Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
“They are neither man nor woman—
They are neither brute nor human—
They are ghouls.”
—Edgar Allen Poe, The Bells
“Oh, my man, I love him so
He’ll never know
All my life is just despair
But I don’t care
When he takes me in his arms
The world is bright
What’s the difference if I say
I’ll go away
When I know I’ll come back
On my knees someday
For whatever my man is
I’m his forevermore.”
—Billie Holliday, My Man
New Orleans’ ghouls have an active culture of their own. They are more numerous than many realize, including their own masters. Most Kindred have at least several ghouls who serve as bodyguards, personal attendants or simple playthings, so even ignoring the ones who serve their domitors in less visible capacities, ghouls outnumber the Kindred by nearly three to one. In addition, Kindred use their ghouls as messengers and deliverymen, take them to social functions, and use them as spies against rivals. The net result is that ghouls of different Kindred have many opportunities to interact with one another.
The commonly imagined relationship between a ghoul and their master is one of slavish devotion, but interactions between Kindred and their daytime servants can be far more complex. Because the Big Easy’s ghouls frequently interact with one other, most of them have a basic working knowledge of the Camarilla—including the nature of the blood bond. Though ghouls are emotionally bound to their masters, many of them have mixed feeling about the relationship on an intellectual level. Some ghouls have even managed to rebel against the bond (though this rare situation is often instigated by another Kindred).
Generally speaking, when ghouls interact with Kindred other than their own domitors, there is still a large amount of deference on the part of the ghoul. The ghoul of the prince himself still has less social status than the lowliest neonate. While it is a capital crime for Kindred to kill their own kind, the murder of ghouls is viewed akin to property damage, and Kindred have been known to take out their anger on the ghouls of their enemies. Kindred can kill just about any ghoul with little in the way of real punishment—beyond what vengeance the slain ghoul’s domitor might take, of course.
While Kindred look down on ghouls, they interact with them more frequently than they realize. Many vampires send their servants to deliver messages rather than going themselves. Kindred encounter ghouls guarding havens, ghouls catering parties, and the ghouled spies of their enemies. In fact, Kindred interact with ghouls just as often as they do their own kind, if not more so; it is only because they dismiss the importance of these servants that they are unaware of this fact.
It is not lost on the ghouls, however. For them, each encounter with a vampire is a potentially life-threatening event. Ghouls move at the edge of a world they barely understand, and for many, it is only a matter of time before something kills them. Their domitors may even grieve their deaths, but they will be replaced. It is all-too ironic that despite the Blood’s conferred immorality, many ghouls have shorter lifespans than ordinary humans.
To maintain their pride, the ghouls of New Orleans have developed a society and pecking order of their own. It helps if they can lord it over others, even those trapped in the same situation. The ghouls base their social status on several key factors: the power of their master, the trust their master places in them, the capacity in which they serve their master, and their own age. Wealth, connections, and other human status symbols are of little import. Ghouls are judged by their interaction with the world of the Kindred, not the world of the living. Ordinary humans are below all but the lowliest of their kind. The ghouls take great pleasure in the powers and dark secrets they are privy too, even while envying the freedom and innocence of mortal folk.
|Revered Ghouls (Status •••••)|
|Powerful Ghouls (Status ••••)|
|Influential Ghouls (Status •••)|
|Respected Ghouls (Status ••)|
|Known Ghouls (Status •)|
|Ignoble Ghouls (Status 0)|
The most influential ghouls in New Orleans are the one to several dozen (no one is certain of their exact members) who belong to the Krewe of Janus. These ghouls receive vitae from all the Krewe’s members, and are thus only tenuously bound to each of them. Nevertheless, they remain extremely loyal to the Krewe as a whole, and their dedication to maintaining the Masquerade borders on fanatical.
The ghouls in the Krewe of Janus hold a very distinct viewpoint on the purpose of the Masquerade: they feel that it exists to protect mortals from Kindred excesses. Since vampires are too powerful to destroy, and are by nature paranoid and power-hungry beasts, they will always seek to control human society. Only the self-imposed check of the Masquerade keeps them from waging open war to attain total domination over mankind. By protecting the Masquerade, the Krewe of Janus protects the entire human race.
The Krewe’s ghouls are divided into three basic groups: monitors, investigators and shock troops.
• Monitors are well-placed in human society and keep tabs on potential threats to the Masquerade. There is known to be a ghoul in NOPD’s homicide department, a ghoul in City Hall, and a ghoul in at least one major hospital. Numerous others are believed to exist. These spies dutifully report suspicious activity to their Kindred masters, who may then dispatch investigators (see below) or look into the situation themselves. The monitors also have contacts among New Orleans’ other Kindred and ghouls, and use these sources to solicit information about potentially problematic vampiric activities. In such situations, they keep their connections to the Krewe secret, often claiming to be the ghouls of some interested elder.
• Investigators follow the leads found by the monitors and Kindred members of the crew. They mostly work during the day, when the danger of discovery by Kindred is at a minimum. Many of them are experts at breaking and entering, sabotage and other extra-legal skills, since they never know where the trail may lead.
• Shock troops are the fighting arm of the Krewe. Many come from military or law enforcement backgrounds and have received extensive anti-Kindred combat training.
All of the ghouls cross-train, so they have some knowledge of each others’ specialties. Working for the Krewe of Janus is a full-time job.
There is a limit to the number of Toreador that New Orleans can support, and it is well below the number of artists attracted to the Big Easy. Rather than Embrace every talented individual they can find, many Toreador ghoul their artists instead. This serves to preserve great artists without overtaxing the city’s Kindred population (a minority of Toreador argue that the blood bond warps or dilutes the mortals’ artistic vision).
The Toreador show off their chosen pets’ talents in Elysium and encourage the thralls to produce further artwork in their names. So long as these ghouls do well, they can enjoy high status in Toreador circles indeed. Eventually, however, pressure wears on the artist and their work suffers. Their domitor starts to wonder if they “really were that good after all” and becomes less frequent in their attentions. Eventually, the artists burn out, and the Toreador discards them. Few of these unfortunates earn the Embrace.
The longer an artist has been a ghoul, the more likely they are to see this fate befall their comrades—and realize how easily it could befall them. Such elder ghouls, having lived past their alloted mortal lifespans, will die gruesome and agonizing deaths once they are deprived of vampiric vitae. This lends a certain element of desperation to their artwork.
The Toreador are not the only clan to ghoul artists, of course. Any Kindred who appreciates a mortal’s talents might opt to preserve them forever. Some of these Kindred maintain their ghouls out of genuine artistic appreciation, but others merely desire to impress influential members of the Rose Clan with the “amazing talent” they’ve discovered. The lot of such ghouls is simultaneously better and worse. Their domitor probably cares less for art and is not discerning enough to realize when it is losing its passion. However, these Kindred have less attachment to their ghouls and are more likely to cast them off for no reason at all.
