Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Dossier on Jonathan North
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”
“We are masters of unsaid words, but slaves to those we let slip out.”
Dossier on Magister (Formerly Archon) Jonathan North
I had several opportunities to operate alongside Magister North while he was in the service of (then) Justicar Schrekt. In those interactions he showed himself to be notably skilled for a Kindred of his age, a trait I at first questioned. It is not unknown for elder Cainites to masquerade as younger, less threatening individuals in the pursuit of their agendas. Over time however I came to believe, as my deeper investigations have seemingly corroborated, that he is in many ways exactly what he seems: a driven and relentless scholar with few outside activities that distract him from his studies and pursuit of personal rather than temporal power.
Having spent most of the last sixty years traveling and/or in direct service to influential members of the Camarilla or House Tremere, he was not encumbered by the need to carve out and protect territories, or otherwise directly involve himself in the common feuds that often consume the nights of many Kindred. Instead he was exposed to high-level politics beside his grandsire (then Justicar), involved in high stakes investigations or activities, or actively engaged in the study of a variety of occult phenomena. This combination of circumstances (likely intentionally orchestrated by his sire and grandsire) has had the result of creating a Kindred with an especially suspicious and far-sighted perspective.
My interactions with him, despite their duration, tended to be exceedingly impersonal. At first I believed this to be caused by a dangerous divorce from his humanity, but he did not appear to display any of the other, more sadistic, tendencies of those on the verge of surrendering entirely to their Beasts. Instead it appeared to simply be a product of his personality, and this investigation has reinforced that even in his mortal life there was a sense of purpose to much of what he did. He conducts himself professionally and kept others in the team at arm’s length with that professionalism. To some it was off-putting – he often asked uncomfortably pointed or seemingly unnecessarily detailed questions that on occasion exposed embarrassing lapses on the part of others – but he did not appear to do so with any personal animosity. Instead such inquiries were rooted in analytically dismantling circumstances, plans, and problems.
I do not believe that at present Magister North presents a significant obstacle in and of himself to your plans. Currently isolated in the American West Coast (despite his best efforts), and still relatively young in his power, he simply lacks the influence and personal power to himself be a player at the table. That said, his reach is not inconsiderable, and certainly greater than one would expect. Similarly, his talents and abilities are as extensive as one would expect from a successful Archon. As he enters his second century of his Requiem he could develop into a greater threat on his own. For now, he is another piece on the table being moved by his sire and grandsire, a far-flung abet powerful one. It may be worth seeing to his destruction in coming years, or perhaps orchestrating a split between sire and childe. For now other more pressing matters present a more valuable use of the effort and resources necessary to achieve such an action. This is especially true as he can be expected to be occupied over the next several years with his new childe, and because the longer he is kept buried in some obscure corner of the New World, the weaker his international influence becomes in the Camarilla as a whole. Removing him from the board in five years may be easier than doing so today, draw less attention, and be more worthwhile.
Magister North is an abnormally skilled Kindred for his age, seemingly Embraced from choice stock. In life his privileged mortal upbringing allowed for the development of a significant academic baseline, including medical knowledge that led to a commission as a field surgeon for the Army of the Northern Potomac during the American Civil War. His physical skills in life were extensive, including (seemingly) a talent for dueling and a penchant for self improvement that gave him significant physical mass and strength to build off of following his Embrace (see Magister Thaheimer’s thesis on the merits of grooming potential Embraces with physical training prior to the Embrace).
His experiences since the Embrace, combined with the powerful blood of his sire, have built upon that foundation to create a warlock of impressive individual power. Though his mastery of thaumaturgy is incomplete – he is no elder and too much of his existence has been spent actively involved in various matters and too infrequently in study and development – so too is it quite potent. His thaumaturgy is particularly grounded in so called ‘dirty’ rituals – those that he may conjure in the moment using relatively common or portable instruments, vice the high level ritual magic that is typically more well regarded.
His mastery of the blood as a whole is impressive. His gifts include both tremendous physical strength, celerity, and significant resistance to physical harm. I’ve seen bullets bounce off his skin (contrary to reports that he is vulnerable to them) and watched him rip a mortal literally limb from limb in a frenzy. On the whole he is one of the most physically impressive ancillae I have ever witnessed, and certainly the most physically potent Tremere.
My sire reports having seen him brawl with a lupine circa 1989 with impressive results – a feat few can boast of even surviving. Beyond the physical, his gifts with power over the minds of mortals (Dominate in the more common parlance) and ability to seek out the truth of matters with his Beast (Auspex) are both quite impressively developed. He may possess additional gifts he displays more rarely: he was quite eager in soliciting tutors among his fellow Archons.
Beyond those gifts his knowledge of occult phenomenon is unequalled among his peers and rivals that of even those centuries his senior. In my experience his memory was nearly photographic, and his access to decades of collected Archon’s findings and first hand involvement in many such investigations has given him a tremendous library of knowledge to draw from. He’s as skilled surgeon and general physician as is any alive, with a similarly vast array of medical knowledge, and holds several PHDs accumulated in various cities. Alongside his activities as an Archon he has aggressively pursued continued education in medical fields. Were he among the Kine he might be one of the most skilled and knowledgeable medical professionals in the world. His close association with his sire and grand-sire have similarly given him a keen, though admittedly biased, insight into both internal clan politics and broader matters of the Camarilla. On top of that academic foundation is more than a century in the service of various power players. He was a Hound in New Orleans, an agent of his sire throughout Europe, and later an Archon. The result is a finely honed sense of danger, a nose for conspiracies, and a talent for torture and interrogation.
All in all, even cut off from his resources, thrust into a hostile city, and left to fend for himself, Magister North could be expected to carve out a place for himself with relative ease, and his potential value to an array of possible masters is considerable. It is also likely if he wished it, he could carve out more.
