, d. 15th century)
• 6. Augusto Vidal (e. centuries ago; 1212 purported by George Smith)
Emmanuel Costa (e. late 18th century, d. 1815)
• 7. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers (b. 1989, e. 2015)
Caroline is the only known childe of Augusto Vidal not to have been destroyed by time, fate, the machinations of faceless foes, and his own hand. Though Prince Vidal’s oath to never Embrace again following the humiliating revolt of his last childe Emmanuel Costa is a matter of near-legend, Caroline’s acknowledgement by her sire in early 2016 has brought fresh hope for the future of their distinguished line.
GM’s warning: major spoilers for the posted adventure logs follow below.
Caroline was secretly groomed for her intended role throughout her adolescence (and possibly her entire life) by the Ventrue prince’s longtime lover and seneschal, Philip Maldonato. He had nevertheless intended to pass her over in favor of another candidate: her cousin Adam. Caroline’s Embrace was brought on by her abduction, torture, and consignment to the deepest known level of the Dungeon at the hands of the Malkavian elder Mother Iyazebel, whose full motives remain unknown. Maldonato descended into that nightmarish realm to rescue Caroline and fought its mistress to the brink of mutual annihilation. It was Caroline who finally took up the seneschal’s blade and slew the millennia-old Cainite while the two elders were locked in combat.
Maldonato carried forth Caroline from the Dungeon, only to find she now lay on her deathbed: the horrors she had endured in the Dungeon were kept in abeyance only by the twisted realm’s own rules to prolong her suffering. The seneschal Embraced her with a long-preserved sample of the prince’s vitae, clouded her memories of that night, and abandoned her in Louis Armstrong Park to conceal her origins. Caroline awoke like any sireless fledgling in ignorance, pain, and terrible thirst. Even the prince did not know the truth of his lover’s schemes: he had sworn never to Embrace again, yet torpor loomed upon his horizon, and his legacy threatened to crumble for want of a childe and heir.
Caroline narrowly avoided final death several times, including at the hands of her publicly alleged sire Rene Baristheaut, Anarch gangs, and the seneschal himself after her near-exposure of one of the prince’s longtime allies as a headhunter. She earned her presentation before her sire and proved her loyalty to him by slaying her hunter stepmother, exposing a primogen’s treachery, and uncovering deep rot in the prince’s thought to be unshakable hold on the NOPD.
The torpor-bound prince was brought to wroth by his lover’s betrayal of his oath, but has nevertheless accepted Caroline as his childe and taken her into his confidences. She hopes he will also name her his heir and successor—if she can both continue to prove herself and survive. To be the heir to Augusto Vidal is to be the childe of one of the most renowned princes in the New World. A prince of international acclaim, envy, and fear.
It is to be the heir to the legacy of Urcalida, the methuselah-queen of Madrid, a Celtic and Phoenician warrior-goddess who dominated Iberia for centuries during her time. It is to be the heir to the blood of Tiamat, one of the most terrifying exemplars of Ventrue blood to ever exist, a methuselah of such might and bloodlust that her name became synonymous with the ancient goddess of darkness, chaos, and destruction. It is to be only four steps removed from the blood of Ventrue, and to be a childe closer to Caine than most Kindred Embraced half a millennia ago.
It is to be heir to power foreign in this age, to rage unseen in the lifetime of man, and to an insatiable call to power.
Childe of Augusto Vidal
Childe of Urcalida
Caroline is granchilde to Urcalida, an Iberian warrior-queen Embraced during the Second Punic War. Rather than dwell in Rome where unprecedented numbers of Cainites were competing for power, she elected to settle in the comparatively unimportant province of Hispania Tarraconesis and rule it absolutely. On the few occasions Vidal has publicly discussed his sire, he proudly held that she was one of the worthies to salt Carthage’s earth and torch Clan Brujah’s fabled “utopia” during the Third Punic War. She weathered Hispania’s subsequent invasions by the Goths and Vandals better than her clanmates in Rome, and reigned as dux (prince) of Tarraco for nearly a thousand years before the Umayyads destroyed the city and drove her into torpor. She re-awoke several times over the following centuries before seizing praxis over Madrid, then Mayrit under Muslim rule. She cared little for the conflict between the Christians and the Moors, for she predated the deities of both religions. She did, however, support the Reconquista to further strife between the Christian and Muslim branches of Clan Lasombra in an ultimately futile gambit to break the keepers’ hold over Iberia. She did not survive to see her city become the seat of Spain’s world-spanning empire and was destroyed by Lasombra Anarchs during the Anarch Revolt.
