Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
Kenneth "Ken" Sanders
Unfaithful accountant turned penitent monster
Appearance & Attire
Kenneth stands out only among a room full of Kindred, and then only for his mundanity. In rooms filled with monsters made from beautiful young men and women Embraced in their prime, in the full bloom of youth, he looks remarkably ordinary, a man of slightly above average height that wears his years plainly, complete with frumpy physique (though marginally improved by the weeks before his Embrace when he visited the gym for the first time in years, inspired by his tryst with the much younger ‘woman’). Perhaps his most striking feature is his eyes, deep and soulful, having seen things no man should.
He dresses conservatively, mildly, favoring button down shirts and slacks that he (mistakenly) believes help hide his near obesity and comfortable shoes. The entire ensemble, combined with his plain appearance, gives him a distinctly non-threatening appearance utterly belied by the rage that lurks within him.
Name: Kenneth Benjamin Sanders
Date of Birth: May 1st, 1974 (Jackson, Mississippi)
Date of Embrace: August 17th, 2016 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Early 40s
Real Age: Approx. 50
Weight: 230 lbs
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Education: B.A. Business (Xavier University, 1993—1997)
Occupation: None (2016—present), Certified Public Accountant (1999—2016)
Religion: Monachal Sanctified
Though the Embrace of those in their youth was more firmly traditional in ancient times—typically carefully groomed childer for elders taken as soon as they came of age—the young among the Damned even in modern nights far outnumber those taken later in their lives. Whether because younger kine retain fewer attachments, because the young are most likely to be caught up with a Kindred in a moment of passion, or simply because most vampires are vain and shallow creatures drawn to fleeting beauty. Most of those Embraced past their teens and twenties have bleaker tales to tell: Kenneth is no different.
Once a devout Catholic, good husband, and loving father of two, Kenneth, like many men in their forties, found himself regretting from his idyllic but mundane middle-class life and questioning whether a comfortably settled family life was all he wanted. He strayed from his path, betraying his faith, his principles, and his wife for a younger woman that brought much needed excitement to his life otherwise boring existence as an accountant.
She was young, she was more adventurous, and she let him do anything he wanted to her: things he’d never dream of asking his wife to do. She let him put it anywhere he wanted. She was also one of the Damned. For six weeks he lived a double life, making excuses and lying to his family as he spent night after night out into the early hours of the morning. He bought her extravagant gifts and even (at her urging) indulged in recreational drugs. Finally, utterly smitten with him, she gave him the greatest gift she could in turn: the Embrace.
He died in her arms and awoke a living corpse thirsting for the blood of man, damned for all eternity.
Rather than run away with her as she wished, Kenneth recoiled at what he’d become. He fled, returning to his wife—who he found in a near-panic after he had been gone more than 24 hours—to tearfully confess what he had done. She reacted with fury, screamed at him, slapped him, told him that he’d never see his children again, that she’d ruin him. When the red haze faded, his wife was gurgling her last breaths through her ripped-open throat. In his hands was the broken body of his eleven-year-old son—dead trying to save his mother from his father’s fury. He called 911. The rest is history.
More than any of the others of the Red Right Hand, Kenneth firmly believes he deserves his fate, that he was properly damned by the wrath of God, and that he must make amends for his trespasses, no matter how long it takes. He blames himself for his wife’s death and blames himself for his son’s death. He hopes beyond hope that if he can survive until Judgment Day as God’s servant, he might be reunited with his family one day. At the same time, he knows he is past redemption, past hope, past forgiveness. He exists now to serve God’s will even as his sire did in turning him (ignorant of it though she was). He finds particular purpose in terrorizing comfortable men (and women) that stray from their family lives—trying to drive them back to a righteous path before they fall down the same hole to hell that he has.
His existence among the damned has in many ways become as mundane as his existence was prior to his damnation: he remains a calm but firm hand, an excellent with numbers, with a wealth of life experience to draw upon. Though difficult to rouse to anger, by Brujah standards, in a fury the otherwise mild man becomes an absolute terror that leaves little doubt as to his parent clan.
