Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Lancea-converted tabloid journalist & dark evangelist
Jean-Marc has the look of a man who’s been cuckolded by the world, and knows it intimately, since he walked in on the world fucking someone else in his own bed. And it was a good fuck too, far better than he ever got, or he ever could give. Still, the man pretends he’s forgiven the world; he still sees her, politely titters at her jokes, and compliments her on her newest fashion or accomplishment. Most of the time, his facade holds up to scrutiny: a masquerade of winning smiles, lemonade-sweet laughter, and the look of a friend who’s thinks your side of the story is all that matters. Yet, when the porcelain mask cracks, a far uglier mien reveals itself. It’s a man possessed by schadenfreude sneers, bitter snickering, and a look that tells you he’s smelled your dirty laundry and found it worse than all of New Orleans’ sewage.
Either way, he’s neither the most attractive, nor ugliest man in the room. Or at least, most rooms. Hang out with Celila Flores’ photoshopped entourage, and you’d think Jean-Marc was a walking charity case for plastic surgery. Stick him with Papa Spenda’s scabbed, sore-festering junkies, and you’d call him a modern-day Adonis. His face is decently symmetrical, though his massive forehead reflects his inflated ego. His nose is also a broken mess that has nothing to do with Nosferatu vitae. Rather, its mushed state is due to old ‘gifts’ from angry men whose affairs Jean-Marc ratted out, Black Hand enforcers ‘reminding’ Jean-Marc to stay out of their business, and ex-linebacker skip tracers ‘thanking’ the tabloid writer for beating them to their bounties in order to squeeze out a juicy, all-exclusive confession. If you can look past that mangled schnozzle, you’d see several aesthetically redeeming features. His tousled-chic, tawny-black mane and close-trimmed beard aren’t nearly so full as as a Cape lion’s, but they have their admirers. Few know that his quadroon hair is naturally frizzy as hell, but he mercilessly flat-irons it daily into tamer, yet still wavy, submission. Similarly, his Bourdeaux wine-black eyes, bourbon-tan skin, and high-gloss printed lips have turned some heads–not all of which were drunk.
Since his ‘conversion’, Jean-Marc has developed an increasingly chronic case of halitosis that becomes particularly odious when he lies. Given the frequency with which he perjures himself, he’s taken to concealing his ‘olfactory tell’ by constantly chewing on artisanal mint julep-flavored Tic Tacs, menthol nicotine gum, or imported Bêtises de Cambrai spearmint candies.
When it comes to fashion, Jean-Marc’s vanity demands he reveres chic over comfort, but he’s too hedonistic to not make an occasional sacrifice to the latter’s idol. One of those concessions used to be his penchant for plunging v necked t-shirts, but his ‘baptism of blood’ and related psoriasis has made him switch to turtlenecks. Notwithstanding, he picks his fabrics based on how faithful they are to the Holy Trinity of thinness, softness, and lightness. Thus, his shirts these days are bespoke, monochromatic affairs made of exquisite mousseline de soie, cotton voile, or batiste. To give his weak shoulders a more masculine structure, he pairs his turtle-necks with three-quarter sleeved, notch-lapeled blazers of silk and velvet. These in turn are worn with pencil-legged chino, checkered madras, or seersucker capris. In the rare event of a cold night in the Crescent City, Jean-Marc will exchange his capris for pants, or even more rarely throw on a reversed Afghan coat. For foot apparel, his collection of shoes exceeds most of his girlfriends’, though the panoply almost exclusively consists of soft-soled loafers and suede boaters–all of which he wears without socks. While such fashions hinder foot chases on storm-flooded streets, Jean-Marc knows no shoe is going to make him break any 100-m dash records.
Instead, if he needs to get somewhere fast, he orders a Ryde or Jaunt. After all, it’s easier to tail people if you don’t keep using the same vehicle. Also, paying someone else to drive leaves him free to scroll through his newsfeed or fire off some flame-baiting posts. Technically, he–or El-Hazael Enterprise–does own a car, but it’s for driving on a race track, not pedestrian roads. It’s a 1954 Porsche 550 RS Spyder that famously survived the last death-race of the Carrera Panamerica, though most days, it now sits inside Mélissaire Larieux’s car-garage.