Most Kindred elders and many ancillae have a single ghoul that they denote as their official “representative”. This ghoul is sent to deliver messages, speak to other Kindred, and sometimes even to conduct negotiations in their master’s name. Heralds have great deal of autonomy next to other ghouls, since a degree of flexibility is required to perform these tasks.
Despite their importance, most Kindred are leery of completely trusting their heralds. They spend too much time in the company of the enemy. It would be all-too easy for other Kindred to mentally control the ghoul, follow their comings and goings, or pick up useful tidbits with Auspex. There is also the fear that these independent and knowledgeable ghouls might go rogue. Most Kindred tell their heralds only what they need to know, and no more. They are especially careful about revealing information concerning their havens.
Given the problems with heralds, most Kindred would do without them were it not for their other important function as spies. Heralds regularly meet with other Kindred and ghouls. Given their lowly status, Kindred often forget themselves around these servants and let tidbits slip. The autonomy of heralds encourages other Kindred and ghouls to see them as free agents, and sometimes they approach the ghoul with offers of power. Who approaches them, and why, can teach a vampire a great deal. Of course, many Kindred are aware that heralds make excellent spies. As a result, the heralds of some of the oldest Kindred are nothing more than they seem to be.
The lives of heralds are far from sedate. They know more about Kindred society than any ghoul outside of the Krewe of Janus, and are independent enough to do something with that information. They are also aware that the smallest mistake can result in their deaths, either from other Kindred or their own domitors. Heralds have enough status in Kindred society that they are rarely killed out of hand, but they are all-too aware that punishment will be swift if they step beyond the bounds of their official functions. Despite this, many heralds engage in plots and intrigues of their own, typically with other ghouls but sometimes even the Kindred themselves.
The specifics of what a bodyguard does and doesn’t do often depends on a domitor’s preferred method and style of defense. For example, some domitors greatly distrust technology, while others feel natural defenses aren’t enough to dissuade intrudes.
Despite a vampire’s personal preferences, every domitor understands that are many ways a haven might come under attack, and a bodyguard will be able to see weaknesses she can’t. Often, this depends on the ghoul. After all, a big, burly bodyguard might be useful to intimidate enemies, while a more unobtrusive guard can focus solely on their master’s defense.
Bodyguards spend most of their time protecting their domitor or their haven. They are often expected to stay quiet and alert, and tend to be competent in matters of security, weapons, and technology. Because they are often seen and not heard, bodyguards are surprisingly well-informed since they often stand by the side of their domitors. Those bodyguards who pay attention during meetings might glean details of their master’s activities and the political underpinnings of the All-Night Society. Indeed, Kindred frequently take such ghouls out in public but always keep them near. This is both for protection and to make certain no other Kindred can tamper with them. No amount of precaution can be completely foolproof, however, and ghoul bodyguards will inevitably find opportunities to mingle with other members of the All-Night Society. As a result they enjoy more status and less trust than ghouls kept as domestic servants.
Bound protectors are trained to sacrifice themselves for their domitors, and many will not hesitate to give their lives in the line of duty. While it is rare for such a trusted servant to go rogue, those bodyguards who do are often among the best prepared to either pledge their services to a new domitor, or to protect themselves on the run.
While many bodyguards also double as drivers, this can be a unique role in its own right. Older vampires unfamiliar with the trappings of the modern era may require transportation to blend in with modern society. For them, cars, limousines, and planes are still new and risky to operate without help. A good driver will have quick reflexes, an excellent memory, and a working knowledge of many different types of vehicles. Some drivers double as mechanics, too, or couriers to safely transport goods and visitors from one destination to the other.
Despite how necessary they are, some domitors avoid using ghouls in such a fashion, because they believe it’s a waste of blood—especially since traveling out in the open can leave them vulnerable to attack. While it is unusual for vampires to attack one another while riding in their cars, younger vampires may use them out of habit. In such situations, a ghoul with advanced driving skills would leave her domitor’s hands free to fight or flee. Some vampires even go so far as to find look-alikes and buy duplicate vehicles to fool their attackers.
Heralds may double as spies, but many Kindred keep ghouls whose sole purview is to gather information on their rivals. These ghouls fall into two basic categories: plants and investigators. Plants are spies the Kindred places within a rival’s sphere of influence, possibly a servant they have managed to subvert. Plants can provide good information, but are limited by the need to avoid discovery. Investigators are charged with prying into the affairs of other Kindred. These ghouls study their targets from a distance, learning what they can through research and observation.
Not all spies are ghouls. Some Kindred control their spies through mental Disciplines like Dominate and Majesty, but those without such powers are forced to rely on the blood bond. Usually, Kindred will do their best to keep their spies in the dark about the All-Night Society at large. Most will also take pains to ensure that their spies know little about them as well. Those with mental Disciplines will cloud the minds of their spies so they no longer remember who they report to. Some Kindred go so far as to plant false evidence on their spies, leading to a third party as a further way of instilling unrest.
The lifespan of these ghouls is extremely short. They are almost always killed if they are discovered, though sometimes they are turned into double agents. Even if they perform their mission successfully, their masters usually find it too dangerous to let them live afterwards. Most spies do not outlive their usefulness.
New Orleans’ Kindred are particularly fascinated with magic. No fewer than three clans and three covenants actively pursue mystical power, and the Big Easy is home to a thriving occult community. Some of these occultists possess real power and are by no means charlatans or amateurs. Kindred are interested in subverting such mortals for their own purposes, but they rarely Embrace these servants; for reasons poorly understood, the Embrace often destroys a mortal’s magical aptitude. Sorcerers could be higher in status amongst ghouls, given their power, but they rarely have much freedom.
Generally speaking, truly powerful mages can avoid, drive off, or even destroy vampires interested in using them as pawns. For this reason, most Kindred choose to ghoul sorcerers who are only beginning to learn their craft. These magicians are easier to control and less likely to grow into threats. At the very least, there will be fewer surprises when they develop their trade under a Kindred master’s watchful eye.
Ghouled sorcerers are in a precarious position. They must be useful enough that their master wants to keep them alive. They cannot be too powerful, however, or their master could come to see them as a threat. Many of these sorcerers are taken early in their careers, and their dependence on vampiric blood can have unusual effects on their mystical development. They may find themselves unable to work magic without a steady supply of vitae. Finally, their change rarely goes unnoticed by others in the magical community. Other magicians will avoid them, teachers will turn them away, and they may even be accused of dabbling in the dark arts.
