Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
Sheriff of New Orleans & Civil War veteran
Appearance & Attire
Slane is a tall man in his early middle years with black hair only just starting to show some salt and pepper. He has narrow gray eyes, a thick nose, and a full beard. He prefers to dress in old-fashioned suits made from coarser woolen fabrics and dislikes modern neckties, though he’s happy to wear ascots. He has a particular fondness for vests and is rarely seen without an antique gold pocketwatch on a chain.
Name: Slane Elijah Holland
Aliases: The Major. Holland’s ghouls frequently address him by his old Confederate rank. It’s started to catch on among his Kindred subordinates.
Date of Birth: August 3rd, 1837 (Rural Louisiana)
Date of Embrace: February 24th, 1876 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Apparent Age: Late 30s
Real Age: Approx. 150
Eye Color: Gray
Hair Color: Dirty blonde
Religion: Monachal Sanctified
Slane Holland was a loyal son of the South and fought valiantly in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. He earned a place on the Confederate Roll of Honor (the Confederacy never issued medals to its soldiers) and rose to the rank of major. His plantation-owning family fared worse. They lost their lands and wealth, and all of their sons and daughters except for Slane were killed or went missing over the course of the war. Slane’s parents died broken and bitter within a few years of Lee’s surrender.
Bereft of home and kin, the former major traveled south to New Orleans to build a new life. He had the good fortune to be taken in by a wealthy Creole widow who’d weathered the Civil War better than most of her peers, the loss of her husband notwithstanding. The widow had Slane take care of her business dealings and sometimes act as her social companion.
Slane was as comfortable and content as he could reasonably hope to be. He thanked God nightly in his prayers for sparing him from death or maiming during the war, and for now seeing fit to provide him with “abundance and plenty.” Nevertheless, Slane desired more than mere comfort: he wanted to build a new family with the widow to replace what they’d both lost. She agreed in principle, but never got around to marrying him. She didn’t reject any of Slane’s proposals outright, but always demurred that later would be better: once this or that matter was taken care of. Once they’d rebuilt from the war.
Slane was only willing to put up with so many “laters.” Eventually, he confronted his patroness and told her (as genially as he could) that she could either marry him or send him away. Neither of them was getting younger.
The widow considered his request, then told him what she was—as well as her real name, Dominique Toutain. She told him the old South was dead and that there would no wife or children in his future, not in any sort of life worth living. She offered to make him like her. As sire and childe, they would never be parted, and need not fear the ravaging of the years or the cruel turns of fortune. The old South was dead, but they could live on in death, ageless and eternal.
Slane was terrified by his would-be sire’s offer—not for anything so mere as his life, for he’d stared down death many a time upon the battlefield, but for his immortal soul. Yet the Creole woman’s words struck a chord in the embittered and family-less veteran, now approaching his 40th birthday and seeing little future in his devastated and Yankee-occupied homeland. After several nights of consideration, he agreed to her Embrace.
Toutain couldn’t have asked for a more devoted childe, at first. Slane raptly absorbed his sire’s lessons and became a credit to her name in the Invictus. Toutain’s star was already waxing due to the final deaths of Alejandro Rojas y Batiz and Lothar Constantine, two elders of the Ventrue clan, during the Civil War. Toutain had been Constantine’s progeny. To her chagrin, Alejandro had left behind a childe of his own: Francesca Dumont, a fellow Ventrue Invicta who’d been Embraced around the same time as Toutain. Both Creole women saw one another as a threat to the other’s position and feuded incessantly.
Slane supported his sire at first, but soon grew weary of the two’s rivalry. Both were mortal daughters of distinguished families and scions of the Kingship Clan, blue bloods twice over: surely God intended some purpose for them beyond mere strife? Toutain paid little heed to her childe’s entreaties to make peace, however, and Slane once again found himself yearning for more out of his existence. He’d been a God-fearing man in life and would have attended the Sanctifieds’ midnight masses even if they weren’t mandatory to attend Vidal’s court. He found that Longinus’ holy mission spoke to him more deeply than the First Estate’s fixation with material power.
Robert Bastien, the city’s then-sheriff and Toutain’s brother-in-blood, took notice of this spiritually minded Invictus neonate. Slane already had great respect for his Kindred uncle as the “town lawman” and a fellow veteran. The two spoke on matters of faith, service, and purpose. Within the year, Slane announced he was leaving the Invictus for the Lancea et Sanctum. Vidal made him a hound on the Guard de Ville. Toutain received this news coolly. Relations between sire and childe were thereafter cordial but distant: although Slane continued to show her a son’s deference, they both knew he had chosen his faith—and Bastien—over her.
Decades passed in content service to God and prince. Robert Bastien’s final death in 1915 came as a terrible shock to the city and an even worse one to Slane, who deeply grieved the loss of his mentor and uncle. Who would replace the century-old sheriff initially seemed a messy question. René Baristheaut was Bastien’s childe, but the decades-older Slane had more experience. In the end, Vidal chose neither of his clanmates, but the Toreador Donovan. The icy-tempered hound was considered the Guard de Ville’s most capable remaining member and by far the most feared.
Slane had never liked Antoine Savoy’s childe. Perhaps he saw something of himself that he disliked in the frigid Toreador. Both neonates had chosen service to the prince over service to their sires, even if Donovan had done so in far more dramatic fashion. Slane’s detractors sneered that he was a hypocrite. Nevertheless, while he might have been able to abide being passed over as sheriff for Baristheaut, the thought of serving under Donovan was unacceptable. Slane resigned from the Guard de Ville in protest.