He has flaws. Arrogance perhaps the greatest among them. An overly blunt demeanor. A lack of comfort with the so common lies among our kind: in the service of those in power he has grown accustomed to lies of omission, or simply offering no statement at all. Almost certainly in the absence of the authority he wielded as an Archon, this has created problems for him. He also appears to lack ambition within the Pyramid directly. He never indicated to me an interest in one say serving as a Regent or more, and indeed seemed quite irritated at the idea of being thrust into such a role, once observing in confidence that many Regents were in his opinion little more than paperwork pushers and therapists within their respective chantries. Indeed, Magister North appears to prefer to get his hands ‘dirty’, a trait that makes him relatively vulnerable as he can be more readily baited out into the open.
His success to date has made him confident bordering on arrogant in his own capabilities. While his tendency remains comprehensive reporting to his seniors, it is also to confront many problems head on. This is particularly notable among other Tremere. Where most might delay a response in favor of divinations and preparations such as extensive wards, in most cases his tendency is to take the offensive directly, trusting in his own potent physical prowess, experience, and seizure of the initiative to carry the day. It makes him potentially vulnerable to being baited out into the open or drawn in by a seemingly weaker foe. In the past he has had the assistance of fellow Archons and even a Justicar to call on when in over his head: the recent loss of that asset so recently creates what is a small but potentially significant window in which to take advantage of his overconfidence.
His through, detailed, and meticulous examination of most circumstances combined with the intensity of such scrutiny has also been known to inadvertently create friction for him with others. What he seemingly regards as both expected and appropriate examination of matters such as potential Masquerade breaches or even simple questions of loyalty and protocol have been known to create enemies for him, along with his inclination towards simply reporting discrepancies and refusing to be turned aside by potential personal gain: his sense of propriety mirrors that of his grand-sire and to many more independent Kindred is just as endearing.
Embraced in Virginia in circa 1864 by Magister Mendelssohn while on his deathbed (the product of a gunshot wound that had become infected), the Kindred who took up the name Jonathan North spent approximately a year touring the American South with his sire during the Civil War. Magister Mendelssohn was unexpectedly and suddenly recalled to Europe in 1866 to free Astrid Thomas, a childe of Councilor Etrius, from her imprisonment in Frankfurt by Fürst (Prince) Breidenstein of Berlin. (then) Apprentice North was resultantly left behind in Washington D.C. by his sire. The city was then held by House Tremere through the young Prince Marissa (e. 1811, d. 1968), a childe of Councilor Meerlinda, whose reign would last close to a century despite several attempts (including by members of her own clan) to replace her. These embarrassingly failed attempts are well, if discretely, documented. Apparently Magister Mendelssohn deemed the Tremere-held city a better environment than Frankfurt for his childe. Such a decision is understandable: no doubt even a talented fledgling would have proven a liability on such a sensitive assignment.
It was in Washington D.C. that Magister North developed his thaumaturgical fundamentals and, according to reports from the local regent, distinguished himself by his attention to detail, procedure, and propriety. The city became, in that time, a significant repository for eldritch artifacts and lore (Pontifex Marissa was quite a hoarder of such things) and the building of that collection gave him significant opportunity to himself build a significant foundation of knowledge of such things that continues to serve him today. In total, Magister North spent approximately three decades in Washington D.C., during that time progressing from freshly initiated member of the Pyramid with little freedom to fully vested member of the clan and talented Apprentice allowed to maintain his own ghouls (in limited numbers) and explore his own interests (particularly surgery and medicine, a callback to his mortal life). He established significant holdings in the local hospitals of Washington D.C., and seems to have leveraged such locations to an extent as a means of ‘blood banking’ with other Kindred, though such things were not to last.
In 1893 orders arrived in Washington D.C. for (then) Apprentice North’s transfer to New Orleans. The move on the surface was periodic enough, but coincided neatly with the demise of two of the city’s elders and the sudden rise of a third to power. In 1915 the then-Ventrue Sheriff, Robert Bastien, met Final Death at the hands of hunters, and his childe René Baristheat left the city in the aftermath. The virtual disbandment of the Prince’s Hounds and relative youth of the new Sheriff created an opportunity for then-Apprentice North’s appointment to Hound (with Regent Goldfeld’s permission) in an unusual move that further strengthened relations between the chantry and Prince. It was a job he was well suited towards, given his inclination towards violence in his mortal life and growing adeptness with thaumaturgy. It’s unclear if his prowess with Caine’s physical gifts had manifested significantly by the time he transferred to New Orleans, but certainly before he left such abilities had begun to appear given their development by the time he joined the Archons.
The position also put him in an excellent position to play the more aggressive part of stick to his by then counterpart, (then) Apprentice Bornemann’s carrot. The two’s arrangement, formed within the Pyramid upon Magister North’s arrival, saw vast expansion over the decade following his assumption of the role of Hound. It was an arrangement that was quite profitable for the local chantry and allowed both Kindred and the clan as a whole to substantially expand their individual influence over the next ten years in the form of accumulated boons and influence in various industries the clan had previously been excluded from. The arrangement was less favored by High Regent Steinhäusser, particularly for the success it had in outreach to various Anarch and Crone individuals, but their actions never rose to the level of impropriety sufficient to see significant censure from (then) Apprentice Bornemann’s sire.
While in New Orleans (then) Apprentice North, in addition to practicing skills he’d developed in Washington D.C. was also quite active in acquiring allies and forming relationships beyond the chantry. Beyond the standing he developed within the Prince’s power bloc within the Sanctified, he cultivated relations with members of the Invictus (whom he at one point expressed an interest in joining within the clan) and even with local practitioners such the Gangrel Lidia Kendall (who would go onto become and remain a significant occultist locally). Several of these relationships had potentially romantic undertones, though only the one with Kendall is confirmed as such. This proficiency with accumulating connections is one that has continued, meaningfully, to this day.
