Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood & Bourbon
“Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love.”
“But it’s not about you or us, or the tests or the system, it’s what they expect of themselves. I mean, every single one of them know they’re headed back to the corners. Their brothers and sisters, shit, their parents, they came through these same classrooms, didn’t they? We pretended to teach them, they pretended to learn, where’d they end up? Same damn corners. They’re not fools, these kids. They don’t know our world, but they know their own. I mean, Jesus, they see right through us.”
Bunny Colvin, The Wire
“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad.”
Knowledge is power. Everyone knows that, or at the least has heard that. Academia is a fairly straightforward grouping that covers all aspects of academic life. Contacts and Allies can be found in teachers, professors, deans, students, and sororities and fraternities.
Louisiana has one of the lowest literacy and graduation rates in the United States. New Orleans’ public school system was long considered to be in shambles and was almost entirely privatized into for-profit charter schools after Hurricane Katrina. The results were disastrous: old schools that had been long-time community centers shuttered their doors. Graduation rates remain abysmally low. Fraud and mismanagement are commonplace. Many teachers in the majority-black schools are white, inexperienced, and strangers to the communities in which they teach. Metal detectors and armed police officers are a common sight on campuses.
Anyone in New Orleans who can afford it sends their children to private schools. Education is a world apart at these selective institutions, where graduation and college acceptance rates can be as high as 100%. Yearly tuition costs run from a little over $4,000 to as much as $20,000. Although the city’s most prestigious schools are stereotyped as being exclusive to old money families who can trace their genealogies back to the Antebellum, many middle-class parents will suck up the cost when attendance increases their child’s odds of qualifying for a money-saving scholarship at a good college. Still, families who only financially contribute to the schools through tuition aren’t the ones who get their names put on buildings.
Kindred, for the most part, have minimal interest in K-12 education. There’s more money and prestige to be found among universities. And when it comes to feeding, even monsters can still have standards.
|Level of Influence
New Orleans’ higher education complex comprises 12 public and private colleges and universities. Most of the problems facing primary and secondary education in the city are nonexistent here. However, vampires—especially young ones—are far more attracted to college campuses and fraternity rows. Universities are a fountain of fresh-faced souls stepping out into the world for the first time; melodramatic young minds easily misled and in over their heads make easy targets. To the monsters it’s like shooting fish (out-of-water) in a barrel. Students are so needy. Can’t make a college payment? Lost a boyfriend to a rival classmate (or worse, a professor)? Love getting blackout-drunk at the dive bar down the block from the school? Vampires have so much to offer—and, when they get tired of making offers, they can just feed with little fear of repercussion. No one thinks anything of a student who shows up to class pasty-faced and tired—or disappears altogether. Student populations are so transient, after all.
Other, older vampires find themselves attracted more to the halls of academia than to the student body. The architecture, the pomp and circumstance, the storied campuses and educational methods that have barely changed since the adoption of the Greek model… all of this brings a certain creature comfort to that type of vampire, to say nothing of the considerable resources that universities can bring to bear for scholarly-minded Kindred. The Tremere and Ordo Dracul are particularly known for cultivating influence among institutions of higher education.
|Level of Influence
New Orleans’ largest and most prestigious university.
Full article: Tulane University
The McGehee School for Girls
New Orleans’ most elite college preparatory school.
Full article: McGehee School for Girls
Other Academic Institutions
Former history teacher at the McGehee School for Girls. Most students had a lot of fun in Ms. Perry’s class: she was relatively young, energetic, and tried to give students participatory roles in the normally lecture-based class through projects and small-group discussions, while punctuating many of her lectures with jokes, wry commentary, and frequent pictures on the room’s smartboard (including the occasional cartoon and popular meme). She had a self-admitted crush for “bad boy” historic figures such as Jean Lafitte and John Law, the latter of whom she called a “ne’er-do-well-scoundrel,” “sweet-talking hustler,” and other such variations, usually with a smirk.
Family: The Flynns
A sheltered long-time kindergarten teacher at Martin Behrman Elementary School and mother to Becca Flynn, Charity Flynn is caught between her faith and her family. Charity is a devout Catholic and the life choices of her children weigh heavily upon her. She recently began meeting with her daughter for lunch in an attempt to reconcile Becca’s life choices and sinful ways with the love of Jesus Christ. She occasionally protests outside of abortion clinics with her husband, though she has grown increasingly estranged from him as he’s fallen further into apathy. She secretly pays her daughter’s phone bill.
Donald “Duckpin Donnie” O’Keele
Member of the Limbo Kings. Attended seminary to become Roman Catholic priest, but dropped out due to theological conflicts. Teaches English at a public high school in the lower Ninth Ward. Serves as a facilitator of a local Narcotics Anonymous chapter. Active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Family: The Jacobsons
Elementary school teacher at Benjamin Franklin and widow of Brian Jacobson, a patrol officer recently killed by drug dealers in the line of duty. Though relatively well-off between her salary and her husband’s pension, she has taken a leave of absence from teaching following his death. Brian’s precinct captain, Marco Rizaffi, described her as a “really nice lady” who’d baked cookies for their police station.