Many occultists in New Orleans are followers of Voudoun and other African-based religions. Numerous Kindred are interested in this particular group of mortals. Baron Cimitiere, of course, claims New Orleans’ entire Vodoun community as his domain, and has given his Kindred followers leave to carve out their own spheres of influence. Outside his purview, the Tremere and Lancea et Sanctum actively persecute Vodouisants, the latter out of religious hatred and the former out of desire to reduce Baron Cimitiere’s power base. The Setites, backed by Antoine Savoy, seek to replace the Baron and his followers with their own people. Even Kindred such as Miss Opal, who have less interest in the occult, recognize Vodouisants as an important part of New Orleans’ black community and keep tabs on them for that reason. There is so much Kindred attention on the Vodouisants of New Orleans that they cannot help but realize it. The more powerful Vodouisants attempt to fend the vampires off, but these efforts have met with limited success.
There are other magical groups in the Crescent City as well. There are a few circles of ceremonial magicians, at least several satanic cults and various New Age and neopagan groups. Kindred have plucked budding sorcerers from all of them. Unlike the Vodouisants, however, there is no regular communication between these groups and they are mostly unaware of Kindred activity. The Tremere and those few Acolytes who do not follow the Baron are thought to have established power bases among New Orleans’ non-Vodouisant alternative religions.
To date, no known Kindred has subjected an Awakened mage to the blood bond.
Most of the ghouls in New Orleans fall into this category. Every Kindred with a permanent haven needs to clean and maintain it, and few are willing to perform such a menial duty themselves. These ghouls also handle affairs during the day that their masters are obviously unable to attend to. Kindred tend to be paranoid about rivals influencing their servants and take pains to keep them cloistered away from the All-Night Society. Some of these ghouls have not left their domitors’ homes in years.
This is not to say that servants never interact with the All-Night Society. Most of them have the opportunity to meet other ghouls and compare notes at some point. These servants are simultaneously highly ignorant and profoundly knowledgeable about the world of the Kindred. While they usually know little about Kindred other than their domitor, servants spend a great deal of time in close proximity to their masters. They know the wants, habits, and private behaviors of their domitors, and can be some of their most trusted ghouls. On occasion, this companionship can even blossom into love—or at least what passes for it amongst the undead. This trust is occasionally misplaced and a beloved servant who turns rogue can be the Final Death of any Kindred.
The lowliest of all ghouls are pawns for their Kindred masters in mortal society. These ghouls usually know next to nothing about the world of the Kindred and may not even realize that their masters are vampires. They rarely interact with members of the All-Night Society besides their domitor (and occasionally, their domitor’s associates). Despite their lowly status among other ghouls, however, such pawns can wield a great deal of power within mortal society.
Kindred are creatures of passion and not all of them choose their thralls for pragmatic reasons. Kindred can ghoul mortals for all the same reasons they Embrace in fits of passion: whim, to prove some philosophical point, sexual attraction, or even the urgings of the Beast. Such ultimately purposeless ghouls do not fit well into the social structure of the All-Night Society. Other ghouls are never quite certain how to treat them. Sometimes these ghouls will eventually fall into one of the other of the more common roles and become a permanent servant to their domitor.
More often, however, a Kindred’s reason for ghouling the mortal will eventually cease to engage their interest. At that point, the Kindred simply stops feeding blood to the ghoul and the lucky soul (if they are able to overcome their addiction to vitae) drifts back into mortal society. Many have only a tenuous grasp of what happened to them and are unaware of how narrowly they escaped.
Rogue ghouls are grave threats to Kindred. Not only do they possess extensive knowledge about the All-Night Society’s workings, they have the power of their domitor’s vitae to back it up. Common hearsay holds that the blood bond turns every ghoul into a mindlessly devoted slave, but mistreatment can build up powerful conflicting emotions that are sometimes enough to overwhelm the bond. Even a well-treated ghoul can slowly grow to resent their master, for even a benevolent domitor is still that: the master of a slave.
Most Kindred viciously strike down their ghouls at even the slightest hint of rebellion. This is a negative reinforcing cycle, as fear of rebellion leads to mistreatment, which in turn encourages rebellion. When a ghoul finally goes rogue, they are hunted with just as much (if not more) fervor than a diablerist. Rogue ghouls are threats to all Kindred.
Many Kindred play such games with their enemies’ ghouls despite the danger. Few ghouls have sufficient strength of will to break free of their domitors, but with a little outside help (such as from the Dominate or Majesty Disciplines), they can be pushed. Kindred regard this as a heinous act, but the rebelling ghoul rarely survives long enough to be questioned.
Traitorous ghouls that survive their domitors’ initial wrath, however, are almost always driven to hunt the Kindred they once served. Such ghouls can be motivated by revenge, but others simply miss the taste of Kindred vitae and fear to start aging again. The strongest motivation of all for a rogue ghoul, however, may be the simple fact they have seen behind the Masquerade. They have witnessed the All-Night Society in all of its dark splendor and cannot go back to the complacent mortal lives they once led.
The Ghouls of New Orleans
• The Hussar (g. mid 18th century)
Augusto Vidal’s herald. A Spanish cavalryman brought over with Alexander O’Reilley’s forces in 1769, the Hussar is older than most of the Big Easy’s Kindred and has the scars to show for it, his face having been horrifically burned in the Great Fire of 1788. A grim, dour, and humorless man like his domitor, the Hussar is almost smug in his dealings with lesser Kindred, knowing that few would be so foolish as to lay hands on the prince’s own property. His two sole joys in life consist of collecting antique weaponry and all things to do with horses. Chief among his equestrian treasures is his nearly three-century-old steed, Furia, with whom he still has occasion to ride in public during the Mardi Gras parades. Vidal and his partisans refer to him as Capitán Gaultierrez, but most of New Orleans’ Kindred simply know him as the Hussar. His given name is long since forgotten by all.
• Filles à la Cassette (g. mid 18th century)
More commonly known as the casket girls, the filles à la casquette were brought from France to serve as wives for early Louisiana colonists and named for the small chests, known as casquettes, in which they carried their clothes. They were conspicuous by reason of their virtue, for women were normally supplied to colonists by raking the streets of Paris for prostitutes and undesirables. The casquette girls, however, were recruited from church charitable institutions, usually orphanages and convents, and practically guaranteed to be virgins. Though it later became a matter of pride in Louisiana to show descent from them, more sinister rumors claim the casket girls were literal casket-bearers and transported vampires from Paris to the New World.