While dedicated to ‘making right’ the existence and faith that he shattered—by both serving God and by ensuring the safety of his remaining daughter—he’s largely content to let Catherine drive the agenda for the krewe while he offers advice. His own choices, after all, were what brought all of this down on him: better to let others take the wheel for now until he is certain of his own judgement.
Kenneth makes his haven in the Giani Building, on the third floor in a one-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. The living room and kitchen are a single attached unit, with the bedroom down a hall and separated from the rest of the apartment by the second bathroom, laundry room, and closets. The living room and kitchen are startlingly mundane, complete with modestly stocked pantry and refrigerator, 60’ television, console gaming system, and warp around sofa. The most unusual thing about the living areas are just how spotlessly clean they are.
In truth, this is because Kenneth hardly ever uses much of the ‘haven.’ Though he on rare occasions hosts get-togethers for the krewe, the living room, kitchen, and bathroom are part of a carefully cultivated façade Kenneth scrupulously maintains; the Masquerade is the sacred duty of all Kindred after all.
Behind the bedroom’s sturdy wooden door (its steel core hidden by well-oiled hinges) is his actual haven, a chamber with more in common with a monk’s cell than a person’s home. There’s a single bed, a dark stained wooden chair, a desk with a handful of books on it, and a small shelf with the same. Though the closet is filled with finely tailored clothing, there is not a shred of comfort to be found in the rest of the room: he doesn’t deserve it.
Ken maintains no domain of his own, though he does manage a not inconsiderable sum of funds recovered by the krewe over the last few years for them. He professes to little ambition at this time, but is comfortable defending the holdings of the rest of his Krewe.
Encouraged to take on ghouls by his patron, Caroline Malveaux-Devillers, Ken has taken something of a less utilitarian approach than most of the others in the Red Right Hand—choosing kine with nothing to lose, but less obvious positions of influence or skills to offer his blood to. Though the initial efforts caused more headaches than desired, the long running effect has been ghouls that he has fewer moral qualms about maintaining and who are inhumanly grateful for his patronage.
Status: Ghouls 0
Betty was a fifty-ish-year old county clerk approaching a comfortable government retirement when breast cancer came calling for her life. She caught it late—not shocking for the overweight woman who’d spent the last ten years resigned to her solitary existence. She was bitter, but more than anything else, she wasn’t surprised: of course that’d be how she went, on the verge of reaping the rewards of her hard work. She’d spent most of her life preparing for her retirement, only to have it all for nothing.
Ken found her at a support group—she’d declined treatment but still wanted someone to talk to about her rapidly approaching end of life. She liked his laugh: he liked her stoic resignation. He also appreciated her administrative know-how and believed his patron would appreciate someone in her office. Today Betty is happy enough to continue her life, and grateful to Ken for the opportunity. The demands placed on her are comparatively mild—and even when they aren’t she find them to be a far better option than death.
On the other side of her brush with death, Betty has worked to enjoy more of the life she deferred—improving her physical fitness and taking a greater appreciation in the moment.
Status: Ghouls •
A former New Orleans Saint’s defensive linemen, Rudy was out of the league before thirty, having squandered most of his career earnings and suffering the rapid onset of chronic traumatic brain injury from his time in the league. Ken found him selling used cars—a gimmick for the dealership that subsidized his meager savings. He found Rudy the second time with a gun in his mouth, considering ending it all rather than continuing his bleak and increasingly painful existence. Ken offered him another, less bleak, way to end his life as he knew it.
The brush with abject failure and death did wonders for Rudy’s outlook. He came through the other side with a great appreciation for life as a whole, and the need for a purpose in it. He quit the job in the used car lot and now mostly does outreach with local youth programs while quietly trying to finish the college degree he never finished at Xavier—at his domitor’s urging.
Today Rudy feels better than he has since he was in his teens—stronger, faster, tougher, and more alive. He knows he has Ken to thank for that, and doesn’t hesitate to unleash all the strength of his more than 300 lb frame on anyone Ken thinks deserves it. Regularly works out with Brian Dunlap Fuller, who he readily admits is in better shape—while also joking about how he has ‘little man’ syndrome.
Ken maintains no pawns of note, but does maintain more than a few contacts in the Central Business District—street venders and chatty locals with whom his easy manner earns him plenty of information on the local events and comings and goings in neighborhoods.
