Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Marisol is a petite Frenchwoman with a quiet intensity about her. She keeps her medium-length reddish-brown hair pulled back when working and is often covered in bits of paint or clay.
She can dress well when needed, and can even be the life of a party if she puts her mind to it, but she is an introvert by temperament and prefers to spend time in her art studio. She adopts modern fashions when she goes out in public, but always with a timeless piece or two like a little black dress or elastic waist belt: the sorts of clothes and accessories that never go out of style. She’s most at home in Elysium or her haven, though, where she wears vintage clothing from the 1960s: her favorite decade for fashion. Some Kindred have favorably compared her wardrobe to Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy.
Name: Marisol Jeanne Beaugendre
Date of Birth: January 16th, 1909 (Centre-Val de Loire, France)
Date of Embrace: November 18th, 1936 (Paris, France)
Apparent Age: 27
Real Age: Approx. 100
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Auburn
Marisol was a consummate artiste, living in Paris in all its glory during les années folles (“the crazy years” of the 1920s). Unlike most of her contemporaries, she spurned the music halls and nightlife for which the city was famous so as to devote more time to her art. There was little she did not dabble in. Painting, writing, sculpture; it was all the same to her. As Hemingway declared, the city was a “movable feast” for people in the arts, and Marisol ate heartily of that banquet. She loved the era with all of her heart and wanted it to never end.
It took two years after the U.S. stock market crash for the Great Depression to hit France, but the rollicking good times finally came to an end. The city’s character turned somber overnight as seemingly everyone lost their jobs and demand for art dried up. Marisol continued hers anyway, though times were as hard for her as they were for anyone. The city’s misery touched her deeply. She would often go to the Pont des Arts bridge late at night to try to talk suicides out of jumping.
On one such night there were no jumpers. Marisol silently stared into the Seine’s dark waters, contemplating the sad state of the world, and suddenly felt a searing pain against her neck.
Henri de Tours was a centuries-old Toreador who’d been intrigued by Marisol’s diversity of talents. He’d watched her for years and felt he had come to know her through her art. When he thought she was going to jump, he couldn’t bear to lose her. He apologized profusely upon realizing his misunderstanding.
Marisol was mortified by what she’d become. Henri, wracked with guilt, introduced his childe to the splendor of Paris’ ancient vampires and their hidden worlds of art. Marisol’s initial horror faded as he showed her wonder after wonder. Part of Marisol couldn’t ever forgive Henri for having damned her so senselessly, while another part of her recognized his obvious depth of affection and came to return it. The pair’s relationship was passionate and tumultuous, and Marisol loved every moment of it.
As time went by, Paris began to lose its luster. Marisol grew to feel the local Camarilla’s culture was stilted. There were too many ancient vampires whose ideas had been formed in ages gone by and who weren’t willing to change with the times. Part of Marisol couldn’t blame the elders, though. Times in Paris only ever seemed to change for the worse.
World War II
The death knell to the city’s gay spirit came with the German occupation. The Nazis considered Paris a playground for their soldiers and “treated it like a prostitute they could rape while pretending to be civilized and polite.” Though Paris’ occupation was among the war’s least brutal, Marisol watched as her free-spirited artist friends who’d given les années folles their name fled to the provinces or were arrested by German authorities for acts of dissidence. Her Jewish and communist friends languished in Camp de Drancy. Some died from undernourishment and dysentery. The surviving ones were herded onto trains in 1942 and never came back.
Among the Kindred, unlife was little better. The Ventrue prince of Berlin, Gustav Breidenstein, had agents among the Wehrmacht and was more than happy to use Germany’s occupation to make Francois Villon, his long-time rival and the Toreador prince of Paris, pay for slights dating back to the Napoleonic Wars. When Villon disappeared before Breidenstein could take his revenge on the Toreador’s own person, the hoary Ventrue spitefully took out his wrath on Villon’s clanmates. Artwork was looted or destroyed from Toreador havens in droves amidst mass executions all-too conveniently carried out by the Third Reich’s soldiers.
Marisol’s spirit withered at these actions. Even if the Germans were driven from the city, things would never be same. She joined the many other Kindred fleeing war-ravaged Europe for the United States. Henri ensured his childe was well-provisioned for the journey with several of his ghouls and much of his portable wealth. Marisol wept tears of blood as she begged her sire to come with her, but he insisted he could not. He was too frozen by time to start anew in a distant land. His last words were for his childe to resist their kind’s ennui and “remain alive, even in death.”
The New World
Some expatriate American friends once recommended New Orleans to Marisol as a port city with a distinctly Euro-Caribbean flair. She presented herself before Prince Vidal and was fortunate that he and Philip Maldonato had both participated in the Camarilla’s 1436 recapture of Paris from the Anarchs (itself carried out under cover of the French recapture of the city from the Burgundians). The Ivory Tower had installed Marisol’s many-times grandsire Beatrix as prince of the city, and the two elders looked favorably upon a well-spoken and Catholic descendant of hers. Marisol received permission to make her domain in the city.
