Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Acerbic-tempered Storyville leader
Roxanne is a haughty and raven-haired beauty Embraced in her late teens with pale skin and razor-sharp eyes. She usually dresses in semiformal attire and favors austere blacks and whites.
Name: Isabel June Flores
Aliases: Roxanne Gerlette
Date of Birth: February 6th, 1991
Date of Embrace: January 5th, 2010
Date of Final Death: March 9th, 2016
Apparent Age: 18
Real Age: 25
Eye Color: Gray
Hair Color: Black
The Embrace is not a step up for every Ventrue. Roxanne Gerlette was born to privilege as the daughter of a conservative state legislator and wanted for little as a child. Her Becoming was less distinguished. Her sire John Polk was a faithful priest to the Lancea et Sanctum who neither embarrassed his bloodline nor achieved any great ambitions. Polk had endured a traumatic childehood when his sire, the brutish-tempered mobster Jacopo Andretti, Embraced him against his will and guided his transition into the Requiem poorly. Polk never relished what he was and desired merely to exist in relative peace, being seemingly content to spend his Requiem in quiet service to Father Malveaux, his spiritual mentor, and his great-grandsire Dominique Toutain, the long-time regent of Riverbend. He served them and they ensured a place for him. For half a century, that was enough.
Hurricane Katrina changed everything. When Toutain perished during the storm, tradition dictated her domain should pass to Polk, who had the strongest blood claim. (Her nephew-in-blood Marcel Guilbeau could have pressed a competing claim, but was adamant that his residence in New Orleans would be only temporary.) Toutain had achieved much dignitas and been a faithful ally to Vidal since the Antebellum. Donovan, however, also had interests in Riverbend and was considered Polk’s superior in virtually every conceivable way. Vidal could not justify granting the younger Kindred his ancestor’s domain: he had proven himself a follower rather than leader many times over. Yet dignitas demanded that Toutain’s bloodline deserved better, and Vidal still appreciated the priest’s half-century of loyal service to his elders. He settled for granting Polk permission to Embrace a childe, as well as eternal (and generous) feeding and domain rights to Toutain’s descendants within Riverbend. Some Kindred sneeringly termed the move a “consolation prize” or even “pity fuck,” but Polk accepted his prince’s will without complaint and brought Roxanne into the Requiem.
Roxanne adjusted well enough to her condition and brought no shame upon her sire’s name. She was released before the Gerousia after several months of instruction at Polk’s hands, established a useful domain in a religious youth organization, and completed her agoge within the year. She even followed her sire’s Requiem by joining the Lancea et Sanctum and expressing desire to become a priest. Unfortunately for Roxanne, little of that matters.
Bloodline counts for little among some clans. To the Ventrue, it is everything. Blue bloods who’ve heard Roxanne recite her full lineage know she has the thinnest vitae out of any clanmate in the city: a full twelve steps removed from Caine. Indeed, Roxanne’s blood is sufficiently diluted that it will not even thicken with age. Any childe she sires will be the last true-blooded Kindred in her bloodline—though it’s doubtful Vidal will allow her to Embrace at all. It’s more probable that Roxanne’s line will die with her, at least until her great-grandsire Slane Holland (who still numbers among the unliving, even if he does not reside in New Orleans) Embraces a stronger-blooded childe who will make Roxanne a doubly ignoble footnote in their lineage’s history. The purpose of Clan Ventrue’s youngest generations, she has repeatedly had drummed into her, is to follow, assist, and serve their betters (a role in which her sire excelled). Nothing can overcome what their weak blood has already made them. Roxanne had been Embraced into the “greatest” Kindred clan, yet eternally consigned to the lowest place among them.