Such rumors are true—at least in part. The filles à la casquette were seen as innocuous and morally upright, and consequently were not targets for suspicion by hunters and vampiric rivals. This made the girls ideal ghouls to transport their domitors across the Atlantic. Over the years, the surviving filles à la casquette have come to be regarded as living symbols of New Orleans’ history and have changed hands among many elder domitors. Indeed, it is considered a mark of great prestige to own a casket girl. This grants them a peculiar immunity to the Jyhad, for their domitors’ rivals are more interested in possessing the historic ghouls than killing them. This desire is not born out of mere sentimentality, for the casquette girls have served many important Kindred and know much of the city’s workings… as well as their former masters’ minds. While some casket girls have been slain by their former domitors for precisely that reason, elders view doing so as crass and cause for scandal. Indeed, they consider it a game to compete for possession of the casquette girls, and each of the centuries-old ghouls has changed domitors dozens of times. This can occur through simple promise (or repayment) of boons, but it is not unheard for one elder to simply challenge another to a chess match or other game of chance, wagering a fille à la casquette as the prize for victory.
It is also not unheard of for enterprising younger Kindred to possess one of the filles à la casquette. They usually lose the ghouls after a few years, for the elders do not consider such callow vampires to be worthy custodians of New Orleans’ history, but it has happened before and will likely happen again. A casket girl has much to offer any neonate or ancilla as a servant—but nor is it any small task to maneuver an elder into giving one up.
• Robert Congo (g. late 18th century)
Herald of the enigmatic Seneschal of New Orleans, Robert was once a slave of Congolese origin who was ‘freed’ by Maldonato and subsequently educated in both scholarship and politesse. The centuries-old ghoul resembles an old man with deep-black skin and snow-white hair. He has a deeply-lined face, prominent nose, and thoughtful dark eyes. Consistent with his domitor’s penchant for sharp-executive fashions (at least in public), Robert typically wears subdued designer suits accented with gold-ornamented cufflinks and walking canes.
• Armand “Misser Shoofly” Chassagnac (g. late 18th century)
Miss Opal‘s herald. Born Sint Joris van Rijn, this native Dutchman of the Spanish Netherlands served as a spymaster during the War of Spanish Succession and played both France and the Holy Roman Empire against one another. When his duplicity was discovered by Louis XIV, Armand (as he renamed himself) fled with the ill-gotten riches he had been payed by both crowns and established a plantation in far-away Louisiana. Unable to sit completely idle, he took to tormenting his slaves, with Miss Opal being one of his favorite victims. In the 263 years since his retributive ghouling, Armand (who is more commonly known as ’Misser Shoofly’ among the Nosferatu for the constant swarm of horrifyingly large and bloodthirsty ghoul-flies that harangue him) has been twisted into a slavish, utterly obedient devotee of the Nosferatu primogen—and if he harbors any ill-will towards his former property, he hides it extremely well.
• The Circle (g. 18th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Nathaniel Blanch’s motley of ghouls.
• Cloe (g. late 17th century)
Pearl Chastain’s herald. Though she appears only twelve, few would guess that Cloe is the oldest known ghoul in New Orleans, having been purchased by her mistress from a family of starving commoners in 17th century France. Chastain elected to keep her eternally young and innocent to provide a cherubic, seemingly harmless image to the violent Kindred of early New Orleans. When her mistress fell into torpor, Cloe took Accou as her domitor for the next 80 years. In a rare show of beneficence to the ghoul for her centuries of faithful service, he permitted her to age several years and experience what it was like to grow up. This change enraged Pearl Chastain, who hailed from an era when adolescence did not exist as a concept and saw her ghoul as “spoiled.” Though Chastain chose to retain Cloe’s services, knowledge of her domitor’s disfavor has diminished her standing among the Big Easy’s ghouls. In addition to serving as her mistress’ mouthpiece, Cloe is an accomplished dollmaker, and leaves folded origami figures and bent paperclips wherever she goes as “calling cards.”
• The Crescent Brotherhood (g. mid 19th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Vidal’s collection of former veteran police.
• Des Jumeaux (g. mid 19th century and early 21st century, Status •• and ••••)
True to their joint moniker, Baron Cimitiere’s Heralds resemble twins at first glance. Both are bald African-American men, with aged, ebon-black faces like wrinkled prunes–although one has a scraggly white beard like an old mountain goat’s, while the other is clean-shaven. They tend to dress simply in loose, native robes or more urban attire such as Saints’ jerseys and sagging camo shorts. Copper hoop earrings large enough to stick one’s hand through dangle from their ears. Gris-gris necklaces with brittle old fangs, wood-carved crucifixes, vevé symbols, and tiny leather pouches hang from their necks. Both men walk barefoot, but tread heavily with vodouisant magics. The Jumeaux (whose individual names were reputedly sacrificed to loa) are known as powerful houngans, collectively possessing the authority of both a houngan asogwe and houngan sur pwen, although amongst other circles they are regarded as fell bokor–whose sorcerous power is allegedly amplified or weakened depending upon whether the pair are close or distant, respectively. Ascertaining the truth of this rumor, is all but impossible though, as the Jumeaux are seemingly always together.
• Marques “The Sugarman” Purcell (g. early 19th century)
Baron Cimitiere’s chief enforcer.
• Mélissaire Larieux (g. mid 19th century)
Antoine Savoy’s herald.
• Annabelle ‘Bella’ Bellerose (g. early 20th century)
Rocco Agnello’s herald. This svelte, morose beauty haunts the dimmer parts of Elysium. She says she doesn’t like the limelight. Notable for her dry sense of humor, superficial banter, gloomy quips, and enduring look of boredom. She is the Hound’s eyes and ears, acting glibly as his official mouthpiece.
• The Circle (g. 18th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Nathaniel Blanch’s motley of ghouls.
• The Crescent Brotherhood (g. mid 19th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Vidal’s collection of former veteran police.
• Donovan’s Mimic (g. early 20th century)
The sheriff’s herald resembles him with all the distorted grace of an aborted duplicate. He wears identical clothing to the sheriff: the same black sweater and navy slacks, the same polished leather shoes, not so much as a crease out of place. He has the same neatly combed black hair, the same clean-shaven chin, the same posture and body language–but that’s where it ends. The mimicry is false, hollow, incomplete. As if someone had tried to build a Donovan duplicate and simply gave up halfway through. The man is shorter and plumper than his master, as if someone had squashed Donovan down with a trash compactor. But where the sheriff’s gaze is alternately stormy and frigid, like an upset Arctic sea, the mimic’s is simply… empty. Like staring into a starless void. His grey eyes, allegedly only grey because of contact lenses, regard his surroundings unblinkingly. His voice is similarly barren: a flat monotone that never wavers from his domitor’s demands.
