Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
“Chance favors the prepared mind.”
“If this is a world of darkness, like so many of our kind often claim, then Roderick Durant is the light in that darkness. He is a shining example of what could be, what should be, if only we did not give in to their baser instincts. Some might scoff at the term ‘idealist,’ but Roderick has long been my moral compass. ‘What would Roderick do?’ That’s the question we should all be asking themselves if we want to be better than the Beast would have us be.”
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Roderick has a boyish, all-American sort of wholesomeness. Embraced in his mid-20s while clean-shaven, he’ll always look young. His favored side part style for his short brown hair gives him a faintly retro look. He walks confidently with his head held high, bright blue eyes fixed on the better tomorrow just ahead. When he’s angry, he looks outraged over whatever injustice aroused his anger. Some Kindred peg him as a Boy Scout. They aren’t wrong: he made Eagle Scout and it shows in his posture and mannerisms, that simultaneous mix of take-charge leadership and civic-minded humbleness, all behind a can-do spirit. He’s several inches above the average height and naturally slim of build: the sort of body that’s made for baseball rather than football. He played from childhood until high school. Although fit from daily jogging and semi-regular weightlifting, his sire Coco had him follow an exacting fitness regimen before his Embrace. Regular resistance training added considerable muscle bulk to his frame that he’s glad to have, though he retains his natural lankiness. His sire Embraced him with equal care, after every stray hair was plucked, every nail filed, and his face freshly shaven with a straight blade razor to leave it eternally smooth. He still takes good care of his skin and hair, which he attributes to the influence of a former girlfriend who worked in the salon industry.
At first glance, one might be forgiven for thinking Roderick was an upwardly mobile young businessman rather than a Brujah Anarch. He prefers three-piece suits over biker leathers and his gelled hair doesn’t look like it’d survive many barroom brawls, though Coco’s childe is more than confident in his ability to handle himself. He favors grays, dark blues, and the occasional white seersucker over black suits. Black makes him feel like he’s dressing for a funeral. A classic suit is his go-to attire at Elysium, when dealing with mortals, and when dealing with most vampires too. It’s becoming increasingly uncommon for him to dress down, but when he does, he favors button-ups and polos for shirts, with chino slacks as often as slim-fitted jeans for pants. He intensely dislikes baggy pants. He likes pairing brown oxfords even with jeans to give more casual outfits a classier look. His personal style can largely be summed up as preppy. No one has ever seen him in a Brujah’s signature leather jacket. As he’s remarked at more than one of his clan’s rants, “I didn’t wear them when I was alive and I’m not about to start now.”
Name: Stephen Ernest Garrison, though this is unknown to most of New Orleans’ Kindred.
Aliases: Roderick Caracy Durant
Date of Birth: May 15th, 1986 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Date of Embrace: May 16th, 2010 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Mid-20s
Real Age: Approx. 30
Weight: 170 lbs
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Brown
Education: J.D. (Tulane Law School, 2008—2011), B.A. Philosophy (Tulane University, 2005—2009)
Occupation: Attorney (2012—present), clerk, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court (2012)
Born to an affluent family of politicians and lawyers, Roderick checked all of an elder sire’s usual boxes for an exceptional intellect and promising legal career ahead of him. It’s unclear exactly what Coco Duquette saw in this child of privilege, as his mortal life couldn’t have been more different from hers or her first childe’s. Then again, some Kindred think “different” might have been just what Coco was looking for: Roderick certainly fits the mold of an old school “thinking Brujah” better than his brother-in-blood Micheal Kelly ever could.
Embraced just after passing the bar exam, Roderick is known for being “the Anarchs’ lawyer” and is a frequent sight at Orleans Parish Prison and Orleans Parish Criminal District Court (both conveniently located in Mid-City) getting the ghouls and mortal associates of more criminally-minded Anarchs out of trouble. While his legal services have allowed him to accumulate a fair amount of prestation over Mid-City’s Kindred, Roderick seems more interested in advancing his position within the Camarilla than in “playing lawyer.” He’s a frequent sight at his sire’s side, handling the fine details of her various affairs, to the point some Anarchs have joked he’s her “chief of staff.” He also serves as the scribe for the city’s Cabildo (primogen council), where it’s his job to record transcripts of everything that’s discussed during meetings. For obvious reasons, it’s considered an envious position for any neonate to hold.