Yet, regardless of whether he’s walking, riding, or driving, Jean-Marc tends to accentuate his outfits with a few pieces of bespoke bijouterie, most of which are souvenirs from former friends and ex-paramours. Besides serving as memento mori for social relationships, a lot of this jewelry has been modified to hold concealed nano-SIM cards, flash drives, and micro-SDXC sticks. His only other notable adornment is a tattoo of a winged lion on his inner-dominant forearm. Unlike the traditional Lion of St. Mark, his leonine figure rests its paw upon a newspaper rather than an open bible. The headline’s lede is a row of stars, each one representing someone who killed themselves after one of Jean-Marc’s publications or posts. The row is surprisingly long, but he still has ample skin for future additions…
Name: Jean-Marc d’Léandrie
Aliases: Melech ‘Mel’ Amrouche bin-Hadad
Race: Mixed (quadroon)
Date of Birth: June 24th, 1978
Apparent Age: 38
Actual Age: 38
Weight: 181 lbs
Eye Color: Dark brown
Hair Color: Blackish-brown and prematurely graying
Complexion: Paling and rash-ridden brown
Aliases: Melech ‘Mel’ Amrouche bin-Hadad. As a tabloid muck-racker, Jean-Marc has adopted a litany of false identities, but Mel is one of his most common. Coupled with fake IDs and a digital paper-trail that can hold up to non-FBI or NSA level scrutiny, Mel is the supposed son of French-Algerian expatriates who obtained asylum from the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale. Mel claims he represents El-Hazael Entreprise, a false venture capitalist firm that always seems interested in investing in Jean-Marc’s targets, be they nightclub owners, restaurant operators, musicians, or other marks hungry for start-up funds or loans. Ironically, the shell company is sometimes used by Jean-Marc to hold passive investments or act as the registered owner of assets, be they intangibles such as royalties, copyrights, and other intellectual property or tangibles like real estate for property development. When masquerading as Mel, Jean-Marc uses pale Berber-blue contact lens, slicks back his hair into a tight man-bun tucked into a kufi, and wears more flamboyant fashions, such as loose-fitting djellaba, colorful dashiki, caftans, Coptic jewelry, beaded sandals, and kohl-painted eyes. “Ah, the lies we tell ourselves as we try to fool others.”
Gender: Male. If he was slightly younger or more hip, he’d say cisnormative demifemme male.
Race: Mixed (quadroon). Jean-Marc’s ethnicity is a mélange of ancestries, including western European colonists of French La Louisiane and Spanish Louisiana, an ex-slave Buffalo Soldier who brought home a Cuban wife as a war souvenir from the Battle of San Juan Hill, and a mulatto from Algiers Point who had the serendipitous honor of being stationed in Françafrique Algiers during WWII, who like his grandfather brought home a bride, though this time from Vichy France. All of which is to say that he’s a Creole, quadroon, quarteron, mixed-race, and a mutt. “Take your pick,” he says, “but no matter what name you use, shit flushes the same way down the toilet, no matter its color.”
Date of Birth: June 24th, 1978. Growing up in a nominally Catholic household and city, Jean-Marc had to share his birthday with John the Baptist and the related fixed feast of the Nativity of the Forerunner. It was small comfort when his family told him to be grateful he wasn’t born on September 8th and have to ‘compete’ with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Still, the bitter, iconoclast youth started to celebrate his birthday a day later on the 25th, and the practice has stuck, even as an adult with largely atheistic friends and acquaintances. Moreover, when Jean-Marc doctored up Melech’s false records, he set his alias’ birthdate to September 7th, 1979–as a minor thumb to the Virgin Mary. “Petty, I know, but most of our day to day lives are; no reason a birthday should be any different, especially if it’s a fake one.”
Apparent Age: 38. He likes to believe he still looks 28 on a good day. Then again, he used to believe that vampires didn’t exist, so the stock market value of belief has depreciated these days.
Height: Even with his tousled mane, Jean-Marc is a few newspapers short of six feet. If you got hold of his medical records, you’d see him listed as 5’9". It’s technically just three-tenths of an inch shorter than the average male height in the US, but it’s all relative. Stick him in a room with the Pelicans’ starting line-up, or even just a precinct full of slightly tall cops, and you’d call him him short.
Weight: If you still had your hands on his medical records, you’d see he wavers between 173 and 189 lbs, with clothes on. As a prepubescent kid, Jean-Marc was on the chunky side. ‘Pudgy’ would have been kind, but his schoolmates weren’t. Adolescence helped, as did a lean food budget in college. Ramen may have a murderous amount of sodium, but its fat content is more a venial versus gross sin. But what really helped him shed pounds was his post-baccalaureate car crash and months-long stay in Charity Hospital, where a body cast and full liquid diet made his body devour itself. As an adult, he’s maintained his now-ectomorphic build with a cycle of diets and quickly lapsing exercise regimens. Most of these fads; such as spin classes, cross-fit training, keto diets, and smoothie fasts; were short-lived and typically driven by a similarly short-lived relationship. Vovinam’s the only thing that’s ever really stuck, likely because he doesn’t view martial arts as a form of exercise or weight control. Instead, his last kick was pescatarianism. He’s unsure if his recent ‘liquid diet’ violates that ideal.