Marisol thoroughly enjoyed unlife in the Big Easy. Although she mourned her sire, the city’s strongly French-influenced culture (even more pronounced during the ’40s than the 21st century, especially among the immortal Kindred) ensured the local Toreador were very welcoming to a Parisian expatriate. Marisol missed France enough to depart for Martinique when the island was liberated by Free French forces in 1943, but she remembered her time in the Crescent City fondly.
The Caribbean was a pleasant change of scenery from swampy New Orleans, and news of Paris’ liberation by the Allies brought bloody tears to Marisol’s eyes. When V-Day was declared in Europe, she danced with joy. Still, she had no desire to return home just yet. Paris would likely be much changed by the war and Martinique had proven a pleasant vacation spot, as well as a source of new inspiration for her art. Paris would be there when she was ready to come home.
As time went on, though, Marisol sank into a depression even her tropical surroundings could not rouse her from. She missed the camaraderie of the Parisian art world and the passion she had shared with her sire, whose final death she had felt during the war. She was homesick, but without Henri and after so many years away, Paris might no longer be home.
News of New Orleans’ devastation in 2005 simultaneously broke Marisol’s heart and roused her from her malaise. She couldn’t protect Paris from the Nazis, but perhaps she could do something here. She journeyed to the city and expressed a desire to play some small role in rebuilding its culture. The prince and her clanmates remembered her favorably, and Maldonato once again granted her permission to make her domain in the Crescent City.
As New Orleans rebuilt, Marisol attended the recital of a brilliant young violinist named Jeremy. She was astonished that a mere child could have such talent. Silently following his career, however, only made her more concerned. The boy’s fame-hungry “stage parents” appeared less interested in their son’s happiness and welfare than in riding his star to success. Marisol knew the fate of most child prodigies was to burn out and could not bear the thought of that happening to Jeremy. She sought and received Vidal’s permission to Embrace the young violinist.
Marisol was not a musician, but she did her best to mentor Jeremy’s development and used him as a frequent muse for her painting. She introduced him to the city’s Toreador and his skill impressed many of them. As the years passed and Jeremy matured mentally from a child into a man, his feelings for his sire only grew. Marisol felt something in her reawaken as well. She tossed mortal mores aside and knew passion in his arms. Her art was inspired again and she gave no thought to what others said. It was a time of happiness for both her and Jeremy.
It was also not to last. In 2015, Marisol began to bicker with her lover. Several months later, she kicked him out of her haven and said it was time for him to find his own way in the world. She told Kindred who asked that Jeremy had become too dependent on her. She would not have him remain an eternal childe. Jeremy, though, has been despondent ever since, and Marisol has produced less artwork.
Happiness rarely seems to be the destiny of the Kindred.
Marisol makes her domain in Esplanade Ridge. She also has feeding rights in Faubourg Marigny. Sundown’s nonpartisan status makes it easy for her to avoid political entanglements. She adores Palace Market Frenchmen and regularly buys handmade crafts from the artists there.
• Jean Autry (g. early 19th century, Ghoul Status •••)
Jean is Marisol’s bodyguard and a former soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. He was a gift from her sire Henri when Marisol fled France during World War II. Jean claims to have served as a grenadier in the Garde Impériale under Napoleon’s direct command, albeit as a member of the Middle Guard rather than Old Guard. Whether his claim is true or not, Jean would have been a very large man during the Napoleonic era and is over twice his domitor’s age. He zealously watches over his “young” charge, who is all that remains of his original domitor and whose continued safety was Henri’s last command.
• Souraya da Silva (g. mid 20th century, Ghoul Status ••)
Souraya is a dark-skinned beauty from French Guinia who serves as her domitor’s business manager, sells her artwork, and takes care of night-to-night (and day-to-day) matters Marisol would rather not involve herself in. Souraya is more of an extrovert than her domitor and is happy to spare Marisol from interacting with more buyers than she’d like to. Souraya half-jokes the “reclusive artist” angle helps the art sell better, anyways.
Marisol might have other ghouls, but does not appear interested in maintaining a large stable of servants.
Marisol has exhibited her artwork under a variety of pseudonyms throughout the years. She has a reclusive reputation and rarely meets with buyers or critics, preferring to leave those sorts of things to Souraya.
Marisol has little apparent interest in cultivating mortal pawns. Her art is her passion.