Such a dead-end future was unacceptable to the congressman’s daughter. Roxanne didn’t rebel against her clan’s culture, but instead sought an alternative avenue of advancement: the Lancea et Sanctum. Blood and breeding still matters to the Church Eternal, but it is less consequential than among the Ventrue, for what are such earthly considerations before the Almighty? Already raised as an evangelical, Roxanne pledged her Requiem to Longinus with a zealous devotion that far exceeded her sire’s quiet brand of faith. Father Malveaux was pleased enough to appoint her an abcinearen (altar girl) for the covenant. Most Kindred imagine she aspires to become a priest as her elder clanmates have. While Roxanne still faithfully attends her clan’s Tuesday meetings and endeavors to conduct herself with dignitas, it’s relatively known among the Ventrue that her primary interest lies with the Sanctified. She’s been rebuked more than once for comments extolling the irrelevancy of one’s blood next to the strength of one’s faith.
The Storyville Krewe
Roxanne is the leader of the Storyville Krewe, an all-Sanctified coterie of neonates who take it upon themselves to visit God’s wrath upon unrepentant sinners. The krewe was originally founded by Evan Bourelle, Gwendolyn Wade, and Jocelyn Baker, the first of whom was Roxanne’s lover and inducted her into the coterie. Roxanne did much to build up the Storyvilles and organize their activities: she set up a communal haven, instituted a system of pooled resources, recruited another member (the Malkavian Wyatt Jenkins), and organized many of their raids upon suspected Vodouisants within the city’s poorer neighborhoods to curry Vidal’s favor. She also formalized their structure and made clear she was their leader. The prince seems pleased enough by their efforts, as the Hussar has granted them permission to feed in the Arts District a few times. They’ve also tweaked the Baron’s nose, though he has yet to be sufficiently irritated by their activities to undertake serious reprisals. The worst loss they’ve suffered so far is losing one of their ghouls to Doc Xola during an ill-fated raid into the Ninth Ward. There’s little question the Baron could crush them if he were inclined to, leaving it a fine line for the coterie to tread between impressing Vidal and aggravating his rival.
Her Missing Lover
The Storyvilles seem content enough with Roxanne as their leader, but according to Jocelyn Baker, she doesn’t do it on her own. Roxanne is stiff and formal by her krewemates’ standards and has a controlling, contentious personality that can rub others the wrong way. Evan Bourelle served as a counterweight to her. The Toreador was more likable than Roxanne was and could get the other Storyvilles on board with ideas she’d have simply issued as orders. He was better at representing the krewe to other Kindred and tempering Roxanne’s harsher tendencies without making her feel like she was being challenged—a fact aided by how he let her take the coterie’s reins of power. He freely admitted he wasn’t as smart, rich, or politically knowledge as Roxanne, and didn’t imagine he could be. That the two were lovers further cemented the krewe’s dynamic, and for a while, things worked well: Evan was the heart and Roxanne was the brains.
All of that changed with Evan’s disappearance in the summer of 2015. Sole leadership of the Storyvilles passed to Roxanne, who has led her krewemates in an aggressive effort to find him. The urgency of their mission has rallied the coterie behind their leader for now, but the more time goes by, the more Evan’s absence and the loss of his tempering influence on Roxanne will be felt. What will become of the Storyvilles then remains very much in question.
As one of Dominique Toutain’s descendants, Roxanne has an eternal place in Riverbend. Unlike her sire, she still pays corvée for the privilege, but Donovan gives her a good deal. She is allowed to hunt within some of the parish’s choicest spots and rarely asked to perform undesirable services. Roxanne often pays corvée in simple cash. This is a source of much envy to Riverbend’s other tenants, as Donovan is otherwise considered one of the city’s harshest regents. (His generosity towards Roxanne is far from altruistic: while she can offer him little, he is seen as a friend to the Ventrue clan for the courtesy he shows Toutain’s descendants.) Riverbend is one of the more desirable feeding spots in New Orleans due to its two college campuses and student-catering bars. Roxanne can easily pass for an undergraduate and rarely goes hungry. Her sire Polk, Embraced well into middle age, has a less convenient time taking advantage of their bloodline’s hunting rights within the parish.