• Caroline Malveaux-Devillers: Ken is mindful of the important public relations role that the Red Right Hand plays in the Hardline Sanctified of these nights, and of the hand of the prince’s childe in shaping not only that narrative, but their Requiem as a whole. He’s remarked to others in the krewe that she’s ‘simply playing her part’ but does urge some caution in their planning, recognizing their patron’s support is not driven (entirely) by altruism, and that in its absence they might find themselves sorely pressed. Respectful and reserved towards her.
• Catherine Ward: Ken was attracted to Catherine early on—that much he won’t deny. Her ambition, drive, and commanding attitude was a bittersweet reflection of his slain wife’s. The pull of the first stage blood bound they each took out with each other only amplified those feelings, and it wasn’t long before the two were frequent lovers. His feelings about that are deeply conflicted, as in some ways he cannot help but view those experiences as a betrayal of his wife that he should suffer for in turn—a feeling she has proven willing to accommodate.
• Genevieve “Gina” Elsworth: Gina latched onto Ken early on when he defended her against some rather unkind words from Warren. She became all the more attached when Malcolm was destroyed. Ken for his part tries to play the part of the gentle but firm uncle, letting Catherine push her and serving as a backstop when she feels overwhelmed or uncomfortable. The two are frequent hunting partners (more for Gina’s comfort than his own).
• Warren Kontkowski: Playing firmly against Brujah fashions, Ken mostly cautions Warren and urges patience and restraint in the fiery ex-soldier. In the absence of Warren’s father, the Brujah at times serves as his sounding board, advising him on paths forward and trying to blunt his most self-destructive tendencies. Warren has observed that among everyone he know, Ken’s advice often makes the most sense, and is the least influenced by social and political factors.
• Vanessa Sanders: Ken’s surviving daughter, now 11, has had no meaningful contact with her father since he murdered her mother and brother. She lives with their maternal grandparents in Baton Rouge. Ken has arranged for her wellbeing, directing ample funds to ensure both her welfare and her education. Her grandparents have told her that her father is dead—as he is in their eyes.
Ken’s physical appearance, age, and lack of ambition have done him no favors amid the Camarilla at large, who have largely avoided taking notice of him save to mock him at Elysium—a rite of passage for all neonates. The old man took the jabs at his appearance better than most, and his lack of punch back avoided making him any long term foes, but it also cemented his position near the bottom of the pecking order. These days the harpies have mostly tired of trying to get a rise out of the ‘old man’. (Camarilla Status 0)
His piety and willingness to serve as a foot soldier has earned him some measure of respect among the Sanctified, though without a significant growth in his ambition and agenda it is unlikely to expand any further. (Hardline Sanctified Status •)
Among Clan Brujah, shattered as the clan is and without a clear leader in the city, he has earned little acclaim. Though he professes a favorable relationship with Hound Wright as a fellow loyalist, older and more established non-loyalists like Shep Jennings and Jonah Freeman have been happy to label him nothing but a Ventrue lapdog. His lack of interest in fighting them about it has done him no favors in earning clan esteem. (Brujah Status 0)
Among his krewe, Ken is often the voice of reason that the rest of the group quietly turns to. Though Catherine is undeniably their leader, and Warren the mailed fist, he’s a quiet glue that holds them together. For Catherine he is a sometimes lover—though more for his love of pain than true passion. For Gina he is a source of stability and safety. For Warren, he is one of the few that he can completely confide in. Their benefactor has observed more than once that those same traits and inclinations might make him a fine Priest among the sanctified, but to date he has declined to pursue such a goal, citing how far he has to go before he’s ready for such responsibility. (Red Right Hand Status ••)
• 10. Unknown
Janaya Barnes (e. early 21st century, d. 2016)
• 12. Kenneth Sanders (e. 2016)
Kenneth is the childe of Janaya Barnes, a Quarter rat of little distinction who came to New Orleans in the aftermath of the Battle of the Arts District. She was executed by the Sanctified for her childe’s illegal Embrace. Janaya’s sire is unknown.
Ken has no idea if he has any broodmates or not.