Marisol’s relative age and respectable bloodline would earn her a place in most cities. Her role in rebuilding New Orleans’ cultural landscape (she donated a great deal of her sire’s leftover wealth towards this cause) following Katrina, and her frequent artistic contributions to Elysium, has further enhanced her standing in the city. She is seen as the respectable sort of Kindred that princes prefer to fill their courts with. (Camarilla Status ••)
Among her clan, Marisol’s artistic talents (and bloodline) are held in still higher esteem. Art is everything to the Rose Clan, after all, and no clanmates have accused her of being a poseur. Her ties to Paris, which the Toreaor regard as the art capital of of the world, are also worth more among her clan. (Toreador Status •••)
Marisol has not joined any covenant and shows little desire to, although the Invictus and Lancea et Sanctum have both courted her. She is one of the few vampires not to have taken up a side in the factional war: it’s probable she’d remain just as welcome in the city under Savoy’s rule as Vidal’s, and she hasn’t done anything to antagonize the Baron either. Marisol seems happy to keep things that way.
Baptiste du Lac encountered a somewhat malaisful-looking Marisol at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art during an “off night” when the art gallery was not in use as Elysium Primo. His blunt forwardness and subsequent mockery about her feelings caused the Toreador to give him the cold shoulder.
Marisol was reluctantly drawn into Kindred politics when George Smith lured her childe Jeremy to John Harley Matheson’s plantation to serve as one of the vitae-addicted elder’s vessels. When Smith was put on a public (and largely show) trial for violations of the Masquerade as part of of Matheson’s larger trial, Marisol was among the Kindred who testified against Smith’s character. Smith subsequently attempted to turn public opinion against the Toreador by dragging up the ugly details of her split with her childe and accusing her of being a poor sire.
• 3. Arikel (e. prehistory, d. uncertain)
Michael the Archangel (e. millennia BCE, d. 1204)
Beatrix of Paris (e. millennia ago, d. late 18th century)
Guy Talleyrand (e. 14th century, d. late 18th century)
Diane de Poitiers (e. 15th century, d. 1848)
• 8. Laurent de Montmartre (e. early 16th century)
Henri de Tours (e. mid 16th century, d. 1940s)
• 10. Marisol Beaugendre (e. early 20th century)
• 11. Jeremy Lenoir (e. early 21st century)
Marisol is the childe of Henri de Tours, a painter Embraced during the French Renaissance who was destroyed during World War II. Henri was the childe of Laurent de Montmartre, a polymath who served Princes Beatrix and Villon as a diplomatic envoy to other princes and claims to have played a significant role behind the mortal Treaties of Westphalia and Montmartre. He has since “retired” and now claims the Montmartre in Paris as his domain. Laurent was the childe of Diane de Poitiers, an elder who claims to have been the eponymous Renaissance patron and mistress to King Henry II. She disappeared during the Revolution of 1848 and is presumed destroyed by Anarchs. Diane was childe to Guy Talleyrand, an obscure elder destroyed during the French Revolution by a peasant mob. Guy was childe to Beatrix of Paris, a Roman near-methuselah who reigned as prince of Paris from the Hundred Years’ War until the French Revolution, when she was destroyed by Anarchs.
Beatrix’s lineage is a matter of some dispute. Some Kindred (mostly her bloodline’s rivals) claim she was of the sixth generation and a childe of Salianna der Paris, the founder of the Courts of Love and one of the most influential methuselahs active during the Middle Ages. Salianna was a power in France since the time of the Merovingians, but wrested Paris from Ventrue hands in the 13th century and reigned as the city’s co-prince until the Anarch Revolt. She disappeared when Paris fell during the Hundred Years’ War and is presumed destroyed.
Although Salianna is hardly an ignoble Cainite to include in one’s lineage, Beatrix’s descendants claim their ancestress was Salianna’s younger broodmate rather than childe, and that Beatrix’s actual sire (rather than grandsire) was Michael the Archangel, the methuselah-patriarch of Constantinople and one of the most renowned Toreador ever Embraced into the Rose Clan. Most Kindred believe Michael met final death during the 1204 sack of Constantinople. Followers of the Aspída kai Dóry (the eastern Lancea et Sanctum) and many of Michael’s Orthodox and Muslim descendants (and even a few Catholic and Protestant ones) claim their ancestor was the earthly incarnation of Michael the actual archangel, and that he was bodily taken back into Heaven when Constantinople burned. Michael was childe to Arikel. Clan Toreador’s founder has not been heard from since the nights of Mycenaean Greece.
The Toreador of New Orleans have not disputed Marisol’s claim to be of the 10th rather than 11th generation. She has not claimed her ancestor Michael to be the eponymous archangel. Vidal condemns this belief as heresy and holds little tolerance for it.
Marisol has referenced other childer of her sire’s who were destroyed or had left Paris by the time of her Embrace.
Marisol’s sole known childe, Jeremy Lenoir, is a violin prodigy she Embraced after Hurricane Katrina.