Despite this exposure to some of the most cynical and machiavellian power actors in the city, Roderick retains a decidedly idealistic streak and wants the Anarchs to push for greater rights of self-determination within Mid-City. He’s locked horns with his more pragmatic “work within the system” sire more than once, and their impassioned debates remain a crowd favorite during the Movement’s meetings. In that regard, at least, Roderick seems as much a Brujah as any of his clanmates.
Roderick has a decent-sized domain in Mid-City. The working-class neighborhood isn’t particularly to his tastes, but the feeding is good enough, and Coco thinks it’s valuable for him to broaden his horizons. There’s a fair amount at Riverbend to interest him, including the fact that he could easily hunt there by posing as a member of Tulane’s student body, but he can’t bear the idea of owing favors to Donovan.
Roderick has some clout among the district attorney’s office and criminal district court in Mid-City. He’s less interested, though, in cultivating that influence than he is in tending to Kindred affairs. He’s also, frankly, less than comfortable in the vampiric role of unseen puppet-masters and influence brokers. He prefers to deal with the kine as equals.
Roderick enjoys decent standing among his sect, clan, and covenant (for a neonate). He’s most respected by the Anarchs, thanks in part to his sire’s position but also due his own actions. Most of his fellows think he will be a leader in the covenant some night. He might enjoy a similar level of standing among his clan, but ‘old school Brujah’ are predominately elders, and he isn’t an elder. His coterie, the Golds, include Christopher Guilbeau, Hezekiah Santana, and Amaryllis DeCuir. They’re nominally all equals. His position as scribe for the Cabildo is also one coveted by other neonates. (Anarch Status ••, Brujah Status •, Camarilla Status •, Golds Status ••, Scribe Status ••)
GM’s Note: Significant spoilers for the adventure logs follow below.
George Smith spoke with Roderick when he was searching for suitable companions to spend time with John Harley Matheson at his plantation beyond the city. Roderick declined due to the time commitment involved, but George was impressed by the well-spoken young Brujah.
Micheal Kelly never spoke with his younger brother-in-blood, but made several disparaging references to him being “Coco’s pet.”
Celia met Roderick Durant (then known as Stephen Garrison) at her first college party in 2009. The pair were introduced by Celia’s roommate, Emily Rosure, and immediately hit it off. They talked about their majors and Stephen drunkenly confessed that he has a stalker. When Celia took him back to her dorm room to fool around she got cold feet when clothes started coming off, so Stephen offered to take her out on a date to make it special, and after a “magical evening” he took Celia’s virginity. They soon made their relationship official. Celia took Stephen home to meet her father at the worst dinner ever, where Maxen berated Celia for her lack of cooking ability and told Stephen what a disappointment she was. The couple’s following dinner with Diana was much more relaxed, though once they were alone, Stephen pointed out to Celia that something must be going on with her mother’s income for her to live as poorly as she did. He offered his assistance in helping resolve the matter and the pair convinced Diana to talk to a lawyer.
Stephen met Emmett Delacroix when the latter dropped Celia off for a family dinner. He did not seem amused by the boy’s lack of propriety and accused Celia of cheating on him. Celia confessed that she was in love with Stephen and they enjoyed a romp in the car before going back to Tulane to pull Emily from her alcohol-induced funk.
Despite her plans to confront Stephen’s stalker, who Celia assumed was a vampire, she died before she got the chance. Following her Embrace, she met up with Stephen to officially end things with him. She told him that she cheated on him and fed from him before wresting back control of her Beast and fleeing the scene, leaving a distraught Stephen behind.