Roxanne is somewhat frustrated that Donovan’s goodwill does not extend in the slightest towards the other Storyvilles: she tried to negotiate favorable feeding rights for them a few years back and was chillingly refused. The story got out to the harpies, who had a good time reminding the “presumptuous whelp” that she can offer the sheriff nothing: her “paltry accomplishments” are, in fact, less consequential than the memory of an ancestor who’s been ash for ten years. “Perhaps in a few decades you’ll amount to something… though certainly not at this rate,” Katherine Beaumont had sneered to Elysium’s cruel laughter.
Roxanne claims domain over Tulane University’s religious student organizations and religious life council. The majority of Tulane’s student body is not native to New Orleans (85% comes from 300 or more miles away), so she’s not often clashed with other Kindred over infringements upon their domain. Roxanne primarily uses these organizations to disseminate Sanctified religious values among young people: while Vidal may be Catholic, the Church Eternal considers itself its own religious denomination, and isn’t (as) particular regarding what brand of Christianity the kine follow. Roxanne herself was an evangelical before her Embrace and initially found this attitude rather alien, but has adjusted. So long as the kine accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior, they may attain the salvation denied to Caine’s get.
Like any Sanctified, Roxanne also finds her true purpose among the kine who don’t, and uses the student organizations to keep abreast of students who she deems weak in their faith. Ones she can turn back, she does: those she can’t, she makes examples of, though always behind the guise of mundane bouts of misfortune. The Storyvilles sometimes hunt students of less than faithful bent who reside in neighborhoods where the krewe has feeding rights. (Most, however, live in Riverbend.)
While it’s relatively known among the Ventrue that Roxanne claims Tulane’s student religious life as her domain, it’s less known how she personally maintains influence in that area. Her hold doesn’t appear absolute, as several ghouls she’s made among staff and senior students have disappeared or been expelled from Tulane after they were caught in inappropriate situations. She suspects another’s hand behind these setbacks.
George Smith encountered Roxanne speaking with Sundown at the Midnight Bayou. She had enlisted the Nosferatu’s help in finding Evan, but was displeased at the slow progress thus far. The two ancillae dismissed her so they could speak in private over more important matters, and Roxanne left in a sour mood.
George and John Harley Matheson spoke with Roxanne again (the latter through a possessed ghoul) during the interviews they held with Clan Ventrue’s younger members to suss out the perpetrator behind an assassination attempt on George. The two did not conclude Roxanne was that perpetrator, but George found the Storyvilles’ activities within the city’s poorer neighborhoods somewhat reckless. He shared with her the story of Roger Halliburton’s demise (who had preyed upon the children of black freedmen before a furious mob destroyed him during his daysleep), and cautioned her against underestimating upon the kine. Though Roxanne endeavored to receive his advice gracefully, George did not believe she had taken it to heart and was less than impressed by her. Matheson agreed with his fellow gerousiastis’ sentiments.
Caroline Malveaux-Devillers met Roxanne in Elysium after she came into Jocelyn Baker’s acquaintance. The three neonates discussed several topics, including generation. It was with some irony that Caroline (unaware Roxanne’s and Jocelyn’s blood was weaker than her own) felt discomfited over the existence of a “pyramid that could not be climbed.”
Caroline saw Roxanne again when she roped in the Storyvilles to help prosecute her feud against the Eight-Nine-Six krewe, with whom the Storyvilles had also clashed in the past. Following a successful raid on Eight-Nine-Six’s haven, Caroline passed the torpid body of one of their members, Bliss Jackson, into Roxanne’s care. Given the krewes’ conflicts, it didn’t seem impossible to anyone that Eight-Nine-Six might have been involved in Evan’s disappearance.
Jocelyn later reported that Roxanne was growing increasingly short-tempered and torturing Bliss for information on her lover’s whereabouts—information Jocelyn was convinced that Bliss didn’t have.
