Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
Relentless homicide detective
“I think I saw what the last honest detective in the city did last night: he shot two teenage girls in the chest at point blank range in front of a room full of witnesses."
Appearance & Attire
He’s hard. Hard nose. Hard jawline. Harder eyes, colored a corroded iron gray. Skin that’s worn and leathery like a well-used pair of work gloves, crisscrossed with faded scars, pulled taut against gaunt cheekbones. His still-muscular physique isn’t pampered and meticulously maintained like a gym rat’s. It’s weathered. He’s a big man, standing maybe half a head over average height, and is never seen wearing anything besides a scuffed, faded gray trench coat over a plain shirt of the same color. A police badge on a cord dangles around his neck in place of a tie.
Name: Richard Brian Gettis
Ethnicity: American. Gettis doesn’t self-identify with any particular ethnic group.
Date of Birth: March 15th, 1962
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Richard Gettis has been a homicide detective in the NOPD for as long as anyone can remember: at least thirty years. He seldom talks about what he was before that. In fact, he seldom talks at all.
Gettis looks the part of the life-long amateur boxer he is and has seen it all in his time. His fellow officers believe that what remains after a lifetime of blood and guts is a construct—a mechanical cutout of a man that exists only to do his job. That job, so far as Gettis is concerned, is putting the city’s vilest degenerates behind bars or in body bags. He isn’t particularly choosy about which. Rumor on the force holds that he has more “justified” shootings on record than any officer in NOPD’s history. No one is really sure. They’d have to break out the microfilm to get to his actual personnel record.
If you listen to rumors, they’ll also tell you that there are only two reasons Gettis hasn’t retired—voluntarily or otherwise. One, he has dirt on every captain or better in the city. Two, no one has the balls to tell Gettis he’s done to his face. Either could be true. Or both. On the case, Gettis is absolutely relentless, more bloodhound than man. He has no family to speak of—half the time he sleeps at his desk.
GM’s Note: Spoilers for the adventure logs follow below.
Gettis was at the center of the storm surrounding the LaLaurie House in August 2015. Seven students at the McGehee School for Girls, including Amelie Savard and several scions of the Devillers and Whitney families, were arrested by furious police after then-Detective Emil Kane was found unconscious and badly hurt at the infamous house. Gettis was there for the shellshocked teenagers’ booking and did little to make the process less traumatic for them. Calls were made to the girls’ wealthy, connected parents and cooler heads eventually prevailed—or so it seemed.
The girls had scarcely been personally released by Superintendent Drouillard himself before Gettis pulled out his firearm and shot Yvonne Devillers and Sarah Whitney in their chests. The two received life-saving first aid from Caroline Malveaux-Devillers, but Mitchel Lowenstein was fatally shot after Gettis attacked the officers attempting to arrest him and used Lowenstein’s body as a human shield. Gettis escaped the police station, now the subject of a city-wide police manhunt and the most wanted man in New Orleans.
Following these events, Gettis appeared to suffer a complete break with reality: he seemingly forgot (or simply didn’t care) that he was no longer a police officer and continued to make “arrests” of lawbreaking individuals. Emmett Delacroix was one such man. Emmett only sporadically followed the news and his blind lawyer, Bertram Villars, failed to recognize that the arresting officer was in fact a wanted criminal.
As a result of these actions, SWAT was able to locate Gettis quickly, and he was shot dead while resisting arrest. Superintendent Drouillard barely kept his job in the concurrent PR debacle. NOPD was left in a state of shock and mourning—Gettis was a veteran on the force and most of his fellows considered him to have been good police.
They, and numerous private individuals, are still attempting to decipher the motivation behind his final actions.
Richard Gettis continued to loom large in the minds of the girls he’d shot and their families. Several expressed to Caroline how glad they were that Gettis was dead. None of the still-traumatized girls would have to go through the ordeal of a public trial and its accompanying media circus. Caroline agreed with this, but grew increasingly suspicious of last summer’s events and suspected another hand behind Gettis’ actions. She was at a loss, however, to explain what another party might have stood to gain from those actions.
In 2007, Emil Kane met Richard Gettis while visiting the NOPD. He found the homicide detective an intimidating presence and told Gettis that he was looking for his father’s missing body. He confessed his suspicion that the man had never been interred at the cemetery. He asked if Gettis knew his father, who had been a respected officer on the NOPD before his death.
Gettis only stared at Emil in silence before Detective Aaron “Lucky” Johnson took him away. Emil was unsure why he’d felt the need to confess those things, but felt as if something in the detective’s steely-eyed gaze gave him the right to know.
In 2008, Celia Flores went to her grandmother Payton T. Underwood for advice on how to get Maxen arrested for the domestic violence he regularly subjected her to. Payton called Richard Gettis and asked him to receive Celia’s report and personally make sure the police actually followed up on it. She promised that she would owe him a favor. Payton then told her granddaughter that, “You will not find him a friendly man, but he is afraid of nothing. He will not be intimidated by your father.”
Celia took several months before she going to Richard Gettis. True to her grandmother’s words, she found him an intimidating and unfriendly man. Equally true to her grandmother’s words, Gettis was unafraid of her father and arrested Maxen himself.
In March 2016, Caroline added Roger Ferris to her stable of ghouls. The ex-CIA agent informed his new domitor that,
“Gettis is alive. He was there at our last meeting. Gettis isn’t his name either. He’s a ghoul. Independent. Ancient. Leads his own organization of police-affiliated hunters called New Orleans Special Task. NOSTF. He’s been working with Savoy for over a century to undermine Vidal’s control of NOPD from within. Lebeaux and Moreno are just the more public efforts.”
Ferris additionally relayed that Gettis was formerly allied to Claire Malveaux, another prominent hunter before her death at Caroline’s hands, and served as the go-between who brokered Claire’s alliance with Antoine Savoy. Claire traded him vitae from vampires she’d destroyed (including some of Caroline’s own) in return for using his people in hunts.
Gettis was indirectly involved Caroline’s and Claire’s hit job on Bishop Malveaux. He dispatched a cell of hunters to take down the Ventrue after Caroline lured him to a prepared ambush site, but refused to participate in the hit himself, believing it “smelled wrong.” The old ghoul’s instinct proved well-founded, given that the night ended not only with the deaths of captures of his men, but also the death of Claire Malveaux, who was not even present for the battle.
Caroline was intensely interested by the news of Gettis’ survival and pressed Ferris for answers on why the ex-homicide detective had shot Sarah Whitney and Yvonne Devillers, her newly-adopted sister. Ferris could only state that he didn’t know. Gettis never volunteered that information to him or Claire, beyond, “He only said it was time to abandon the Gettis cover and that his actions served a purpose.” Ultimately, however, the elder ghoul’s reasons mattered little to Caroline as she began to lay plans for his demise.
After all, he’d hurt her family.