Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Eight-fingered ex-CIA agent
“Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations.”
“Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior.”
“Spies don’t always make great parents.”
Appearance & Attire
Roger Ferris is a tall and gray-eyed man in his early middle years. His close-cropped beard and mustache are streaked with salt and pepper, which together with his angular face and fit, lean frame, give him a vaguely wolf-like countenance. He has a faint bullet-shaped scar along his throat. When he’s on the job (in a public capacity), he usually wears plain black suits and ties. On his own time, he wears casual button-up shirts and pressed slacks.
Name: Roger Andrew Ferris
Date of Birth: September 30th, 1970 (Norfolk, Virginia)
Date of Ghouling: March 7th, 2016 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Date of Embrace: March 23rd, 2016 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Mid-40s
Real Age: Approx. 50
Eye Color: Gray
Hair Color: Graying brown
The CIA Agent
Roger Ferris is a former CIA case officer turned station chief who spent more than a decade in the Middle East. An op that went bad in Jordan resulted in him being captured by religious fundamentalists, nearly beheaded, and losing two fingers under brutal torture with a hammer. By the time Roger was rescued, he had lost faith in the American cause in the Middle East. He quit the CIA and intended to retire to more honest work. He came home instead to service on divorce proceedings and a bitter custody battle over his young daughter Miranda.
The divorce went badly. The custody battle went worse. Roger plunged into a spiral of drinking and self-destructive behaviors that burned most of his bridges and professional contacts. That spiral continued for more than two years and landed him in New Orleans on a friend’s couch in 2008, all but destitute. His friend was kind enough to get him back on his feet while ignoring the abuse that Roger heaped on him, and eventually put him in touch with the Malveaux family—one of his own frequent clients. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Security Chief
Today, Roger is in charge of the Malveaux family’s physical security and protection, and operates under the supervision of Matthew Malveaux. Direct threats to the family’s safety are rare, however, which leaves Roger “free” to oversee many of the more questionable activities that advance the family’s agenda. Roger supervises more than a dozen operatives and is deeply involved in the Malveaux political and corporate machines, though he remains officially separate from both. The results of Roger’s dedication and loyalty to his patrons have been a reversal of his personal fortunes. He gained sole custody of his daughter Miranda, who he relocated to New Orleans and enrolled in the McGehee School for Girls, the prestigious alma mater of his employer’s wife. Miranda’s been cutting classes and has been slow to make friends, but Roger understands she just needs time to adjust to her new life.
In the meanwhile, Roger’s employers are more than pleased with their head of security’s performance—and the tendency of their rivals to underestimate him. Many people dismiss Roger as little more than a well-paid thug, but his quiet and terse demeanor belie a deviously manipulative mind and tested IQ of 142. Roger has gotten away from field work since he left the Middle East, but he remains an accomplished field agent and still enjoys testing his skills on assignments. He’s also completely without scruples and was the principal architect of the Cherry family’s woes, among many other ill deeds. His operatives doubt he regained custody of his daughter through a second round of court battles.
The Unquiet Past
Roger is generally slow to talk about the details of his time in Baghdad and Jordan, but not for the reasons most people would suspect. He saw things in that cradle of civilizations—things out of mankind’s ancient past that were impossible to dismiss as angry phantoms. Things that may be beyond the capacity of mankind to ever understand. The former covert ops agent hasn’t breathed a word of his experiences to anyone. He knows that no one can reveal what he doesn’t tell them. He’s even more reticent to breathe word of a second, even more deeply held personal secret:
He wants to learn more about those things.
The Kindred Hound
In time, he did. It got him killed.
Roger was ghouled in 2016 by Caroline Malveaux-Devillers, one of the Kindred puppet-masters behind his employers. Roger fought alongside his domitor in the Battle of Mt. Carmel where then-Sheriff Donovan attempted to slay her. He suffered fatal injuries in her defense but received the Embrace from Conroy Westphal, a Lasombra coterie-mate of Caroline’s who’d appreciated his talents.
Since then, Ferris has joined the Guard de Ville and now works under Sheriff Slane Holland as one of his hounds. His duties remain remarkably similar to what they were in the CIA and for the Malveauxes: espionage and counter-epsionage against his “employer’s” rivals. While few Kindred adjust quickly to undeath, Roger finds the Camarilla’s politics all-too similar to the cutthroat world he hailed from as a mortal.
Roger has taken several ghouls from among the private security team he once headed for the Malveaux family.