The mimic, whose original name seems to have been expunged like the man’s personality, typically conducts his master’s business from the austere safety of Audubon Place, specifically an expensive-looking, three-story house with a wide driveway and impeccably-maintained yard with several neat rows of trees and flowerbeds. A Porsche and BMW sit in front of the house, guarded by unsmiling guards. Inside are polished hardwood floors and bland photographs of still landscapes that would get an “A” in photography class for meeting all the assignment’s technical requirements, but nothing else. Not so much as a smudge of dirt or creased rug is present in the house. There are no scattered clothes or electronic devices, no dirty dishes, no sign it’s actually lived in. It feels more like a hotel than a house. Indeed, for all the dwelling’s well-to-do-ness, its architectural style is utterly generic, the same McMansion style copied in hundreds of wealthy suburbias throughout the United States. The house is well-maintained materially, but neglected spiritually. What it–and its occupants–lack are a soul.
• Kâmil (g. mid 19th century)
Turkish bodyguard to Philip Maldonato.
• Maurice Garcou (g. early 20th century)
Originally ghouled by John Marrow at the height of the Spanish Influenza, the light-skinned quadroon has continued his mortal trade as the chief mortician of Metarie Cemetery. During the ‘70s, Maurice was ’gifted’ to the Krewe of Janus by the Nosferatu as part of the prolix diplomatic deal that ultimately lead to Vidal (begrudgingly) recognizing Miss Opal as the sewer rats’ official primogen. Since then, the schizotypal necrophiliac has used his position and skills to protect the Masquerade. Unlike the krewe’s more physical Mardi Gras enforcers or secretive spies, Maurice puts on faux funerals for Kindred who need to publicly ‘die’; he also prepares and disposes of corpses created by Kindred excesses. Apart from his skills as a mortician and love of graveyard poets like Robert Blair, Thomas Gray, and Edward Young, Maurice is a virtuoso of wax modeling, and his eerily life-like (or corpse-like depending on one’s view) wax models populate many a local and foreign wax museum—as well as private collection of both kine and Kindred.
• Merle Sangiovanni (g. early 20th century)
Texan oil prospector and Alegraza Sangiovanni’s herald.
• Mr. Hush (g. mid 20th century)
One of the Krewe of Janus’ top removers. Known by his older contemporaries as Mr. Silencieux.
• The Twins (g. late 19th century)
Mother Iyazebel’s heralds.
• Theomule Grémillon (g. late 20th century)
The Krewe of Janus’ foremost ghoul stationed in Tulane Medical Center.
• The Circle (g. 18th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Nathaniel Blanch’s motley of ghouls.
• The Crescent Brotherhood (g. mid 19th century to early 21st century, Status •• to ••••)
Vidal’s collection of former veteran police.
• Clifton Manning (g. late 19th century)
Francesca Dumont’s former and Gabriel Hurst’s current herald.
• Des Jumeaux (g. mid 19th century and early 21st century, Status •• and ••••)
True to their joint moniker, Baron Cimitiere’s heralds resemble twins at first glance. Both are bald African-American men, with aged, ebon-black faces like wrinkled prunes–although one has a scraggly white beard like an old mountain goat’s, while the other is clean-shaven. They tend to dress simply in loose, native robes or more urban attire such as Saints’ jerseys and sagging camo shorts. Copper hoop earrings large enough to stick one’s hand through dangle from their ears. Gris-gris necklaces with brittle old fangs, wood-carved crucifixes, vevé symbols, and tiny leather pouches hang from their necks. Both men walk barefoot, but tread heavily with vodouisant magics. The Jumeaux (whose individual names were reputedly sacrificed to loa) are known as powerful houngans, collectively possessing the authority of both a houngan asogwe and houngan sur pwen, although amongst other circles they are regarded as fell bokor–whose sorcerous power is allegedly amplified or weakened depending upon whether the pair are close or distant, respectively. Ascertaining the truth of this rumor, is all but impossible though, as the Jumeaux are seemingly always together.
• Dolores Campbell (g. mid 20th century)
Ghouled by Randolph Cartwright during his war against the Civil Rights movement, Dolores Campbell has risen to become the magnate’s most influential servant, living or dead. Publicly, she serves as the oil tycoon’s personal secretary and consequently helps to manage his financial affairs and schedule. Privately, she also manages Randolph’s ‘wives’, ensuring that the enslaved herd of women have the necessary food, water, and warmth to sustain life. Despite such succor, Dolores despises Randolph’s wives with all the patronizing disdain, jealousy, and disappointment of a stereotypical mother-in-law who believes that no woman but herself is good enough for her son. A staunch traditionalist when it comes to gender and racial roles, the sanctimonious, but spiritually bankrupt Catholic is fond of chiding her abused charges with Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit to your own husbands.” Both utterly subservient and sickeningly maternal to her domitor, Dolores rarely leaves Randolph’s side. Nonetheless, she serves as his de facto herald, communicating with other Kindred and their ghouls (particular among the Invictus) via switchboard phone-calls, typewriter-printed stationary missives, and the occasional, if absolutely necessary, email. Once a reasonably fetching woman, Dolores’ decades-long addiction to Nosferatu vitae has cursed her beauty (and arguably humanity). Neck up, she resembles a prudish woman past her prime whose fashion sense died a few decades ago. Her pendulous breasts, however, frequently leak a foul-smelling discharge that requires her to constantly wear thick nursing pads (and even then, she routinely has to change her secretarial uniform when the pads themselves overflow with curdled milk-stains).
• Fabian (g. late 20th century)
Antoine Savoy’s greeter and butler.
• Garrett Reynoso (g. mid 20th century)
Donovan’s NOPD liaison.
• Jennifer Haley (g. early 21st century)
Formerly the herald of Marine Riqueti, a visiting Brujah involved in the women’s suffragist movement, Jennifer Haley lost her domitor to Katrina’s ravages. Sympathetic to that loss (or perhaps simply wishing to appear charitable by adopting a “Katrina orphan”) Coco Duquette took Jennifer under her wing, where she has since served as herald for the Brujah primogen. Ghouled in her prime and ‘fortunate’ enough to have a steady supply of vitae, Jennifer resembles a young, twenty year-old woman with curly blonde hair. Typically, she favors simple fashions (e.g., flannel shirts, jeans, light makeup) that make her look like a college student or waitress who’s just gotten off her shift. Under more formal circumstances, Ms. Haley will wear dress slacks, business blouses, and knee-high boots. Overall, her mien, like her master’s, is understated, disarming, and surprisingly charming.
• John McCullem (g. mid 20th century)
Gabriel Hurst’s majordomo. Owner of the Magazine Street barber shop Cullem’s Cuts.
• Pervis Guillaume “Lil’ Willy” Boggs (g. late 19th century)
Cletus Lee Boggs’ herald and mortal bastard son.
• Polly Willoby (g. late 19th century)
Former victim of Roger Halliburton and ‘playmate’ of Cloe.