Following the second clash between Eight-Nine-Six and Caroline in Central City, Bliss Jackson was removed from Roxanne’s possession and passed into Prince Vidal’s at some unknown point. The Brujah was later executed before the city for her krewe’s violations of the Masquerade.
Roxanne was present for the Trial of John Harley Matheson and spoke again with Caroline, but was shorter of temper and had little to say to the younger Ventrue. She heckled Cletus Lee Boggs before the crowd as an “inbred hick,” having presumed him to be a kaintuck of ignoble standing. She also testified in Matheson’s defense and against George Smith’s, the latter of whom would also be executed for his violations of the Masquerade.
Cletus Lee Boggs, unknown to Roxanne, was far more than an ignoble kaintuck and did not forget the neonate’s insult. He hatched a plan with his two childer to make the Storyville Krewe pay dearly for their leader’s words, only for more pressing matters—fortunately for Roxanne—to subsequently claim his attentions.
Roxanne attended the party Rocco Agnello threw for a gathering of neonates in the aftermath of his release from Cletus Lee Boggs’ captivity. Roxanne’s pride was grated by the embarrassing hoops the Gangrel made her jump through, but she perhaps took some pleasure when she informed him that Caroline—whose entrance into the Storyville Krewe he ardently desired—could not join the coterie at this time.
Caroline later learned more of Roxanne’s mortal past through conversations with Jocelyn, who she had taken as her lover.
GM: “Well, true,” Jocelyn says. “It’s just… I think her breather family’s really screwed up. I know she came from a pretty rich one, like yours, and everyone was supposed to be really successful. Which I guess is also like yours. The screwed-up part was how her dad used to beat her mom. I overheard it once, when she was talking with Evan. She said she remembered, when she was a kid, seeing her mom lying face-down on the stairwell carpet with red all over her clothes, and not being sure if she was dead or alive. And her dad just got angry and pretended it never happened whenever she brought it up, so they didn’t.”
As months passed and leads into Evan failed to bear fruit, Roxanne’s mental state grew increasingly frayed. Jocelyn reported she was frenzying often and had accused the rest of the Storyvilles of not caring about Evan.
Matters grew worse when Caroline discovered during her investigations into Evan that he had secretly taken another lover, the Vodouisant (all the more perilous given that faith) Amandine. Jocelyn speculated,
GM: “So, I told you about that thing with Roxanne’s mom and dad, and how he just acted like it wasn’t happening. But, it was kinda more than that. He would flip out over… well, Roxanne said this one time she tried to help her mom, by getting an emergency kit, her dad walked in and asked what she was doing. And when she said her mom was hurt, he grabbed the kit and threw it in the toilet, and screamed at her that she was lying. That she was a ‘filthy fucking liar’ and just screamed his head off and broke a bunch of shit, about how he wasn’t raising his kids to be liars. And he’d do that any time the abuse came up, or it seemed like she was thinking about it. Just go ballistic about what a liar she was. I don’t think he ever hit her, or at least she never said he did. But it really fucked her up, how her… well, you heard it.”
Caroline considered whether Roxanne was responsible for Evan’s disappearance and concluded that even if she wasn’t, this information still might lead other investigating parties (such as Rocco) to place Roxanne at their top of their suspects lists. She decided to interview Roxanne with Jocelyn to get to the bottom of things, and was entirely unsurprised when the older Ventrue frenzied at the news her lover had been sharing blood with another. The two subdued her, but in the process recovered a photo from her purse. It showed Roxanne standing next to an older man at a purity ball, presumably her father, who Caroline knew well. Maxen Flores was the current senate majority leader in Baton Rouge and a long-time political ally to her own father, the previous majority leader before his election to federal office. Caroline concluded “Roxanne’s” name was a pseudonym and that her real name was Isabel Flores. She couldn’t blame the other Ventrue for hiding her mortal identity, remarking that, “Lot of licks would just try to use the family against her, and the Sanctified teach you to keep away, right? Work to severe ties?” but was discomfited that Roxanne still carried a photo of her abusive father.