Childe of Tiamat
Caroline’s great-grandsire Tiamat is considered one of the most terrifying exemplars of Ventrue’s blood to have ever been Embraced. Atrocities beyond count are ascribed to her name: she is said to have butchered whole Sumerian cities, diablerized scores of her own childer, made slaves of the Strix, taken demons for her lovers, and to have slaughtered so many kine that she became worshiped by the Babylonians as a deific embodiment of darkness, death, and primordial chaos: Tiamat. Modern scholars agree that stories of her exploits are likely exaggerated, particularly those concerning her role in shaping mortal history. However, there is little doubt she was one of the most dreaded and bloodthirsty Cainites active during a savage era when the Masquerade was still a formative concept.
Tiamat resented Mesopotamia’s transition from warring city-states to unified empires, and bitterly fought against every mortal nation-builder from Sargon of Akkad to Cyrus the Great. Her efforts came to naught and she was eventually lured away from the Seleucid Empire by the promise of greater bloodshed in the Punic Wars. She became enamored by Roman military power as a means to wreak further carnage, and (allegedly) whispered in Crassus’ ear that great riches and glory could be won by conquering Parthia. She spent the next four centuries traveling between Rome and Persia, fighting on the sides of both empires and reveling in the bloodshed. She finally disappeared during the Sack of Ctesiphon in 283 and was hoped destroyed by her contemporaries.
Childe of Ventrue
Clan Ventrue holds their founder perished millennia ago, making them the only clan completely free of an Antediluvian’s manipulations.
Carter Malveaux (b. 1923, d. 1965) + Myrtle Malveaux (b. 1925, d. 1999)
• 2. Carson Malveaux (b. 1952) + Barbara Malveaux (née Flores) (b. 1955)
• 3. (His children)
• 2. (Their children)
James Malveaux (b. 1926, d. 1991) + Camillia Malveaux (née Lawless) (b. 1929)
• 2. Orson Malveaux (b. 1950)
• 2. Matthew Malveaux (b. 1954) + Vera Malveaux (née Dyer) (b. 1957)
• 3. Adam Malveaux (b. 1985)
• 3. Savannah Malveaux (b. 1987)
• 3. Susan Malveaux (b. 1990)
• 3. Charlotte Malveaux (b. 1992)
• 3. Elaine Malveaux (b. 1994)
• 3. Virginia Malveaux (b. 1996)
• 2. Nathaniel Malveaux (b. 1957) + Abélia Devillers (b. 1956)
• 3. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers (b. 1989, e. 2015)
• 2. Nathaniel Malveaux (b. 1957) +
Claire Malveaux (née Monroe) (b. 1958, d. 2016)
• 3. Luke Malveaux (b. 1991)
Westley Malveaux (b. 1993, d. 2015)
• 3. Gabriel Malveaux (b. 1997)
• 1. Thomas Malveaux (b. 1933) + Mary Malveaux (née Whitney) (b. 1934)
• 2. (Their three children)
• 2. Other illegitimate children rumored
Full article: The Malveaux Family.
• 1. Abélia Devillers (b. 1956) + unknown father
• 2. Cécilia Devillers (b. 1989)
• 1. Abélia Devillers (b. 1956) + Nathaniel Malveaux (b. 1957)
• 2. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers (b. 1989)
• 1. Abélia Devillers (b. 1956) + unknown father
• 2. Adeline Devillers (b. 1992)
• 2. Yvette Devillers (b. 1998)
• 2. Yvonne Devillers (b. 1998)
• 2. Noëlle Devillers (b. 2002)
• 2. Simmone Devillers (b. 2005)
Full article: The Devillers Family.