• The Churchmice (g. mid 20th century)
Originally ghouled in the 1960s by Clarice Barabet, the Churchmice are twins originally chosen for their slight frames and meek demeanor. Prior to their ghouling, their domitor had their tongues removed, holding that household ghouls should be seen and not heard. Spending most of their first decade trapped in the Malkavian’s home with her other house servants, they lived quiet, dull, uninteresting lives amid a household of similarly maimed servants, all of them terribly abused by the house’s sadistic butler—the sole member permitted the use of his tongue. When their domitor met her end in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina the Churchmice and most of their fellow ghouls were cast adrift, largely ignorant of the outside world and Kindred society as a whole. They paid a terrible price over the next several years as they collectively tried to secure steady supplies of vitae or new masters, knowing little else but servitude and abuse. The tight-knit half dozen ghouls bled members at a terrible rate, and typically to terrible fates. Some were casually murdered by Kindred for simple amusement, others were victims of frenzies, while others still were killed off as messages to their then-domitors.
Today only a pair of twins remain. They have acquired some status as knick-knacks among the city’s neonates, given the novelty of their identical appearances and inability to speak. The pair have changed hands almost a dozen times in the last decade, as their relatively long lives and meek personas make them attractive servants for those wishing to impress elders. They’ve occasionally even been rented out for the night, depending on who their current domitor may be. The two have their own subtle language of hand signals and body language that they typically use to communicate, though they’ve had to learn American Sign Language in recent years as they’ve found it necessary to take on more active roles for younger, less established Kindred. Their real names (Margie and Audrey) are barely recalled by Kindred and even among ghouls they are better known simply as ‘the Churchmice’. One of the two is a talented (though not extraordinary) violin player, having been forced to learn by a Toreador domitor several years ago, while her sister is a painter often called on to decorate entire rooms with beautiful landscapes.
• Violet S. Dearing (g. early 21st century)
Pierpont McGinn’s herald.
• Autumn Rabinowitz (g. early 21st century)
Ex-Krewe of Janus cleaner in service to Caroline Malveaux. She came into Ms. Malveaux’s service following her dismissal from the Krewe for unspecified reasons and appears to function as an adviser of sorts to the young Ventrue in matters of the Masquerade.
• Chef Otis (g. early 21st century)
Sadistic “chef” in service to The Baron.
• Ettore “Eddie Sistine” Bagnetto (g. late 20th century)
Sangiovanni mafiosa ghoul and torture-artist that currently serves both the Black Hand and Don Vico.
• Key (g. early 21st century)
Majordomo to Elyse Benson. Key specifically oversees the servants at the Wedding Cake House, is its legal owner, and otherwise manages the house’s upkeep. Believed to have been a valet or hotel manager in his mortal life, Key is a consummate host and seems to derive genuine pleasure from making others happy. Rumor holds that his sexuality-despising mistress has either castrated him or forces him to wear a chastity belt at all times to “control his urges.” He is also an enthusiastic crossdresser and quite adept at turning himself into one of the “dolls” who make up Benson’s stable of beauteous, rigidly controlled ghouls. Further rumors hold that he seeks to become female, not because he is “genuinely” transgender, but because he thinks his domitor will love him more if he’s female. He is sometimes allowed to participate in drag shows at Faubourg Marigny as a reward for good behavior.
• Mary Frances Parnell (g. early 21st century)
Aide of Pierpont McGinn’s.
• Moses “Moe” Cooney (g. mid 20th century)
A blue collar Irish-American, Moe was a political activist, union striker, and open communist during the McCarthy era. For these views and activities, he was arrested on flimsy charges and sentenced with paper-thin legality to receive a chemical lobotomy for being ‘mentally disturbed and a public menace to society’. The chemical lesion killed Moe’s political zealotry, transforming him into a pliant, if mentally blunted citizen. Later, as an awkward apology, the state gave Moe a job as a sanitation worker, cleaning and maintaining NOLA’s sewers and riding along as a garbage collector. His own ambition already murdered, Moe naturally agreed and has placidly continued those duties for more than 50 years. Aware of the state’s unjust treatment of Moe, while also recognizing that Moe’s position and mental condition made him the perfect, unsuspecting spy, Miss Opal ghouled him during one of his routine forays into NOLA’s sewers. Since then, he has served her as a largely unthinking, but utilitarian spy, as everyone, from the mightiest CBD magnate to the poorest Ninth Ward junkie wants their trash collected and sewer lines running. Moreover, most individuals tend to let their guard down in the presence of the mentally disabled, making Moe one of Miss Opal’s favorite spies. Indeed, Moe has been become something of a pet to the local Nosferatu, pitted perhaps but generally well-liked and protected. Although benefiting from this position, Moe, due to his condition, remains all but unaware of these relationships and attitudes. Intriguingly though, vitae sometimes restores some of Moe’s mental vitality, which has caused the Sewer Rats to debate whether Embracing him would completely and permanently restore his cognitive faculties or forever trap him in blunted brain. Blissfully unaware of this debate, Moe simply continues to scrub feces-laden pipes, hose down garbage bins, and tell the ‘Mashed-Tater-Face Lady’ everything he sees and hears.
• Shanice “Lapcat” Jeansonne (g. early 21st century)
Post-Katrina ghoul to Malkavian neonate Mary Allen. Orphan-prostitute who works Chartres Street around her domitor’s domain, which allows her easy access to customers, both mortal and otherwise, who wish to brush up against the color-class lines. Bad blood with the Shepards. Devout if quasi-heretical Sanctified Catholic.
• Pho Sinh Dung (g. mid 20th century)
Mallory Yang’s tutor and advisor.
Sarah Spencer (g. early 21st century, d. 2015)
George Smith’s former majordomo, Sarah Spencer served as the “day manager” of the Windsor Court hotel since her ghouling shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Many had cause to remark how alike she and her domitor seemed to be, even down to sharing nearly the same smile. In the aftermath of the Matheson trial, Spencer was among the first of George Smith’s ghouls to be slain by an enraged Prince Vidal.
• Sterling Batifole (g. late 20th century)
A once highly respected local art dealer and talent scout amongst New Orleans’ artistic circles and their riche nouveau patrons, Sterling was ghouled in the 80’s by Marguerite Defallier at the pinnacle of his professional fortune and fame. Tragically for the creole yuppie, his profits and prestige declined as he was forced to divert his best pieces and agents to his domitor, who in turn has used them to conceal her lacking aesthetic talents and curry favor with her Toreador peers. Largely, these ploys have failed, but not for lack of effort or motivation–especially since that his now disenchanted domitor only ‘feeds’ him when he brings her a piece or person found acceptable by her peers. Unfortunately for Sterling, he has little sense of what her guild and clan appreciate. Moreover, he is sadly ignorant of the fact that many of his finds would be well-received if only Katherine Beaumont and Marguerite’s other rivals didn’t spurn them out of petty spite. Consequently, Sterling’s hair has since turned to his namesake’s silver–at least in the patches he hasn’t torn out from chronic stress and sleepless nights searching for increasingly more prospects for his domitor. Such labors and tangible desperation, though, have only worsened his repute amongst mortal clientele, and rumors suggest he has turned to specious investments, illicit dealings, and unsavory partners to maintain the resources necessary to maintain his dwindling art studio, gallery sales, and talent agency office on Julia Street. Far worse for the ghoul, Sterling has become increasingly convinced that his domitor will soon replace him with someone younger and more in tune to her ‘tastes’. In his darker moments of self-pity, he wonders if Marguerite’s peers will appreciate his oft-contemplated suicide or snidely deride it like the rest of his downward spiraling life.