• Ben Chandler (g. early 21st century, Ghoul Status •)
The right hand of Roger Ferris, Ben knew his domitor long before either of them were brought into the Kindred world. An ex-Marine who’s a massive slab of a man at 6’8" and nearly 300 lbs, Ben is the blunt end of the stick used when his domitor’s efforts require direct action. Though far from a dunce, Ben is used mostly for his intimidating presence and physical skills. Truly enjoys his job and his boss, both for his professionalism and the opportunity it has given him. Diehard fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and often wears a ball cap for the school. This earns him a great deal of “love” in New Orleans, though few people have the guts to say anything to the titan of a man.
• Brett Goodman (g. early 21st century, Ghoul Status •)
Before his ghouling, Brett Goodman was ostentatiously a “profiler” and “investigator" for the Malveaux family. In actuality, he’s a conman, spy, and expert at breaking and entering who uses his talents to infiltrate groups and building on behalf of his patrons. He’s also a consummate womanizer who loves nothing more than to sleep with a pretty girl and brag about it to anyone who’ll listen.
• Kayla Graves (g. early 21st century, Ghoul Status •)
A high school and college beauty pageant winner (as well as former Miss Louisiana), Kayla grew up wanting to be a cop after her father’s murder when she was nine years old. Upon joining the force, she was assigned to VICE as bait in prostitution stings. Years of such work and sexual harassment from co-workers left her feeling dirty and cheap. Ferris offered her new employment with a better paycheck and Kayla happily jumped ship to the private sector. She still serves as a honeypot who draws in men with access to information her boss finds of interest, but appreciates that he doesn’t treat her like a bimbo. Also works occasionally as a discrete bodyguard, as she’s often underestimated for her looks.
Roger yet hasn’t devoted overly much effort to acquiring influence over mortal society. His work for the Guard de Ville keeps him busy enough.
Roger is one of the hounds on the Guard de Ville. Given that all of the members but Holland and Wright are recent Embraces, he doesn’t even particularly stand out as a “new kid.” (Guard de Ville Status ••)
Roger has met with some success establishing himself among Clan Lasombra. He’s fit into the clan’s Darwinist and ruthlessly pragmatic culture quite well. (Lasombra Status •)
Roger followed his sire Westphal into the Invictus. Despite working as one of the prince’s most direct agents, he wasn’t a religious man in life and hasn’t become one in death: he’s simply too cynical. As with his sire, the Invictus hold him at arm’s length for his Lasombra blood, but Roger believes it’s better to be affiliated with a covenant than not. (Invictus Status 0)
Despite his work for the Guard de Ville, Roger and his clanmates remain distrusted by the larger Camarilla. That may take some time to change. (Camarilla Status 0)
GM’s Note: Spoilers for the adventure logs follow below.
Amelie Savard met Roger Ferris after befriending his daughter Miranda at McGehee. Roger was pleased by this and had her make plans with Amelie to hang out.
Caroline, who’d known Ferris for some years as her family’s chief of security, saw him again when her mother Claire summoned the ex-CIA agent to take care of Aimee Rosler. Claire presumed Aimee was a drug addict (she was actually Caroline’s badly traumatized ghoul) and instructed Ferris to send her somewhere discrete for treatment, without linking her name to Caroline’s. Ferris did so without apparent incident.
Around half a year later, Caroline discovered that Ferris’ people had been investigating numerous murders they’d linked her to and believed her responsible for. Caroline drove to Ferris’ house to take care of the Masquerade breach, only to discover that her family’s security chief was (perhaps unsurprisingly) a ghoul to Father Malveaux, who had long claimed domain over his mortal family.
Ferris, speaking on his domitor’s behalf, admitted that Father Malveaux would use this Masquerade breach to blackmail Caroline indefinitely. He offered to talk his domitor down in return for Caroline’s friendship. During a subsequent meeting, he threatened and cajoled her to obtain some illicit files she’d stolen on the Malveaux family, while a squad of gunmen simultaneously attacked her haven with an unknown agenda. Ferris was gone by the time Caroline realized the meeting was a diversion.
Following the murder of Mark Stines in 2008, who’d served as the legal head of Malveaux Oil, the Malveaux family hired Roger Ferris as their new chief of security. Ferris spoke withas part of his investigation into Stines’ death and discovered the pair’s sexual relationship. He offered to secure the currently jailed Emmett a more favorable plea deal in return for silence. Emmett accepted.
Caroline next encountered Ferris during the battle between Bishop Malveaux and Claire’s hunters, and fighting on the latter’s side. Upon seeing Caroline’s presence, the ex-CIA agent quickly deduced that Claire’s planned double cross of Caroline had failed and betrayed his fellow hunters, helping Caroline to incapacitate them and stage the scene of Malveaux’s final death.