In 2010, Celia met Stephen again the evening of her official release as Jade Kalani, only to find her former boyfriend had also adopted a pseudonym as Roderick Durant. He was roped in by the Toreador’s words at Elysium and made an appointment to see her at her spa, where Celia came clean about who she was. The evening ended with Roderick losing control of his Beast and beating her into torpor, then dropping her off with Coco to revive her.
Two years later, Celia invited Roderick to see the new Batman movie with her and attempted to rekindle their relationship. Things went well for a while until Celia confessed that she had actually cheated on him in 2009. Multiple times. Despite his apparent desire for the “ugly truth,” Roderick once more lost control of his Beast and took out his anger on Celia’s face.
In 2016, Roderick spoke with Jonathan North at Elysium following the latter’s verbal confrontation with Caitlin Meadows and warned him that the mad scourge might seek retribution. Jon was grateful for the warning.
Roderick was present when Caroline Malveaux-Devillers handed off the recently-Embraced Amelie Savard into Coco’s care. He helped his sire take care of some related details, but spoke to neither of the other two neonates directly.
Celia was content to leave Roderick alone for a handful of years. It wasn’t until his sister, Danielle “Dani” Garrison, was Embraced as a thin-blood that Celia reached out to him. The two spent a few hours catching up and discussing their options, then met up later to spend the day together and declare that they still had feelings for one another.
Roderick later reached out to Ayame to discuss getting his sister safely to Houston with the Anarchs that Ayame knows there. He implied that he would be coming with her to handle some business for his sire.
After being jumped by hunters in Roderick’s haven, Celia invited him to stay with her until his new place is finished. They’ve since been content to mostly spend their time in each other’s arms and make vague plans for a future where they don’t need to hide what they mean to each other.
At a Friday Elysium Roderick joined a debate about truth versus beauty. When Jade walked off with Garcia and the latter grabbed her ass, Roderick sought to defend what was his by goading Garcia to a duel. He never got the chance; Jade spilled the story about the hunters he had taken out to distract the assembled licks and Garcia made a quick exit. Later, Roderick told Celia how much he hated the attention.
Roderick met up with Ayame again and was disappointed to hear that her contacts in Houston did not work out. He learned how cruel their kind could be to ghouls when Ayame showed him the wounds she had received during her time serving her former domitor, and the two made plans to push for better rights for the ghouls in Mid-City.
Story Thirteen (Part I)
A few evenings after finding out about his sister, Roderick put his foot down and demanded that Celia re-introduce the two siblings. He offered a favor to Lord Savoy for safe passage through his territory and Celia brought Roderick back to the haven that she had lent to Danielle. Things went decidedly off the rails: Dani was shocked that Roderick let her and their father believe he was dead, and the two furiously argued over a number of long-unresolved emotional issues. Dani, used to living in her brother’s shadow, thought that being a vampire was finally something she had that he didn’t. Roderick showed her just how wrong he was when he threw her across the room to prove his point about how weak thin-bloods were, and would have possibly frenzied on the girl if Celia hadn’t interceded.
Lord Savoy called in Roderick’s favor the next evening to meet with him atop the Evergreen’s roof, where Savoy flattered his ego but otherwise made no overt moves to sway him to his side. The Brujah repudiated him, but Savoy seemed to think the meeting went well. Later, with a false identity made for him by Dr. Dicentra, Roderick shadowed Celia during her meeting with Elyse to smooth over the hurt feelings that resulted from Jade’s attack on the dollmaker.
Roderick showed up in a vision that was given to Celia by the fortune-teller Yellow Sidra. As of yet, Celia has not found the courage to speak to him about it, but he has (finally) begun to give her the hand-to-hand combat lessons that he promised years ago.
Roderick has recently adopted a very affectionate cat he calls Luna that shares his new haven in Mid-City.