In late 1932 orders reached the New Orleans chantry for Magister North’s transfer to the Prime Chantry in Vienna where he was to function primarily as an adjunct to High Regent Astrid Thomas. Among other duties, he was to take possession of significant portions of the medical industry in Veinna, including ____ and ___ under the aegis of ____. He departed for Vienna early the next year, in 1933. The source for this order has been confirmed as Etrius. While not inherently suspicious in and of itself, High Regent Thomas’ connection to Magister Mendelssohn is well documented (and one could argue, in particular, there was poetry to using her to reunite sire and childe after it was her rescue that caused their separation), and in truth, this position seems to have been a pretext for both allowing Magister Mendelssohn to reunite with his childe after nearly a century apart, and to give him a trustworthy pair of hands to work throughout much of Germany in the years to come. Certainly, Magister North was extremely active in travels throughout much of Germany in the lead up to, actuality of, and rebuilding after World War II, and very little of it seems to have been directly at the behest of High Regent Astrid, while several locations and activities were directly related to Magister Mendelssohn’s interests directly or proximately.
Arriving in Vienna, then Apprentice North rapidly established a hold in the industries he was instructed to, placing ghouls and beguiling mortals into his service in emergency centers across the city that helped fed into overall Masquerade keeping (and broader personnel tracking) activities. Thereafter he was either allowed or encouraged to travel central Europe extensively and to cultivate resources far beyond his mandate, including, during and following the annexation of Austria, significant military forces within the Wehrmacht (and later Waffen SS). These military assets proved particularly useful as Nazi Germany descended deeper into both stateism and the occult in the lead up to and execution of World War II. They (and the papers and escorts they provided) allowed him significant freedom of movement during a time that was otherwise highly controlled.
He was also able to leverage these resources both directly and indirectly towards broader clan goals, arranging travel, and in the closing year of the war securing significant stockpiles of Nazi occult lore, artifacts, wealth, and art, as well as hamper Sabbat activities in the region. Perhaps most notably of these activities was the destruction of
Even beyond his time in four cities (slightly above average for a Warlock of his age), Magister North’s time as an Archon created for him ample opportunity to build extensive relationships with Kindred in many cities. Most of these connections tend to be with older neonates and younger ancillae, but a fair number can be counted among his peers and even (young) elders. The relationships take all manner of form, from past paramours, to members of other chantries, to Harpies, and on from there. Individually none are of particular concern (save his sire and grand-sire) but collectively they paint the picture of a Kindred with potentially much greater aspirations than Magister North has ever directly admitted to, and the sheer number of such connections spread so diversely across clans and cities creates a potential concern as to his undivided loyalty to the Pyramid.
Since his departure from his position as an Archon, Magister North has expended considerable effort and cost in maintaining significant ties with other Kindred, particularly in European cities such as Paris, Berlin, London, Milan, and (of course) Vienna, even on occasion chartering flights back to Europe from Seattle (the effort expended in ensuring he was placed on the American West Coast appears to have been worth little). At least one ghoul (detailed below) travels almost weekly, delivering and receiving messages, gifts, and information as part of this ongoing effort.
Most of his connections are to fellow Tremere, but he also maintains extensive contact with many Ventrue, and not a few Toreador, seeming to favor the Ventrue’s more formal and business-like attitude, perhaps due to his own aristocratic upbringing. Among the more notable of these Kindred relations are detailed below, detailed by geographic proximity.
Ian Carfax (e. mid 16th century)
My own sire, your Archon, needs no introduction. His own relationship with Magister North was reportedly that of something of a mentor to Magister North in the earlier years of his service as an Archon, providing more generalized guidance on administering affairs beyond the scope of his official dutiies but important to his night-to-night operations, such as arranging for the handling of mortal assets despite having no set residence (he credits the ghouling of Gregory Reed to his own guidance) and interactions with mortals outside of his direct duties (i.e. guidance in maintaining something of his humanity). They engaged in a number of investigations and enterprises as part of E. Division in the 1970s into the mid 1980s. My sire reports that the two maintain irregular (but friendly) correspondence, and that he has little ill to say of Magister North, save for a certain lack of tact among his notional ‘peers’. He reports holding several (lesser) boons over Magister North.
Jeremie Bonnet (e. 18tth century)
Jeremie Bonnet is a influential Malkavian that resides in Geneva. Old enough to remember when the city was in French hands (or perhaps simply insane, it’s difficult to tell with Malkavians), he regards himself as a Frenchman first and foremost. His passion and zest for ‘life’ is reminiscent of that of a Toreador, and among some Toreador circles he’s quite well liked, with significant attention to both fashion and art. That same passion has made him prolific in the Embrace of childe – no less than a dozen can be traced back to them. One of his youngest, Valerie Chevrolet, was caught up in the violence associated with the Paris Riots of 2005 and apparently rescued despite her frenzy by (then) Archon North from a large crowd burning buildings and cars in the street. Allegedly Bonnet had concerns over his childe’s tremendous debt to the Archon (perhaps even a Nexum Vita), and made arrangements to ‘purchase’ it from him at a more manageable rate as a more established Kindred. The details of the arrangements are quite private, but Magister North has repeatedly traveled with Swiss documentation, when mortal paperwork was required, and allegedly Bonnet maintains several lock boxes for the Tremere within the city’s banks and vaults. The most concerning portion of the relationship is Bonnet’s subtly long reach and the undefined nature of his debt. His many childe (most of whom live in other cities throughout the continent) create the potential for much longer reach than might normally be expected.
Justine Pennel (e. early 19th century)
My own interactions with Magister North largely mirror my sire’s. When I replaced him (my sire) in E. Division I worked with Magister (then Archon) North for several years and found him to be a sometimes difficult, but by all appearances loyal to clan and Camarilla, Archon. He has on several occasions contacted me in the years since, twice sending me specimens he believed would be of interest to me and once to call in a boon. I owe him a number of (lesser) boons as a result of that, and various other activities in our time together within E. Division. He has, in turn, owed me several in the past (most for smoothing over relations with bruised egos on his behalf).