Shannon had only just obtained her teaching certificate in Portland, Oregon when Hurricane Katrina made national headlines. She moved to New Orleans hoping to make a difference in the city’s no doubt beshambled education system. Ten years later, she teaches at a charter school in the Ninth Ward and has long since become jaded to the metal detectors, police presence, and seemingly daily fights and arrests. Her black students have a hard time relating to the West Coast-born white woman, and in truth, many of them scare her. She never leaves home without pepper spray in her purse and has even gone so far as to take shooting lessons (despite formerly being vehemently pro-gun control) and buy a gun after she was mugged on the way home from work. She’s long since lost faith in her ability to make a difference in her students’ lives and has repeatedly tried to get a job at a private school, but is resigned to the fact that ones like McGehee aren’t interested in charter school teachers.
Outside of work, Shannon is a committed vegan who home-cooks all of her meals with locally produced, organic ingredients (she goes to the farmer’s market every weekend) and has yet to sample any of New Orleans’ cuisine—a fact she has learned to keep secret from incredulous, scornful, and sometimes even violent locals. She has a single restaurant she is willing to eat at, with a single item she is willing to eat: a vegetarian taco. She has ordered that same taco innumerable times over the years.
Family: The Pierces
Charity is a twenty-three-year-old escort who has worked for Christina Roberts for more than five years—a near-benchmark in the business. Beautiful, with full lips, excellent proportions, and smooth skin, she and her sister Chastity are two of Roberts’ most sought-after girls—especially as a pair. Many men are entranced by the idea of bedding sisters at the same time. Born into poverty, orphaned, and repeatedly failed by the social welfare state, Charity is fiercely financially practical and committed to breaking out of the cycle of poverty. She’s invested the bulk of her earnings, lives relatively modestly, and has been pursuing community college courses on the side in anticipation of the day when she gets out of the business. Extremely close to her sister Chastity, she’s not particularly pleased that she followed in her footsteps but is willing to “overlook” it as long as she finishes her degree and gets out of their line of work. Doesn’t believe she can make a relationship work while she works in “the business,” and isn’t attracted to men in any case. Not religious.
English student at Loyola University who hopes to go into copyrighting.
Former student at Tulane University who was attacked at 2015’s Southern Decadence while drunk and had shards of glass raked over her neck. Franz Harz, acting on behalf of an anonymous benefactor, paid the out of pocket costs for her treatment at Tulane Medical Center. Subsequently transferred to another out of city college. Described by her doctor Neil Flynn as having “no parents in the picture,” the primary adult figure in her life seems to be her aunt Vivian—who, due to not being a parent, didn’t have her enrolled under her health plan.
Student at Loyola University with an undeclared major who isn’t sure what he wants to do yet.
Family: The Malveauxes
A math prodigy off at MIT on a full academic scholarship, Virginia struggled with her family’s social expectations in her youth and is exceptionally shy and reserved for a Malveaux. Although spoiled by her father as the baby in the family, she doesn’t have a taste for it and prefers to live practically (she begged him out of a sports car for her 18th birthday). Her closest family contact is Gabriel Malveaux, with whom she shares a comparatively gentle nature. She plays the violin quite beautifully, saying it speaks to her, although she rarely does so before audiences, and prefers to use music as a means of calming her thoughts when alone. She is uninterested in publicity and somewhat frustrated by her status, both in the family and at large. She was all-too grateful to get away from her immediate family in New Orleans, as her relationship with her mother was always strained (Vera never seeming to understand her).
High School Students
Family: The Christians
Black Pearl resident and high school senior. Son of Marianna Christian. Moderately traumatized following a 2015 home invasion that nearly killed his mother.
Family: The Malveauxes
The youngest of Nathan’s children, Gabriel is a bright, athletically gifted, and scandal-free high school senior whose youth has sheltered him from the Malveaux family’s worst excesses. Several schools are pursuing him and he wants to go into volunteer or non-profit work. Those who know the Malveauxes, though, suspect his path was laid out shortly after his birth. His father sees a future for him politics, while Orson eyes the possibility of another man of the cloth. Gabriel remains seemingly oblivious as to this fact and has been dating the same sweet and well-behaved middle-class girl since freshman year. He truly seems to believe they have a future together.
Middle School Students
Family: The Paxtons
12-year-old son of Lucilia Plantaine and Joseph Paxton, a former FBI agent in Orson Malveaux’s employ before his untimely disappearance. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers discovered during her investigation into the Paxton family that Zachary has been getting into fights at school since his father’s seeming abandonment of his family.
Little girl passingly encountered by Lou on the Algiers Ferry. The destitute private eye had gone without a solid meal for days, and was distressed by the sight of the tantrum-throwing child declaring she “didn’t want” her breakfast muffin and stomping a shoe over it.
Young boy encountered by Lou at St. Louis Cathedral. Jimmy told the old man that he “smelled really bad.” Lou apologized to the child for his odor. His mother swiftly admonished him not to talk to “creeps.”
Twin brother to Milo Glass. Disappeared in 2002 and presumed (as well as legally declared) deceased.
Older daughter of Daniel and Lena Merrinelli, and nephew to Emmett Delacroix.
Younger son of Daniel and Lena Merrinelli, and nephew to [[:
emmett-em-delacroix | Emmett Delacroix]].
Young sister to Jared Brown, a resident doctor at Tulane Medical who raped unconscious patients. Deceased as of 2015.
Stephanie “Stef” Rabinowitz
Younger sister to Autumn Rabinowitz. Has diabetes and sometimes “tries” to make cookies with her older brother Jeffrey, usually to the result of eating the dough.