Eye Color: Black and full as a bottle of Bourdeaux wine–or stygian as the abyss of Hell. Pick your poison.
Hair Color: A blackish-brown reminiscent of Lézaire’s dyed mane. In Jean-Marc’s case, it’s his natural hair color, save for his beard, which he’s taken to dying to cover-up a few, growing streaks of premature gray.
Complexion: In the sunlight, it looks like warm bourbon. Lately, though, he’s not seen much sun. Also, since his ‘baptism of blood’, he’s developed an increasingly bad case of psoriases that’s covering his stomach, crotch, and upper legs and arms with itchy, powdery red rashes. Thus far, he’s been able to cover up the sores and blame his scratching on an allergic reaction to a homeopathic detergent, but if it gets much worse, leprosy might be a more convincing cover.
Full article: History of Jean-Marc d’Léandrie.
• 3. Absimiliard (e. prehistory, d. uncertain)
• 4. The Matriarch (e. millennia ago, d. uncertain)
• 5. Cristo (e. unknown, d. uncertain)
Alonso Cristo Petrodon de Seville (e. 14th century, d. 1997)
Virginia de Palencia (e. 17th century, d. 2005)
• 8. Miss Opal (e. mid 18th century)
William “Billy” Bonnet (e. mid 19th century, d. early 20th century)
Gabrielle Duperon (e. mid 19th century, d. early 20th century)
Leon Millet (e. early 20th century, d. early 20th century)
• 9. Yi Huang (e. late 19th century)
• 10. Randolph Cartwright (e. mid 20th century)
• 11. Arzilla Boudon (e. late 20th century)
• 11. Gerald Abellard (e. early 21st century)
Baptiste du Lac (e. early 20th century, d. 2015)
• 10. Allison Eskew (e. late 20th century)
Rhett Carver (e. early 19th century, d. 1967)
• 9. Adán Méchant-Cyprès d’Gerasene (e. mid 20th century)
• 10. Jean-Marc d’Léandrie (e. 2016)
• 8. Nathaniel Bordruff (e. early 20th century)
Jean-Marc received his ‘blood baptism’ by Father Adán Méchant-Cyprès d’Gerasene, a devout clergy of the Lancea et Sanctum and fallen Catholic priest, who had disappeared for over a decade after Hurricane Katrina and was presumed to have perished in the storm. Father d’Gerasene was childe to Rhett Carver, who in mortal life was a dapper Southern gentleman who cruelly toyed with others’ affections and left behind a trail of broken hearts. After his Embrace and prior to his destruction in 1967 by Anarch immigrants from the California Free State, Carver had risen to a become a viscount in the Invictus, backing first Roger Halliburton and then Antoine Savoy, as well as the de facto primogen of his clan during Miss Opal’s most recent torpor. Carver was childe to Virginia de Palencia, the mysterious progenitor of more than a dozen of New Orleans’ Nosferatu, including Miss Opal and Nathaniel Borduff. Virginia presumably perished during Katrina, though her final death, like her Requiem, remains shrouded in rumors. Far more is known about her sire, Alonso Cristo Petrodon de Seville, a Sevillian count who served as an archon under Justicar Catillo and then as a five-term justicar himself before his final death in 1997, presumably at the hands of the Anarchs whom he had long persecuted. Petrodon was childe to Cristo, a methuselah of whom little is known. Unsubstantiated lore holds that he was one of the early converts to Christianity and the Lancea et Sanctum during the nights of Rome, and who allegedly converted the famed Michael of Constantinople. Cristo’s lineage is unverified, but he is presumed to be the childe of the Matriarch, an even more obscure methuselah also known as Gorgon and Medusa, who may or may not have been the same figure as Baba Yaga. Regardless of her true identity, she is believed to have escaped the blood bond of her infamous sire, Absimiliard. The feared Antediluvian founder of Clan Nosferatu is in turn childe to Zillah, the third childe and wife of Caine.
If Father d’Gerasene embraced any children before or during his absence from New Orleans, he has not deigned to share that information with Jean-Marc. As an only child, Jean-Marc isn’t sure whether he would want to be an only childe or finally have ‘siblings’.
Prior to his recent ‘conversion’, Jean-Marc abhorred the concept of having children, so much so that he had an elective vasectomy. Since he has deigned to keep his artificial sterility a secret, more than one of his past relationships have blown up like the Hindenburg when a paramour has announced they were pregnant with ‘his baby’. Since gaining a new ‘Father’ of his own, Jean-Marc has begun to idly consider what it would be like to have childer, as opposed to hunger-mewling, self-shitting children that would constantly need his attention and care. He’s not sure there’d be much of a difference, but he’s open to the possibility.