Karl Schrekt (e. 13th century)
Justicar emeritus Schrekt, the master of Castle Schrekt and in life demon hunter, needs no introduction. The eight-time Justicar, unofficial founder of E. Division, and and sire to Magister North’s own sire Magister Nathan Mendelssohn has been a substantial influence upon Magister North’s development, including offering his name to then-Justicar Gabrielle di Righetti as a potential Archon in the 1970s to become a founding member of E. Division, and later taking on the ancilla as his attache while conducting his own duties as Justicar from 1985-2011 for more than a decade. The extent of their relationship beyond the purely professional is unclear, but Magister Schrekt was well documented as not accepting Archons that did not meet his own rigorous standards. Evidence suggests the two remain (unsurprisingly) in some contact, though not nearly so frequent as when Magister North served Magister Schrekt directly. This is likely further encouraged by Magister Schrekt’s comparatively isolated domicile in Castle Schrekt.
Nathan Mendelssohn (e. mid 17th century)
Magister North’s sire needs no introduction as an elder residing in Vienna heavily involved in the defenses of the city. It seems likely that from Magister Mendelssohn Magister North acquired his more suspicious and detail oriented approach. Though Magister North spent his early years separated from his sire by the Atlantic Ocean (then a greater impediemnt than today), the two seem to have reconciled the closeness of their relationship during Magister North’s time in Vienna from 1933 until his recruitment into E. Division in the 1970s when he served primarily as the attache to his sire (and eventually took responsibility over several hospitals in Vienna). In that role he was active throughout Germany during and after World War II. These activities not only seemingly brought (then) Apprentice North significant prestige in the clan (particularly the victory at, and haul from, Carinhall) but also served to cement his sire’s power in the rebuilding of much of Europe. Magister Mendelssohn, as with his own sire, Magister Schrekt, appear to have (and continue to) pulled numerous strings in the interests of his childe – and has been rewarded with loyal service in turn. Several journeys to Vienna have been confirmed since Magister North’s relief as an Archon, and it seems probable that he has become more deeply immersed in the plots of his sire in that time. If so, he is a powerful piece on the board, and one that his sire will no doubt protect as such – it is after all nothing to sacrifice a pawn to protect a knight.
Tracy Publios (e. 17th century)
Archon Publios has been the quiet supplier of equipment and resources for Archons and Justicars in the New World for almost a century. Her seamless delivery of virtually anything that a group might need, from weapons, to explosives, to vehicles, to vast quantities of blood, to experts in a given field has made her an essential part of the gears that keep the Camarilla’s agents effective in the often fraught Americas and made her an essential part of the war effort in the 1990s that pushed the Sabbat out of much of the Eastern Seaboard. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, information on her directly has been hard to come by, and I was unable to secure a meeting with her: she seldom puts on personal appearances. My sire describes her as a tall and lanky blond Kindred with an assertive personality, quick speaking manner, and sharp tongue. Even her clan is unclear, though many speculate that she is a Malkavian based on how she describes her ghouls as her ‘children’ and appears to treat them. Others point to Ventrue as a possibility given the tremendous reach of her organization and the many fields she draws upon.
She’s a demanding service provider, utilizing her own particular system of codes – numbers and letters – for ‘orders’ that she demands even Justicar’s make use of when requisitioning equipment – most tend to pass this off to an Archon (or several) amid those in their service. Were she not so singularly reliable and successful its doubtful any would bother. As it stands, she provides logistical support to between two and four Justicars at any given time and an indeterminate number of Archons.
Much of how Archon Publios operates is opaque to outside observers. Most of her deliveries are made by ghouls and Dominated or paid mortals. Even her base of operations and her own lines of supply are largely unclear, though the common theory is she resides somewhere in the mid-western United States. It is believed however that among them, particularly for medical supplies and equipment, including various pharmaceuticals, are Magister North’s mortal industries, Isonine Industries and Kolmor Biotech. To what extent this influences her notoriously apolitical position within Camarilla internal politics is unclear, but it likely means that many of the services she provides almost exclusively to Camarilla agents may remain at his disposal.
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Prince Augusto Vidal (e. 12th century)
The Prince of New Orleans is among the mightiest Princes in the New World, and for more than two decades Magister North served him as a Hound, with particular focus on providing thalmalutological support and investing occult phenominia in and around New Orleans. While there is no indication immediately apparent that Magister North’s true loyalties to the Pyramid were compromised in that service, the depths of his involvement in city specific politics were somewhat abnormal, and potentially generated ties to the Ventrue Prince that are worthy of concern. In particular, given our own limited position in the city, any remaining good will with the tyrannical Prince create within it fertile ground for Magister North to cultivate assets that are not readily apparent to the rest of the Pyramid, and ourselves specifically. Given Prince Vidal’s relative standing, such assets could be particularly difficult to dislodge if such action becomes necessary.
Donovan (e. mid 19th century)
The Sheriff of New Orleans for more than a century and childe of luminary Antoine Savoy, Sheriff Donovan’s interactions with Magister North began just as he assumed his position as Sheriff following the destruction of the then Sheriff of New Orleans at the hands of a particularly bold group of hunters. With the Sheriff short three Hounds and young for his position, the Pyramid was able to insert then Apprentice North into their number, a role he worked within for decades. The two maintained a professional relationship, one that persisted into Magister North’s return to the city in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, when (then Justicar Schrekt) was persuaded to offer the Sheriff a position as an Archon (that was declined). The two share a similarly cold and aloof demeanor and ruthless efficiency. Were the Sheriff to ever tire of his position he might make a potent ally for Magister North and Magister Schrekt – and a more potent Archon if the opportunity presented itself.