With little interest in rejoining the Invictus, Slane departed for the neighboring city of Houston—foreshadowing a move that would later be echoed by his clanmates Troy Hansen and Rebecca DeMatthews when they wore out their own welcomes in New Orleans. Slane re-established his fortunes in the young Texan city, which was ruled by the Ventrue Peter Hartmaan. Although Hartmaan was Invictus, he welcomed Slane’s service and never asked him to pick between clan and faith. Slane repaid his prince’s consideration with loyalty and diligence.
In time, Hartmaan recommended Slane to Vidal as a potential lictor, Clan Ventrue’s roving troubleshooters. The two partly reconciled; Slane was unwilling to serve under Donovan, but he would serve in this other capacity. Slane spent the following decades acting as his strategos’ eyes and hands across the American South. He would even return to New Orleans several times, though never staying long, and remained based out of Houston. His relationship with the Crescent City’s sheriff, who received accolade after accolade from Prince Vidal as the years passed, remained frosty.
When Slane’s sire met final death during Hurricane Katrina, many Kindred wondered if he would return: Toutain had been regent of Riverbend and Vidal’s laws decreed that a childe held priority above all other claimants to their sire’s domain. Vidal passed the parish to Donovan, however, and it remains unknown whether Slane ever asked for it. What none question, though, is that it surely rankled his pride to see his sire’s domain passed to the same Kindred who still his position as sheriff.
All of this would change in April 2016 following Donovan’s final death during the Battle of Mt. Carmel. Vidal invited Slane back to New Orleans and offered both of the honors he’d previously been denied: sheriff and Riverbend. Slane accepted and resigned his post as lictor.
Yet all is not well for the new sheriff. Slane is responsible for enforcing Vidal’s laws in a city where confidence in the prince’s power is lower than ever. The losses of Mid-City and much of the Arts District sting Vidal’s followers badly. Slane has made no apparent progress towards retaking the lost territory—the Hardliners’ strength is not what it once was.
Indeed, this fact seems characteristic of Slane’s tenure. None doubt the new sheriff’s prowess or experience, and a duel fought against Shep Jennings (and won by Slane) quelled any doubts that the former lictor is a paper tiger. But the duel was a closer thing than anyone believes it would have been with Donovan. Slane, quite simply, is regarded as a lesser sheriff. Few Bourbons or Anarch neonates want to be caught alone in a dark alley with him, yes, but they don’t dread him like they did the old sheriff. He does not silence conversations through his presence alone. Donovan was a paragon of chill terror whom it was madness to challenge in open battle. To many Kindred, he seemed almost unreal. Slane feels all-too real. He feels like a man.
To add insult to injury, Savoy’s partisans have taken great pleasure in reminding Elysium of the fact that Donovan was Vidal’s first choice as sheriff, and that everything Slane now has—his present office, domain over Riverbend, domain over the NOPD—is a hand-me-down from his predecessor. More disparaging wits have called these things “Donovan sloppy seconds.” Unfavorable comparisons with the old sheriff are one of the surest ways to provoke a harsh response from the new one.
Time will tell whether Slane can surpass predecessor’s legacy. In Elysium, at least, the prevailing sentiment is no.
Slane is the regent of Riverbend. The domain was his sire’s, and by rights should have been inherited by him. Toutain’s other two surviving descendants (until 2016), John Polk and Roxanne Gerlette, enjoyed special privileges under Donovan’s regency. Slane considers it a point of pride that the parish now belongs to him again.
Despite the presence of two major universities within his territory, Slane has shown little interest in academia, and looks too old to easily hunt among the student body. He’s been content to subinfeudate domains at Tulane and Loyola to other Kindred, Erwin Bornemann most prominently among them. Like with Donovan, administering Riverbend seems to be a second priority for Slane next to his duties as sheriff—even if his regency over the parish is a greater point of pride.
Slane has been granted domain over the NOPD by Vidal. Donovan had a century to establish his hold among the department. Slane obviously has a while to go before he cultivates the same degree of influence.
For all that Donovan’s reputation might eclipse Slane’s own, being the sheriff, Riverbend’s regent, and having a long (if interrupted) history in the city makes him a figure of no small respect. (Camarilla Status •••)
As everyone knows, Slane leads the reconstituted Guard de Ville. As everyone also knows, the Guard also isn’t the force it once was—all of the hounds under Slane are neonates, and none but Alexander Wright are more than a handful of years into the Blood. (Guard de Ville Status •••, formerly •••• under Donovan)
Slane has been a steadfast member of the Sanctified for over a century and chose his faith over his sire. He was made a deacon some time back and now serves as one of Vidal’s covenant’s most important figures. (Hardline Sanctified Status •••)
Slane spent decades serving as his strategos’ hands throughout the South. No one objected when Vidal granted the former lictor a seat upon the Gerousia. (Ventrue Status •••)
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)
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.
Holland’s younger brother-in-blood Sebastian Baptiste was a handsome Creole who caught their sire’s fancy. He accomplished relatively little during his brief Requiem and some speculated that he was a “passion Embrace” on Toutain’s part. He was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.
Holland’s sole childe Jacopo “Walter” Andretti was a mobster and former hound on the Guard de Ville. He was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.