• The Redcaps (g. early 21st century, Status 0 to •)
• Roman ‘Choir Boy’ Freeman (g. early 21st century)
• “Sandra” (g. mid 20th century)
• Terrence Blevins (g. late 20th century)
Gabriel Hurst’s chief of security.
• Will “Billy” Osborn (g. late 20th century)
Member of Pierpont McGinn’s security detail and de facto chief torturer.
Aimee Rosler (g. early 21st century, d. 2015)
All of five foot five (which she’ll happily tell you is exactly average for a woman in the United States), with brown hair, and matching eyes Aimee Rosler will never be described as more than pretty. What she lacks in ravishing beauty however she makes up for in intellect and ambition. A third year law student at Tulane University, she lives off-campus with Caroline Malveaux and has grown into the scion’s closest friend in New Orleans. A devout Catholic, the middle-class girl nonetheless has a bit of a rebellious streak. Aimee was ghouled by Caroline after being involved in a near-Masquerade breach. She was subsequently tortured and abused by various Kindred, Caroline among them, until she was little more than a nervous wreck. She recently disappeared and is presumed deceased.
• Alice Guillot (g. early 21st century)
Art student at Tulane University. Independent ghoul discarded after her Toreador domitor grew bored with her in a typical example of his clan’s fickleness.
Amanda Turner (g. early 21st century, d. 2015)
Amanda fled her sexually abusive father after the death of her mother and enlisted in the Marines when she was 17 years old, just in time for the Iraq War. Angry, hurt, and wanting to lash out she was infuriated by her exclusion from combat roles, particularly as many of her friends and comrades came back maimed or dead. Left the service after four years and found the private sector more accepting of her desires. Her commander called her suicidal. Her squad-mates called her crazy. She didn’t really care. When the last Blackwater merc was pulled out of Iraq it was the saddest day of her life. Amanda is a fiery and fearless young woman that is always spoiling for a fight, even with men twice her size. Perhaps especially with them, and close to Stephanie Hall as a result. Her commander had threatened to have her thrown out of Blackwater if she puts any more of his men in the hospital. Caroline Malveaux ghouled the soldier of fortune as a bodyguard, but was forced to execute her a week later as punishment for attacking the Hussar.
• Annette Green (g. early 21st century)
The second in Caroline Malveaux’s security, Annette is present whenever Brian Dunlap Fuller is unavailable (and in particularly dangerous circumstances in which he is) and exercises a degree of authority over Caroline’s more mundane security. A former mercenary, Green is now more directly employed by the young Ventrue.
• Audrey Morrow (g. early 21st century)
Prostitute who serves Caroline Malveaux as the manager, caretaker, and recruiter of her herd and has even managed to spin a small but relatively lucrative business out of it.
• Brian Fuller (g. early 21st century)
Prior to his ghouling, Brian was a retired Corpsman with a largely redacted past indicative of those with special operations experience. He appears to handle most matters of personal security for Caroline Malveaux and was ghouled shortly after her release.
• Devon Pierce (g. early 21st century)
Street kid and sometime burglar ghouled by Andrew Phillips.
• Carlos Rivera (g. early 21st century)
Diego is an outlier among Caroline Malveaux’s ghouls, a small-time thug among the Cottonmouths, a Latin street gang based out of Terrytown. Her exact use for him is unclear, but he exercises considerable and growing influence among the gang.
• Dominique Lake (g. early 21st century)
A moody, opinionated punk who formerly acted as Baptiste du Lac’s reluctant herald. She grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, attended all the balls, dressed in all the right gowns to look every bit the lady. This was until her twenty-first birthday whereupon she suddenly came out as a lesbian and decided to give the finger to high society and labeled herself a free-thinking vegan with a giant chip on her shoulder. Dominique was of the opinion that her domitor was a chauvinistic pig and out of touch with contemporary society, but the blood bond and her own entirely natural fear of Baptiste made her less willing to share her opinion than she had previously been. Her fate following her domitor’s Final Death is uncertain.
• Elyse Benson’s “Dolls” (g. early 21st century)
• Holly Jefferson: (g. late 20th century)
Well-known Toreador ghoul that has changed hands several times in the last three decades, Holly is something of a hand-me-down often given to young neonates stepping away from their sire for the first time. Originally a renowned blues singer, her star faded slowly with her ghoul-dom and she was eventually passed down by her original domitor to their childer to both spy on her and guide her. She was subsequently traded away to another friendly young neonate, and off she went. In total Holly has seen six different domitors, some kind and others cruel, and is well known in New Orleans as a stabilizing force for them. She’s become quite knowledgeable about the nature of setting up a Kindred existence by necessity, including transferring assets, faking one’s death, and managing all manner of incidental problems that come up for newly Embraced Kindred. Growing increasingly tried of the regular hand-offs to new masters and mistresses.
• Julia Landsale (g. early 21st century)
• Larry Shazer: (g. late 20th century)
Larry’s had a tough life as a ghoul. Once a successful accountant and financial planner, he was first ghouled in 1996 by a Ventrue just stepping out of his sire’s shadow. When that neonate met his Final Death three years later as part of a Sabbat attack during 1999’s Mardi Gras, Larry ended up adrift for almost a year before he was drawn into the orbit of a Toreador that simply wanted someone else to manage her financial affairs while she contented herself with her own games. That relationship lasted nearly five years until she too met her Final Death, this time at the hands of hunters in the chaos following Hurricane Katrina. That death left him shattered in a way that the first had not, and left him a neurotic mess. Clingy, paranoid, and protective of those around him, he’s found the wealth that he inherited by proxy upon his domitors’ deaths of little comfort. Regarded as cursed by many other ghouls, Larry is known for his willingness to pay other ghouls for his fix and his painfully sad desire for a new domitor, though few are interested in taking on damaged goods. Has missed his doses multiple times for periods over the last ten years, aging painfully (and only increasing his neuroses).
• Louis Fontaine (g. mid 20th century)
Former NOPD cop, independent ghoul, and private investigator for hire.