Erwin Bornemann (e. mid 19th century)
Magister North and Regent Bornemann’s history traces back to circa 1890 when the two stuck up an arrangement in New Orleans that allowed them to prosper despite it’s inherently hostile tendency towards the Pyramid as a whole, an arrangement that continued for more than three decades until Regent Bornemann’s transfer to Baltimore in 1926. The two apparently continued to correspond thereafter, and the established relationship played a significant part in (then) Justicar Schrekt’s response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in creating a firm working relationship between the Justicar’s principle assistant and the chantry’s Regent.
Lidia Kendall (e. mid 19th century)
Magister North’s relationship with Ms. Kendall, a Gangrel ancilla with strong ties to Baron Cimitiere (one of Prince Vidal’s primary rivals) and the Circle of the Crone is perhaps the darkest mark against him in his time in New Orleans. Embraced as a teen by Archon Roger Halliburton, Ms. Kendall eventually fell into the practice of Vodoun, which in turn led her into the Circle of the Crone. The exact timeline for these events juxtaposed against what was a decades long (romantic) relationship with Magister North is muddied, but certainly prior to his departure for Vienna she was firmly embedded within such deviant practices. There is evidence the two parted under poor terms when he departed for Vienna and no apparent contact since.
Marguerite Defallier (e. late 19th century)
A Toreador ancilla and Harpy in New Orleans, Magister North carried on some manner of relationship with Ms. Defallier in parallel to his more illicit relationship with Lidia Kendall during his time in the city from 1893 until 1933. A former madam, Ms. Defallier continues to maintain significant clout as a provider of herds within the Invictus and is in good standing within both the city and her covenant. Her connection to the social scene of New Orleans gives her access to significant information about the goings-on within the city, while the vast herds she controls (mostly in the form of prostitutes) presents an always meaningful asset. Since his departure from New Orleans Magister North appears to have fed her, over the years, significant (though not sensitive) information about events outside of it – essentially gossip. He may have also taken actions in her interest during the 2005 Katrina debacle, though information on goings on in the city during that time is limited. Finally, there is evidence that one of his ghouls (Rachelle Claduel), in her constant travels has repeatedly visited the city to deliver various packages and parcels, some of which likely made their way to Defallier.
New York City
Jessica Morrow (e. mid 19th century)
Jessica Morrow (commonly identified during her time as an Archon for Justicar Schrekt as ‘Cashmere’ for her habit of wearing clothing made of the material – there is some speculation that this may be one of her banes) entered Justicar Schrekt’s service for the first time more than seventy years ago. Originally a lower-class Irish woman fleeing potato famines circa 1847, she was Embraced into the lofty heights of Clan Ventrue by Norman Addington, an English born industrialist with the permission of his own sire (Camille Duchense, the then and current Prince of Brussels). She spent more than a decade at the feet of her sire before eventually departing for the New World, settling in the Northeast in the decades that followed as a local player until appearing more forcefully as a Camarilla agent and Archon following the Great War. That involvement in broader activities and her devotion to the Camarilla her hatred towards the Sabbat is well documented and seems to have emerged from the death of her sire during the Great War at Sabbat hands.
In the time they worked together Ms. Morrow and Magister North were commonly paired together as senior investigators and problem solvers by (then) Justicar Schrekt, and were quite successful together despite what was a rocky and uncertain beginning to their interactions. By all appearances the two hated each other early on, and several even went so far as to suggest the close working relationship that developed later might have been the result of a mutual blood-bond enforced by Justicar Schrekt to end their bickering. Whether there was any truth to that rumor, I cannot say for certain.
The attractive (physical appearance late 20s, see attached photographs) red haired Ventrue is both extremely proficient at soothing ruffled feathers (a constant in dealings with Justicar Schrekt, and to a lesser extent Magister North) and at rapidly spinning networks of spies and informants into existence both within and without the All Night Society. She is also (speaking from personal experience) an extremely capable and dangerous Kindred that prefers to use fire as a weapon and is incredibly and deceptively tough. Dismissed from Archon service along with Magister North in 2011, she made her way to New York City where she has reportedly carved out a position for herself as a burgeoning Harpy with significant and growing ties to high society. By all accounts she, as with several others dismissed from service as Archons when you assumed the position of Justiciar in 2011, was extremely disgruntled by the decision to replace her, taking it as a personal affront, and remains in communication with both Magister Schrekt and Magister North: it is likely she would be among those recalled into service by Magister Schrekt were he to gain another term as Justicar.
Cynthia Stewart (e. 1974)
The Tremere Sheriff of Seattle is relatively young for her position, one of many questionable matters in the Emerald City worthy of some investigation. Perhaps seeking guidance from Magister North, a newer arrival in the city with extensive experience in a variety of similar roles she has seemingly cultivated his favor, if not outright patronage, and even sought out his assistance when dealing with a particularly unusual case of blood sorcery use that drew heavily upon Vodoun, a topic that Magister North is particularly well-versed in. It is thought that she owes him several books, and that he may possess potentially damaging information on her. There is some suspicion that Sheriff Stewart may be straying from the Pyramid given the amount of time she spends with (and position she holds for) Matriarch (Prince) Saether.
Kyrstin Grey (e. 2013)
Magister North’s newest childe was in life an Japanese American college student in Seattle that attracted limited media attention after being assaulted at the school and violently murdering her attacker. The details of the event later came into question, and so far as the kine are concerned she eventually killed herself under the scrutiny of the media and local authorities. Magister North’s involvement in those activities is unclear, but in 2013 he petitioned and was granted permission to Embrace her by the Prince of Seattle and local chantry. He has subsequently kept her quite isolated from the rest of the chantry and city as a whole, and her release is still pending in what is a slightly unusually long time as a fledgling, perhaps in response to the failure of his (destroyed) childe Larry Newton (e. circa 1970, d. circa 1970) or perhaps as part of some more illicit purpose of yet unclear.