Story Thirteen (Part II)
Celia pushed for Danielle and Roderick to reconnect and was able to mediate a meeting between the pair that ended with them putting their differences aside. The following evening they went out to catch up after years of being apart and took a stroll through City Park, where Will Carolla, his ghoul, and Jade Kalani were waiting to ambush them. Jade turned on Carolla before combat even began, and the three of them managed to subdue the mafiosa. They made plans to get rid of his body and orchestrated some subterfuges that let several Gangrel catch Carolla being intimate with a seemingly random lick. Doing so revealed Jade’s theretofore hidden ability to fleshcraft.
The three met back up at Flawless where Reggie confessed that he had killed Carolla’s ghoul. Roderick nearly frenzied and would have possibly murdered the ghoul in anger if Jade hadn’t interceded. The pair discussed ways to get rid of Carolla’s body and decided to give it to hunters after turning him into “Jade” to throw them off Jade’s trail. They cracked open a “cold one” and drank some of Carolla’s vitae to celebrate…
Only for Roderick to taste a closeness beyond their shared Brujah vitae. Carolla, a long-time Mafia thug and everything he hated, was his brother-in-blood. His sire had lied to him for years.
“Truth comes out,” as he frequently said. So it did. Roderick promptly lost control of his Beast and only Celia’s intervention kept him from ashing his brother-in-blood then and there. The damage was done, though: after Roderick came to from his frenzy he was “cracked,” just as broken as when Celia left him back in 2009. He demanded that she take him to Savoy so he could turn on his sire.
He never came home.
Story Thirteen (Part III)
He didn’t show up to the dinner Celia had planned with his father, either. Wrought with anxiety, Celia reached out to him through a shared psychic link they’d developed. Roderick showed up just in time to see the sheriff manhandling Celia on the roof. He attacked. He fully expected to lose, but Celia broke up the fight long enough for the pair and their families to get away.
They reconvened at her spa, but Roderick had many questions. He swiftly lost patience and demanded that Celia stop lying to him and cut the “scared woman” act. She told him an incomplete version of the truth about why the sheriff had come to see her. Still angry, Roderick flung a handful of insults at Celia before he left, though he assured her that they weren’t broken up. Yet.
Their relationship spiraled into doom after that night. When Roderick saw Celia enter Elysium on Gui’s arm he lost his patience and believed she was cheating on him again. He stalked her from the venue, then staked and kidnapped her to bring back to his haven. He emotionally abused her and told her that he was now in charge of their relationship, without any pretense of equality, and would punish her when she acted out of line. Celia accepted this, or at least feigned to.
Later that same night Roderick caught Celia in yet another lie and tortured her by putting her into the microwave for a few minutes. Badly injured from the radiation, Celia came clean about her real sire. They parted ways the next evening.
She called him later to ask for help twice, first with an unknown monster she’d run into earlier, then when she realized she was being stalked by Rocco Agnello. The two of them got into another fight. Celia ended the conversation by screaming and hanging up to make Roderick think she was in imminent peril.
Story Thirteen (Part IV)
The next evening he was present at a family dinner at Diana’s house with a new face, where Maxen told Diana that their daughter Isabel had been missing for weeks and might even be dead. Roderick, who knew the truth of Isabel’s fate, got into another fight with Celia. They parted on poor terms.
He showed up later that evening when Jade met with Gui at her spa, bringing a few friends with him. They were there to kill Gui as part of a hit job assigned by Antoine Savoy. The pair’s relationship didn’t survive that meeting. Roderick gave Celia a final chance to come clean over her lies. For a moment, she seemed to get it, and to finally understand how harmful her behavior had been and how it’d destroyed all trust between them.
Then Roderick caught her in another lie.
He staked Celia and made her watch him murder a pair of kine in the suburbs and then fuck two other female licks, so that she could experience what it was like for a partner to cheat on her, and cut off her arm. When they got back to the spa he attempted to force her to sign over everything she owned to him, but Celia managed to stake him when his guard was down. She brought him back to her krewe’s haven to “chat.”
It didn’t go well.