Under questioning, Ferris admitted he’d lied about being Bishop Malveaux’s ghoul. In truth, he was a hunter who’d worked for Claire Malveaux since 2008: the bishop was sterile and incapable of creating ghouls. After Claire established an alliance with Antoine Savoy, Ferris falsely presented himself to Caroline as Bishop Malveaux’s ghoul. He arranged the attack on her haven and made deliberately antagonistic, overbearing, and humiliating demands in order to push the Ventrue into Antoine Savoy’s camp—a plan that very nearly worked.
With Claire and the bishop both slain by Caroline’s hands, Ferris stated that she was the only one left who could lead the Malveaux family and offered his loyalty. Caroline, for her part, was amply pleased to accept. She’d already offered the ex-CIA agent a draught from her wrist. Ferris’ service to his new master was sealed in blood.
Caroline found her newest servant an invaluable asset over the coming nights. Ferris quickly established a place of dominance among the Venrue’s stable of ghouls, winning the loyalties of several and putting an apparent end to the petty infighting between Autumn and Widney. Caroline utilized Ferris extensively and trusted him with more sensitive information than any of her other ghouls. The ex-CIA agent, for his part, delivered Caroline the same capable and ruthless service he’d delivered his previous masters. Typical among his plots was one to kidnap the young children of Nerea Ercison, a ghoul of Caroline’s whom Ferris judged insufficiently loyal, and stage their rescue at the Ventrue’s hands after Ericson had exhausted all other options. (The fact Ferris was a father himself was of little apparent deterrence to his plan.)
If there was one flaw in Ferris’ service, it was that he never brought attention to his domitor’s apparent oversight in not feeding him a full three draughts of her blood. For all his loyalty to the Malveauxes, Ferris was seemingly in no hurry to give up his free will to one of them.
Ferris was present with Caroline for the climactic Battle of Mt. Carmel. He was not among the survivors: Camilla Doriocourt fatally shot him in the throat near the battle’s close. He’d have bled out on the floor if not for Conroy Westphal. After being pleasantly surprised to discover that Ferris was not fully blood bound to Caroline, Westphal decided to use the right pf progeny he’d been granted by Prince Vidal right there: the battle was a closely-fought thing and they could have used another Kindred, not to mention Westphal had been impressed by the ex-CIA agent’s skills in their earlier interactions. Ferris was Embraced into Clan Lasombra.
Caroline, who’d already been considering the Embrace for her useful ghoul, later admitted the keepers suited him better than Clan Ventrue ever would have.
Lasombra (e. prehistory, d. 15th century)
• 4. Montano (e. millennia BCE)
• 5. Unknown sire
Sharif al-Lam’a (e. 6th century, d. 15th century)
• 7. Fatimah al-Lam’a (e. 10th century)
• 8. Munther al-Asward (e. 15th century)
• 9. Christobal Almenara (e. early 19th century)
• 10+. (Christobal’s descendants)
• 8. Suleiman ibn Abdelmalek (e. mid 18th century)
• 9+. (Suleiman’s other descendants) (e. varies)
• 9. Conroy Westphal (e. early 21st century)
• 10. Roger Ferris (e. 2016)
Mirri al-Lam’a (e. 12th century, d. 2011)
• 8+. (Mirri’s descendants)
Shu’ayb al-Mohager (e. 8th century, d. 15th century)
• 7. Philip Maldonato (e. 14th century)
Roger Ferris the childe of Conroy Westphal, an arrogant child genius who serves as Lasombra clan whip in New Orleans. Westphal is the childe of Suleiman ibn Abdelmalek, the wazir (seneschal) of Al-Hasa and true power behind its Ventrue sheikh’s throne. Suleiman is the younger of two childer to Fatimah al-Lam’a, the Lasombra primogen of Cairo and emira of the Khitta al-Lam’a. Fatimah is the eldest surviving childe to Sharif al-Lam’a, better known as King Sharif, the founder of Clan Lasombra’s bloodline in Cairo and one of Egypt’s most respected elders during the Middle Ages. Sharif was destroyed by his grandchilde Munther al-Asward during the Anarch Revolt after a vicious battle wherein he slew all of his attackers save his grandchilde. Fatimah has spoken notably little of her grandsire, whose identity remains unknown. Fatimah claims Sharif was grandchilde to Montano, one of the clan’s eldest methuselahs, the voice of his sire, and the de facto ruler of the Sea of Shadows, the alliance of Lasombra princedoms across the Mediterranean, during the Middle Ages. Montano has not been seen since the Anarch Revolt, but it is widely known that he escaped the fall of the Castel d’Ombro, Clan Lasombra’s ancestral fortress, through shadowy arts unknown to any of his lesser clanmates. Montano was childe to Lasombra.