Edward Walker (e. mid 19th century)
Dr. Edward Walker was the product of an ill-fated plan by the Ventrue David Case to unseat Prince Marissa, circa 1870. Case was destroyed for his treachery, but Marissa was content to allow his childe to continue to exist, albeit under a blood bond and with extensive scrutiny. In life, Dr. Walker was a surgeon working for the Union army during the American Civil War, a trait he and Magister North shared, and which likely was the foundation of their relationship. As young neonates Embraced at similar times and with similar interests, the two fundamentally had two options: cooperate or fight. Magister (then Apprentice) North chose the former, albeit as the dominant partner of the relationship due to his clan, and convinced the Prince to allow him to maintain oversight over Walker. The two came to collectively control much of the postwar medical industry within the still-nascent city. It is possible, though unlikely given his blood bond to Prince Marissa, that the two may have even enjoyed some manner of illicit relationship during that time. Such might explain why Magister North was transferred, and why when Magister North departed for New Orleans in 1893 he left many of his holdings in Mr. Walker’s possession as a parting gift. The Ventrue was unable to maintain all of these on his own (and without Tremere support), and traded or sold most of these assets to other Kindred. He then carved out a place for himself at the Prince’s feet until Marissa’s destruction. Since that time he has leveraged much of the information he learned under her to position himself as an advisor to any who would have him, playing a mostly independent party in city politics while quietly amassing his wealth and influence in the medical field. Walker and Magister North were observed together briefly in 1994 when Magister North visited the city, and there is some evidence they continue to correspond. An alliance with the (admittedly neutered) Ventrue Primogen of Washington D.C. creates meaningful concerns.
Heinrick Roehr (e. 1942)
Jonathan’s older childe was a German physicist engaged in the atomic bomb program in Nazi Germany and Embraced during World War II. A brilliant, if escentric individual, he lost his taste for advanced science following his introduction to thaumaturgy in favor of a deemer examination of the Hermetic roots and the occult as a whole. A near ancilla now in good standing amid the clan in Rio de Janeiro, he has settled into the role of a more senior apprentice in the chantry therein, instructing new Embraces amid his own studies, with little professed ambition and limited social interactions outside the Pyramid beyond occasional acquisitions of occult lore and relics (especially those smuggled out of Europe by fleeing Nazi’s). Outwardly, there does not appear to be significant contact between childe and sire, and in my experience Magister North rarely spoke of his childe. It is probable that they are estranged.
Magister North has, not surprisingly, created many ghouls over his long Requiem. Few of them have endured more than a handful of years, as the Clan tends to encourage, but a handful have enjoyed longer lives in service to him. The most notable are detailed below. Of those that enjoy such short term service to him, most are drawn from the ranks of disaffected veterans, failed businessmen due to addictions of various sorts, and criminal street gangs. Investigations have revealed that most such souls are reduced to little more than blank slates by his use of Dominate, with much of their past wiped out and little save their loyalty to him remaining. Unlike the named individuals, he appears to treat these individuals as nameless, faceless, and (most notably) completely expendable.
• Gregory Reed (b. 1944, g. 1976)
Magister North ghouled Gregory Reed, then a promising Scottish stock broker working in London, in the mid-70s, shortly after accepting appointment to the Archons. The ghoul appears to serve primarily as a manager of mundane services for Magister North, particularly the managing of significant portions of his wealth. In that role he appears capable enough, even if in so doing he has exploited significant portions of the wealth towards his own comfort and enjoyment. Why Magister North has done nothing to curb such excesses is unclear – ignorance of such actions is not in keeping with his otherwise meticulous nature – though it is possible given his detachment from many such mortal matters he has not observed this behavior, or has written it off as an acceptable or even necessary loss.
Konrad Sommer (b. 1912, g. 1938, d. 1989)
Konrad Sommer was a German national and former member of the Wehrmacht (and later Waffen SS) that entered Magister North’s service during the annexation of Austria. He served Magister North in a variety of roles, most notably as a military asset during World War II, and later as a long-term bodyguard. He was involved (present for) the destruction of Constantin Diaconu, the Tzimisce elder responsible for terrorizing much of the area around Berlin circa 1944 before his destruction by Magister North. Sommer was a leashed dog capable of tremendous violence on behalf of his domitor, and appears to have operated with relatively limited oversight by Magister North in such things, instead being trusted to ‘do what was necessarily’ so long as he remained loyal. Whether this was the product of ignorance, carelessness, or simply an intentional decision to mitigate his own exposure to such things on behalf of Magister North is not clear. It is clear that following Sommer’s death, Magister North himself was forced to take on a more direct role in such things.
Sommer met his demise along with a great many other ghouls (and two Archons) in 1989 in Northern Germany during an attempt to capture a Lupine for study. I was present for attempt, and the attached mission report (see attachment 9) is largely accurate. What it does not reflect is that in the aftermath of the disaster Magister North went to considerable lengths to have Sommer’s body recovered and buried near his birthplace in Ruhr. Additional investigations have revealed that while in Magister North’s service he was allowed to sire numerous children in the region (and perhaps elsewhere).
Lucille Pearson (b. 1852, g. 1877, d. 2005)
Information on Lucille Pearson was remarkably difficult to acquire. Among Magister North’s ghouls she appears to have been sheltered from outside influences going back to her earliest nights as his servant shortly after her ghouling. What is clear is as follows: Ms. Pearson was ghouled in 1877, and may have been Magister North’s first ghoul – if not, then certainly she was one of his among his first, and may have been one of his only while in Washington D.C – Pontifex Marissa penchant for sharply limit the number of ghouls she allowed members of the Pyramid to retain at one time is well documented. Ms. Pearson joined Magister North in his journey to New Orleans, in his latter transfer to Vienna, and in his time as an Archon until her death in 2005 in New Orleans during the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina. During that time Ms. Pearson served in a variety of roles, primarily as his principle assistant. In that role she was so effective that to most she was nearly invisible, seamlessly fitting into the shadow of Magister North, and working in that shadow towards his ends. In my personal experience I very rarely saw her without him present, and she was only dismissed during particularly sensitive discussions. When present, she often took minutes for group discussions or dictation for him when examining a subject. By the time she met her death she was a ghoul with a lethal inclination, extensive medical knowledge, intimate familiarity with many details of Kindred society, and a near artistry with a knife. Many reports from his time as an Archon indicate Ms. Pearson was frequently allowed to operate independently during the day with significant efficiency.