When a nonplussed Roxanne finally recovered her faculties, she was less than pleased to learn that Caroline’s source of information on Evan’s philandering was Mabel, a ghoul of her lover’s whom she’d taken in. Roxanne curtly ordered her own ghouls to torture Mabel for anything else she was holding back. This was much to Jocelyn’s horror, who harbored fond feelings for their vanished krewemate’s ghoul and angrily remarked that, “She didn’t even feel like a ghoul, half the time! You’d have really thought she was Evan’s mom!” The final straw came when Caroline asked if Roxanne would consent to having her thoughts read to corroborate her innocence in Evan’s disappearance. The conversation rapidly deteriorated following Roxanne’s refusal, with Jocelyn spitting at her leader,
“Oh, just cut that shit! Just cut it! You’re shit without Evan, you know that? You know he just let you go around saying you were the boss and giving him permission, because you’re such a control freak you’d explode if you didn’t get to? No wonder he didn’t tell you about Amandine! And you haven’t done shit to find him! Every step, it’s been Caroline!"
As tempers flared and cruel words were exchanged, Roxanne succumbed to another frenzy. Caroline and Jocelyn subdued the older Ventrue a second time and, overcome with bloodlust, consummated their feelings for one another atop the body of a staked and all-too furiously aware Roxanne. When the lovers were finished, Jocelyn force-fed her krewemate a draught of blood so she would be “less of a bitch.” Caroline declined to do the same, but had Jocelyn read Roxanne’s thoughts, then erased her memories of the entire humiliating incident. The two concluded Roxanne was uninvolved in Evan’s disappearance, but were still no closer to finding the missing Toreador. Caroline observed that Roxanne was “barely holding it together behind the illusion of control” and concerned that future events could poison what bonds of loyalty remained among the Storyvilles.
Roxanne was present for Rocco’s loss of face to Isa Suarez at Elysium. Eager to get back at the Gangrel for his earlier humiliations, she and the other Storyvilles joined the harpies in lambasting his reputation with undisguised relish. Jonathan North was less than impressed, and remarked to his childe Kyrstin that the Storyvilles would never have the courage to say such words to Rocco’s face.
Caroline’s ongoing investigations led her to finally conclude Evan had been murdered by Caitlin Meadows for his intimate relations with one of the Baron’s followers. Jocelyn, who’s been the first to hear, has yet to break the news to Roxanne. Few who have observed the increasingly frayed behavior of the Storyvilles’ leader imagine she will respond well.
Prior to her Embrace, Roxanne Gerlette was known as Isabel Flores. Second oldest daughter to Diana and Maxen Flores, Isabel was the one who woke Celia when their father made a deal with the devil. Years later she was the first child to denounce their mother following the divorce and seemed happy that she was gone. She caught Celia cleaning up after Sami Watts left porn and drugs everywhere and the two had an ugly exchange about their parents.
GM: “Yeah, right,” retorts the 16-year-old. “I wonder what Daddy would think, if he knew about this.”
After seeing the handprint on Celia’s face, Maxen bent Isabel over his knee and spanked her until she bled. She thanked him for the lesson. The relationship between the girls never recovered. Months later, Isabel texted Maxen to come get her and her siblings from Diana after Celia left to take care of an emergency with her friend and offered to help show Diana her place once they arrived home. Early the next morning Maxen tied Isabel to Celia’s bed and cut off her toe with the same hacksaw he had used on Diana, then raped her. She smiled when it was over.
Roxanne was one of the Kindred present during the 2011 massacre of the thin-bloods in Mid-City and led an army of ghouls into the cemetary.