• Megan “Meg” Wilkins (g. early 21st century)
Shockingly frail-looking (and not only physically) former roommate to Jocelyn Baker, who she now serves as a ghoul. Meg was once a depressed college student with body image problems that experimented with bulimia and eventually attempted suicide, believing she wasn’t good enough. She survived and, at the recommendation of Jocelyn’s sire, was ghouled by the latter (under the advice that “suicides need someone to live for.”). She now attempts to find self-worth by continuing to binge and purge in order to “look beautiful” for Jocelyn despite the the Toreador’s efforts to break her of the habit.
• Mary Phan (g. early 21st century)
An elderly Vietnamese woman who works at Opa Trading Post in Faubourg Marginy. Servant to Lavine.
Samantha Hingorani (g. late 20th century, d. 2015)
Jacob Grunewald’s housekeeper. Recently murdered by Bobbi Jo Boggs.
• Sarah Widney (g. early 21st century)
Recruited from among the many aids to high society types, but herself recently disgraced by her last employer, Widney serves as Caroline Malveaux’s active chief of staff and appears to exercise authority over her other ghouls.
• Shatoya “Chica” Dupré (g. late 20th century)
Schizophrenic skip-tracer loosely aligned with the Baron’s followers.
• Snake-Eyes (g. early 20th century)
New Orleans is a city of dark tales, of urban legends of the wickedest bent. Snake-Eyes is one such legend that dates to the turn of the century. The story goes that he was a respected Haitian witch doctor, he fled the beleaguered island for New Orleans, only to be disgusted by the racism, discrimination, and disrespect he faced. Infuriated he turned his fury on the city’s indulgent and wealthy white youth, terrorizing them in a brutal killing spree that shocked the city until he was eventually cornered by the police and gunned down in a hail of bullets. The story doesn’t end there however. According to legend he lived on, and continues to his murderous spree to this day, only more covertly. Snake-eyes, so named for the dice tattoos on his eyelids that are ‘the last thing you ever see’, does indeed live on, and their is truth to his tale, as only the city’s Kindred know. Ghouled by a now-deceased Vodouisant, the brutal killer became the Kindred’s pocket slave, used carefully through the following century only when he had a particularly filthy mess he needed cleaned up, otherwise keeping the ghoul on a tight leash. That leash snapped during Hurricane Katrina when his domitor was slain in the ensuing chaos. For a time, many thought that Snake-Eyes had gone the way of his master, but scenes of horror discovered in the worst slums in the city, missing white students found hacked apart, give lie to that belief. Where the ghoul gets his continued supply of vitae—if he still does—is unclear, but Snake-Eyes prowls the streets once more, and he does so with meat cleavers, claw hammers, and chainsaws.
• Stacy Daniels (g. early 21st century)
Reluctant caretaker of Andrew Phillips’ pet rats.
• Furia (g. mid 18th century)
The Hussar’s ghouled steed, a coal-black Andalusian thoroughbred mare. Before crossing the Atlantic in 1769 alongside her equestrian, she was already a blooded veteran of the Guerra del Asiento, the War of the Austrian Succession, and Seven Year’s War. The past centuries have done little to diminish her mad temper or bloodlust—and it is said that she will bear none beside the prince and the Hussar to touch, much less ride, her.
• Jean Sant Malo (g. early 21st century)
A male chimpanzee test subject in an oncology research lab at Tulane, Jean Sant Malo (then known as Subject 259Q-R04) was ‘liberated’ by Professors Petrowski and Boisseau and some environmental activists a part of a larger act of ecotage. Jonas later ghouled the chimpanzee, effectively curing its cancer, and named the ape after one of the prominent slave-rebels of the 1811 Uprising. However, the ape quickly proved an unruly and untenable house-guest for the suburban professor. Reluctantly and under significant pressure from within and outside his clan, he gave the chimpanzee to Gerald Abellard. Since then, the Nosferatu-ghoul has grown to become a hulking, hyper-aggressive bodyguard and bosom-buddy of the hacktivist. In fact, Jean Sant Malo is Greasy’s ‘co-host’ of their increasingly popular ShreckNET podcast, Malo & Me (Throw Shit at Stuff and See What Sticks). Amongst kine, Malo’s hoots and howls have created all number of urban legends, as if the Nosferatu’s gator-ghouls, blood-flies, and monstrous roaches weren’t enough.
• La Blême Terreur (g. unknown)
Amongst the kine, there is a centuries-old legend of an immense, man-sized bat with skin as hard and hoary as marble. They say that the creature, which is most commonly known as La Blême Terreur, or the Pale Terror, haunts the cemeteries of the Crescent City where it feeds off the blood of the dead—and occasionally the living. They say that the bat is a demon, a vampire, or ghost: an immortal horror whose gaze curses mortals with a wasting, nightmare-ridden sickness. They say that its flesh is impervious to both blade and bullet and can transform into mist or darkness. They say that it watches—that behind its coin-sized eyes is a malign intelligence, a hungry, inhuman will. The kine say many things. Sometimes, they even say the truth. In the case of La Blême Terreur, the Kindred know the all-too real basis of the urban legend: a centuries-old ghoul that spends its time wandering the Big Easy’s cemeteries, belfries, and nocturnal skies. Its domitor and purpose, however, are less known. Indeed, rampant, uneasy speculation exists amongst the city’s neonates and ancillae. is it Blanch’s? He’s both an animist and Gangrel. Is it Vidal’s? Another weapon to monitor and slay his enemies? All the more reason to stay on the prince’s good side. No, it’s Mother Iyazebel’s—it’s just the sort of macabre theatric she’s known for. Or is it Custance’s, a spy in the Big Easy for the bayou witch? Or is it a ghoul of an unknown, rogue elder—or said elder itself, guised to feast on neonate blood? Intriguingly, local elders seem disinterested in this guessing-game and simply refer to the creature as El Murciélago or Le Chauve-Souris (The Bat), though whether their disinterested mien indicates they know the domitor’s identity or they simply do not want to reveal their ignorance is a matter of equal speculation amongst the younger Kindred.
• Qua (g. unknown)
The last reported sighting of a wild jaguar near New Orleans was in 1886, after the Donaldsonville Chief newspaper reported that two men had killed a 200-pound animal that had killed several colts, cattle and dogs. Though the proud big cats have since gone extinct from Louisiana, one particular specimen has been sporadically sighted by the Big Easy’s Kindred in the 130 years since. The apparently ghouled jaguar (for what else would explain its longevity?) has not accumulated quite the same aura of mystique as La Blême Terreur, for it does little besides patiently watch the Kindred in that way only cats can. The jaguar shies from closer contact with vampires, but has proven itself quite capable of mauling foolhardy neonates into torpor when attacked. Who the animal belongs to remains a point of mild curiosity among the All-Night Society. The only name attached to the creature is “Qua.”