Magister North appeared to have quite an emotional connection to Ms. Pearson, even if that attachment was of a different sort than that of his attachment to Ms. Claudel. Her loss seems to have significantly affected him, made him less sociable and more protective and possessive of his ghouls (and, recently) childe. It’s possible that his recent Embrace of Kyrstin Grey was in many ways reactionary, an attempt to fill the same position.
• Nicoletta Mortellaro (b. 1977, g. 2005)
Nicoletta Mortellaro is an Italian national born and raised in Milan that Magister North appears to be grooming as a potential replacement for Lucille Pearson as a personal assistant. She appears involved in an array of mundane tasks on behalf of Magister North on a night to night basis, though none are especially sensitive or specific to the Pyramid in the same way that Ms. Pearson’s were. Beyond that, her activities are limited, or at least appear so. It’s possible that under the surface Magister North has been using her towards other ends. Such duplicitousness would be an unwelcome change from Magister North, as in the past he has prefered to operate in a direct, if opaque manner, hiding his actions through a simple blackout rather than direct obfuscation.
• Rachelle Claudel (b. 1875, g. 1895)
Rachelle Claudel is Magister North’s oldest remaining ghoul, having long ago outlived her mortal lifespan. The daughter of a French diplomat, she appears to have been ghouled during a visit by the diplomat to New Orleans in the late 19th century and has served him ever since as an envoy to other Kindred and (particularly in the early 20th century) occasionally (at least to outward appearances) a paramour. The latter portion of that relationship appears to have diminished or faded over time, perhaps as he grew tired of her, or simply grew into his true nature and further from his servant. Why this relationship was not nipped in the bud early is unclear.
Ms. Claudel’s role as an emissary appears to have kept her from the details of his operations, even as it has given her insight into the extent of his reach. That role expanded massively in the late 1930s when Magister North arrived in Europe, and all the more when Magister North became Archon North and his travels (and contacts) expanded to a global level. It expanded once more when he was relieved of his position following your ascension to the role of Justicar, and his own travels have largely ended with settlement in Seattle, Washington. She appears today to be the primary link between himself and varied other Kindred across the globe that he interacts with (particularly in Europe). Tracking her movements is very difficult (she travels under an array of names, is quite proficient with various Discipline, and goes to lengths to remain mostly invisible), but if she were abducted may provide great insight into the details of Magister North’s allies and activities. To date an opportunity to do so covertly has not presented herself – when she does travel openly it is almost always with numerous accompanying guards (abducting her would create a significant incident).
Ms. Claudel is herself a skilled agent, capable of conducting herself alone, in varied cities without her domitor and in the presence of other relatively powerful Kindred without arousing ire or giving cause for her destruction. She is also capable of slipping attempts to track her, manipulation, and an array of skills on par with or equal to that of other experienced ghouls. A small trail of bodies can also be attributed to her wake over the years, typically with a small caliber pistol. Whether those have been overt uses of her as an assassin, or the byproduct of a century of activity is not clear.
• Thato Marais (b. 1980, g. 1997)
Thato Marais is Magister North’s latest attempt to replace Konrad Sommer, his longtime brute of a ghoul. ‘Recruited’ out of Sierra Leone, Thato was a soldier for six years with the Revolutionary United Front prior to his ‘recruitment’ by Magister North, having been turned into a child soldier at age 11 by the rebel forces amid Sierra Leone’s Civil War. Accounts of the brutality of the Revolutionary United Front’s recruitment are well documented, and in my experience Magister North seemingly corroborated such accounts, revealing that Thato was forced to murder his parents as part of his recruitment into the army and forced the ghoul to showcase the initials “RUF” carved into the young man’s chest in large block letters. Further atrocities that Thato was allegedly involved in as a more active actor include the similar indoctrination of hundreds of other young boys, the rape of numerous enslaved child prostitutes, and the maiming and execution of prisoners and civilians under orders from his superiors. No doubt, even a Tzimisce would be proud.
This history of violence and familiarity with untold brutality made Thato a ready-made enforcer for Magister North, and the relief of a lifetime of deprivation by his new master has seemingly made him more loyal than even the bound can typically enforce. As with many taken from such horrific upbringings, so far as Thato is concerned Magister North lifted him out of hell, and for he’d happily crawl back through it for him in return. Of course, that fearsome loyalty has also created problems – I know well how unaccustomed the young man was to the western world early in his time as a ghoul, and some of the difficulties that created. It appears many of those troubles have been remedied over time, as Thato remains in active service to Magister North and unlike many has apparently not suffered the same bruteforce death of personality that the former Archon has subjected many other ghouls to with his mastery of Dominate. As an enforcer Thato is terrifying, even to experienced ghouls, much less to the kine. Even among younger Kindred he can be quite unnerving. He prefers a machete for his wet work, though his move into Europe and the Americas in the service of Magister North has forced him to acquire proficiency with an array of more subtle (or at least easily concealed) weapons
Magister North’s resources in the mortal arena are extensive and poorly charted. In many ways the extensive personal holdings more closely resemble those of a Ventrue than a true servant of the Pyramid, given their independence from the Pyramid’s structure. A better (though likely not full) accounting would be possible if Gregory Reed were interrogated, but by the nature of this inquiry such overtly offensive actions were deemed undesirable at this time. More conventional means of investigation have revealed tremendous stockpiles of wealth and continued revenue streams flowing from a number of sources, including dividends from the expected stock market investments, but also a more direct flow of funds from Isonine Industries (see attached) and Kolmor Biotech (see attached). Conservative estimates place his total holdings at over ten million dollars: I expect they are in truth much greater, perhaps by as much as an order of magnitude.