Roxanne was also present for Jade’s release on the fifth anniversary of Katrina. Jade (Celia) recognized her as Isabel Flores immediately and was annoyed to find out that she hadn’t managed to escape her hated sister even in undeath. They did not speak. Years later, Roxanne was found tied and staked at Flawless Spa after an attempt on her sister’s life. She was transferred to the Evergreen and questioned by Jade and Peter Lebeaux. She confessed to wanting to Embrace her sister because she blamed her for her own Embrace, not knowing that Celia had been Embraced the same night she put the nail in her sister’s mortal coffin. Jade taunted Roxanne for fucking her dad and carrying his child to term and left the the frenzying Ventrue behind to discuss with Preston and Savoy what they wanted done with her. Celia and Isabel had a brief moment together before Jade ripped out her heart.
Ventrue (e. prehistory, d. millennia ago)
Alexander (e. millennia ago, d. 13th century)
Gaius Pedius Marcellus (e. 2nd century BCE, d. 15th century?)
Dominic de Valois-Burgundy (e. 15th century, d. 18th century?)
Lothar Constantine (e. 16th century, d. mid 19th century)
Robert Bastien (e. early 19th century, d. early 20th century)
René Baristheaut (e. late 19th century, d. 2015)
Dominique Toutain (e. early 19th century, d. 2005)
• 9. Slane Holland (e. late 19th century)
Jacopo “Walter” Andretti (e. mid 20th century, d. 2005)
John Polk (e. mid 20th century, d. 2016)
Roxanne Gerlette (e. early 21st century, d. 2016)
Sebastian Baptiste (e. late 20th century, d. 2005)
Jereaux Guilbeau (e. mid 19th century, d. 2005)
• 9. Marcel Guilbeau (e. mid 19th century)
Stanley Dupeux (e. early 20th century, d. 2005)
Glen Hubel (e. mid 20th century, d. 2005)
Stella Maisonnat (e. mid 20th century, d. 2005)
Bryan Caldwell (e. late 20th century, d. 2005)
• 10. Christopher Guilbeau (e. early 21st century)
• 10. Anthony Brodowski (e. early 21st century)
Roxanne is the childe of John Polk, who was recently destroyed by hunters. Polk was the childe of Jacopo “Walter” Andretti, a mobster and former hound destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Andretti was the childe of Slane Holland, a veteran of the Civil War, another former hound, and current lictor in the service of Clan Ventrue. He left New Orleans a century ago out of protest when he was passed over for sheriff in favor of Donovan. Holland is the childe of Dominique Toutain, a former harpy, clan whip, member of the Gerousia and Prima Invicta, and regent of Riverbend. Toutain met final death during Hurricane Katrina. She was the childe of Lothar Constantine, the first of the Lancea et Sanctum’s bishops in New Orleans, and a former member of the city’s Gerousia and Cabildo. Constantine perished at the claws of Loup-Garoux shortly after the Civil War, sacrificing himself to buy time for his descendants Marcel and Jereaux Guilbeau to escape. Constantine was childe to Dominic de Valois-Burgundy, an orator, diplomat, and philosopher of no small renown. He has not been heard from since the French Revolution and is presumed to have been destroyed in that conflict. Dominic was the childe of Gaius Pedius Marcellus, a Roman tribune Embraced during the Punic Wars. Marcellus was a patron of the Carolingian Renaissance and an even more revered philosopher than his childe who did much preserve the Roman Camarilla’s history and customs following its collapse. He has not been seen since the Anarch Revolt and is believed to have met final death in that conflict. Marcellus was the childe of Alexander, the long-time prince of Paris, founder of the Grand Court, patron of Charlemagne, and architect of the ties between the Ventrue and Toreador clans. He was deposed as prince during the 13th century, went into exile, and subsequently destroyed in battle against the Mongol Gangrel Qarakh. Some unsubstantiated stories claim he was the famed Macedonian conqueror of the same name. Alexander was a childe of Ventrue. The Kingship Clan believes their founder was destroyed millennia ago, making them the only clan free of an Antediluvian’s manipulations.
Roxanne’s sire is believed to have Embraced no other childer.
None known. Given her weak blood, it is doubtful Roxanne will ever be granted permission to Embrace.