She released him shortly before sunrise and was staked by a handful of ghouls in the middle of the day for it and thrown into the Evergreen’s interrogation room. Roderick showed up to question her about the fact Gui’s staked body had disappeared, and Celia—through her alternate personality Jade—eventually told him where it was. The two managed to reach a ceasefire after she told him about diablerie and they devoured Edith Flannagan’s soul together. However, what love Roderick held for his one-timer paramour was now over.
More to come.
Troile (e. prehistory, d. 146 BCE?)
• 4. Losario (e. millennia ago, d. uncertain)
• 5. Adana de Sforza (e. 11th century, d. uncertain)
• 6. Eleanor de Valois (e. 15th century)
• 7. William Starkweather (e. 16th century)
Coco Duquette (e. late 18th century, d. 2016)
Micheal Kelly (e. early 20th century, d. 2016)
• 9. Roderick Durant (e. early 21st century)
Roderick is childe to Coco Duquette, Clan Brujah’s primogen in New Orleans, the co-regent of Mid-City, and the closest thing the Anarchs have to a leader. Embraced during the French Revolution, she believes that change is best effected by working peacefully within the system and is a long-time ally of Prince Vidal’s. She has won a number of gains for the Anarchs over the years, though her influence has taken a hit since the Trial of John Harley Matheson. She met final death during the 2016 Battle of Mid-City.
Coco is childe to William Starkweather. A former common law magistrate who served on the Star Chamber Chamber during the early Tudor era, William never fully abandoned his role as the judge who broke the power of England’s landed gentry. By the Enlightenment he came to see himself as a judge of mortal society itself. He toured continental Europe, deciding which nations had remained true to the time’s ideals and which were wanting, and freely Embraced childer whom he felt could best use immortality to effect productive change. Revolutionary France was his last great journey beyond his homeland and Coco the last of his progeny (as well as one of the most successful). He resettled in London during the Napoleonic Wars and has remained there since.
Starkweather is childe to Eleanor de Valois. A scion of the royal House of Valois, Eleanor was renowned for her cool judgment (for a Brujah) and ability to see all sides of a conflict. She excelled at the same scholarly pursuits her sire did, but unlike the notoriously contentious elder Brujah, Eleanor became known as a peacemaker and settler of disputes. Her reputation won her the honor of being the facilitator and chief spokeswoman of the Convention of Thorns and it was her efforts that were responsible for much of its calm. She served several on and off terms as justicar for her clan in later centuries and now sits on the primogen of Paris.
Eleanor is childe to Adana de Sforza. One of the seven Founders of the Camarilla, Adana de Sforza was born to the Attendolos family of rural nobility who would eventually found the House of Sforza. Nicknamed the “gadfly of the Camarilla” for her penchant serving as a devil’s advocate, Adana was a firm believer in the necessity of creative conflict. Rare was the night that she did not adopt an opposing stance to her fellow Founders’ positions. Throughout the Convention of Thorns, she spoke out at odd moments, sometimes disrupting almost-agreed upon solutions in order to challenge her fellow Cainites’ perceptions and beliefs. Little has been seen of her since the 18th century. She is believed to have been destroyed or entered torpor at the Sabbat’s hands.
Adana was childe to Losario, an obscure methuselah of whom little is known. He seems to have been active in the Italian peninsula at some point, given his childe’s mortal origin. He is presumed to have been destroyed or entered torpor long ago.
Losario is childe to Troile. Clan Brujah holds their founder lies trapped beneath the salted earth of Carthage, though the Ventrue insist they destroyed Troile during the Third Punic War.
Roderick’s elder brother-in-blood Micheal Kelly is an Irish brewer and World War II veteran who operated a bar located in Mid-City called Danny’s for decades. Danny’s was recently destroyed by Bobbi Jo Boggs and the White Reich Outlaw Motor Club. Micheal’s lack of retaliation against the Boggs and the release of humiliating photographs that depicted him being gang-raped by the entire OMC have seriously diminished his standing among the Anarchs. He met final death during the 2016 Battle of the Arts District.