This does not include the worth of various eldritch artifacts, occult tomes, and other less overtly ‘valuable’ items in terms of the kine’s currency. Magister North is notoriously private about the exact extent of his own collection (perhaps something he learned from Pontifex Marissa), but the value of such items in terms of such currency is difficult to determine. Certainly if so inclined he could leverage it to a significant extent towards various ends.
Isonine Industries -
Kolmor Biotech -
Magister North has historically favored influence among mortals in medical fields, including medical service providers, medical equipment providers, emergency services hospitals, insurance companies, and clinics. This trend began in Washington D.C. shortly after his Embrace, and continued through his time in New Orleans and Vienna (though the latter met with limited success and substantial push-back as his activities frequently took him beyond the city in the 1940s and 1950s, and thus left his position vulnerable).
Sources in Seattle report he has continued this trend, though his influence there is limited by his relatively brief time in the city, cultivating mortal assets in the form of paramedics, specialists, and ER doctors. It is likely that in addition to the obvious advantages of such resources – i.e. the ability to access and manipulate medical records, cover up incidents, access to cadavers, access to stored blood, and access to protected medical information, he also uses these mortal as part of his continued research and education into medical fields.
Mortal Life Genealogy
Magister North went to great lengths to conceal his mortal life after having been Embraced, almost certainly with the aid of his sire, but taking the few details he disclosed in the course of decades together and information provided in this inquiry and throwing tremendous amounts of money and manpower at the problem eventually revealed his birth name and the details of his life before his Embrace, as well as the fate of those he left behind (and evidence suggests he did indeed leave them behind).
Magister North was born Nathaniel Christensen in Richmond Virginia circa 1832, the eldest son of a the wealthy and influential plantation owners Gilbert and Miriam Christensen. The first of five children (two brothers, two sisters), Magister North was well educated in his youth, groomed to take over the family fortune (rooted in the slave trade and cotton industry), he leveraged his family’s position and his own intellect into approval to attend medical school in 1852. He returned home in 1858 and married Gretchen Taylor, a fellow heir to a plantation fortune and childhood friend that was already once widowed by age 18 when she married (the then 26 year old) ‘Nathaniel’.
By most accounts Nathaniel was a ferocious husband, particularly amid discussion of his wife’s impropriety in marrying him less than six months after her first husband’s death. He fought no less than (and perhaps more than) four duels in the ‘defense’ of Gretchen’s honor with a variety of blades and pistols, and was accounted to have engaged in numerous bare knuckle brawls to the same effect. Matters came to a head in late 1860 when he fatally stabbed Forrest Lawson, the son of a prominent Richmond judge, in a duel. A warrant was issued for his arrest in the State of Virginia, and Nathaniel fled to Washington D.C. Unbeknownst to him, his wife was pregnant with their first child.
The intent appears to have been to wait out the fury over the death of Forrest Lawson, but that plan was thrown out when in early 1861 a number of states announced their succession from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America. Both of his brothers quickly joined the Army of Northern Virginia. His brother-in-law joined the Army of Mississippi. His father, judging himself to be too old to fight, and joined the Congress of Confederate States as a representative. Caught in the North alone, unable to easily proceed South and cut off from his family’s support, ‘Nathaniel’ was caught between poor choices, wishing to support the South but unable to make it back he was caught between poor choices and ultimately joined the Army of the Northern Potomac as a field surgeon under an assumed name with the ignorable intention of working from within to sabotage the war effort in the North (this is according to his own admission, and admittedly the product of an accounting more than a century later).
Whatever the truth, ‘Nathaniel’ spent three years with the Army of the Northern Potomac, acquiring a reputation as a skilled surgeon that brought many a (‘tragically’ fatally wounded) northern officer to his table. Over the course of those three years the younger of his brothers lost both legs at the Battle of Antietam and returned home to Richmond a cripple. The older of is two brothers was killed at the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge in Pickett’s Charge during the battle of Gettysburg. He later received word that his brother-in-law was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. ‘Nathaniel’ was spared such a fate until the Siege of Petersburg when he was wounded while attempting to cross the lines during the confusion of the Battle of the Crater. Recovered by Union troops he allegedly performed a feverish surgery on himself to remove the bullet from his abdomen, not trusting others with his health, only to discover after the fact that the bullet had ruptured several organs and his death was all but assured. Feverish and dying the surgeon was approached by Magister Mendelssohn and Embraced. At his sire’s urging he abandoned both his birth name and the name he had served under as a surgeon, recorded as having been killed in action attempting to rescue wounded soldiers during the Battle of the Crater, and took on the name Jonathan North.
Of his mortal family, Jonathan North appears to have had no further contact following his reported death. His wife remarried after his death. Despite the ruination of her family fortune (and his own) she lived a largely mundane life and went on to have three more children with her new husband. His son, William, took on that man’s name and knew him as his father. His parents survived the war in ruin and never recovered from it. Both were dead by 1870. His youngest sister, whose husband had died at Shiloh ended up working as a seamstress. She never remarried and died young in 1891. His remaining brother, maimed by the war, had no further children (it is likely he was castrated by the same wounds that cost him his legs) and died in 1889. His last sister married a returning soldier turned entrepreneur following the war and had six children. Of his mortal family, she (Debra) proved the only one to make a somewhat meaningful life for herself.
Magister North’s son married and had four children. Two of them in turn married and had children. A full family tree is available below. One served as mayor of Richmond in 1903. Another, more recently, was a minor television star on a daytime television show called ‘As the Days turn’ from 1992 through 2002. None have died in particularly suspicious ways or seemingly had any contact with Magister North. By all appearances he left his mortal life quite behind following his Embrace. It is unlikely that they are of any value against him, particularly today given the significant distance and generations between them and himself.