Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
Jonathan North Peripherals
“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.”
Compiled by Archon Justine Pennel
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 unequaled 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 archons’ 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 grandsire 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 grandsire 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 Baristheaut 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 Thomas, 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
• 3. Tremere (b. ?, e. 1022)
• 4.* Etrius (b. ?, e. 1022)
Lotharius (b. ?, e. 1030, d. 1529)
• 6.* Karl Schrekt (b. 1193, e. 1235)
• 7. Nathan Mendelssohn (b. 1576, e. 1634)
• 8. Jonathan North (b. 1832, e. 1864)
• 9. Heinrick Roehr (b. 1901, e. 1942)
• 10. Maria de la Rosa (b. 1973, e. 1995)
Larry Newton (b. 1952, e. 1979, d. 1980)
• 9. Kyrstin Grey (b. 1992, e. 2013)
• 7. Maxwell Ldescu (b. 1378, g. 1403, e. 1882)
• 8. Karl Maria Wiligut (b. 1866, e. 1939)
* Generation among Tremere is a notoriously murky matter given the clan’s past history of diablerie and their unusual origins. The generations of Jon’s earliest Kindred ancestors are approximate and assumed numbers in relation to other clans.
Childe of Nathan Mendelssohn
Nathan Mendelssohn is an elder residing in Vienna who is widely presumed to be a childe of Karl Schreckt. Mendelssohn was a Jewish alchemist in his mortal life and in the Modern Nights he is responsible for managing Vienna’s internal security and (unknown to most) heading the Astors, Clan Tremere’s “secret police.” His duties grew notably more onerous in 2011 when Ulugh Begh, his sire’s archrival, was re-appointed to the Justicarate and chose to establish his base of operations in Vienna. Mendelssohn is considered a member of the clan’s Traditionalist faction, which together with his high position in Vienna, cause a number of ominous rumors to surround him. He is said to belong to several secret societies that, depending on the sources, either govern the fate of all Tremere or even all of Kindred from behind the scenes. Only one thing is certain: Mendelssohn hunts renegades who deviate from Vienna’s orders mercilessly and unyieldingly.
Childe of Karl Schrekt
One of the longest-serving and currently retired justicars for his clan, rumors and tall tales about Karl Schrekt’s person and achievements have become too numerous to count over the years. In Schrekt’s eyes, the foundation of the Camarilla was the most crucial point of time in Kindred history. The sect’s rules and Traditions are worthy of being protected with one’s own unlife. Schrekt remembers all too well the fires of the Inquisition, and his most fervent goal is to ensure that mortals keep believing the lies they are fed about the existence of the Kindred. Reportedly, he was a witch-hunter who stalked vampires and demons in his mortal days, hence his particular zealotry where the Masquerade is concerned. He is said to have somehow diablerized a Lupine in his undead youth, which could explain his untiring endurance and almost bestial strength of will. The most severe rumors claim that he once met Caine face to face. Schrekt’s air regarding such stories can best be described as nonchalant—he either enjoys the mystery surrounding him or, more likely, cannot be bothered to explain them or deny them. Little is known of his activities since stepping down from the Justicarate.
The prince of Vienna during the Middle Ages, Lotharius was a former magus and one of the first Tremere Embraced into the clan outside of the founder and his original seven followers. Lotharius was no less storied an individual than his childe, and was variously said to have been an oracle as a mortal magus; to be the founder of assorted secret societies that wormed their way into the courts of Europe; to have personally diablerized more than a dozen Salubri; to drink the blood of only mortal magi; to be in league with the dreaded Niktuku; to be an infernalist who served demonic masters; and countless other lurid rumors. He served on the Council of Seven during the High Middle Ages and oversaw Tremere interests throughout the Holy Roman Empire. He and Etrius established a working relationship with Valerianus, the ancient Ventrue prince of Vienna, that would do much to legitimize the still-nascent Tremere clan in the eyes of larger Cainite society. After Valerianus was destroyed by the Tzimisce for the aid he rendered the usurpers, Lotharius assumed his throne and became the first Tremere prince of a significant city, for which he earned the sobriquet ‘the magus prince’. His rule was a stable one and laid much of the groundwork that would enable Etrius to move the clan’s center of power from Ceoris to Vienna during the Anarch Revolt. Lotharius’ last great achievement was his participation in the clan-wide ritual curse the Council of Seven leveled upon the Assamites as part of the Treaty of Tyre. The Assamites accepted its terms bitterly. When the Ottoman Turks poured into Europe and besieged Vienna, Assamite masters were right behind them, hoping to use the city’s conquest to force the Inner Council to rescind their curse. Lotharius is believed to have met final death during Vienna’s 1529 siege at the hands of Thetmes, who subsequently became caliph of his clan’s warrior caste. Lotharius’ destruction remains an unavenged point of honor for his sire and descendants to this night.
Childe of Etrius
First among equals on the Inner Council of Seven, Etrius was one of the original eight magi who transformed themselves into vampires on that fateful night in 1022. He is said to be the right hand and most faithful servant of the clan’s night-mythical founder. Rumors claim Etrius dealt directly with Tremere in the house’s (not clan’s) earliest affairs, in the days when they were still mortal, and even that he (somehow) still continues to confer with the founder on matters of importance. His roles in converting House Tremere’s Hermetic spells into Kindred thaumaturgy, converting the house’s magi into vampires, instituting the Pyramid, exterminating the Salubri, establishing the warlocks as a recognized clan in broader Cainite society, and his other achievements in building House and Clan Tremere up from nothing are too many to even list. In the Modern Nights, he oversees Tremere interests across eastern Europe and makes his haven in Vienna’s Prime Chantry. Many of the methuselah’s interests lie beyond Vienna and nightly management of the city falls to his childe Astrid Thomas and great-grandchilde Nathan Mendelssohn. His work as a founding member of the Camarilla is considered his greatest historical feat among larger Cainite society, and he was one of the authors to draft the Six Traditions that would become law throughout the Ivory Tower’s domains. The Code of Tremere sworn by all all initiates into the clan is also his work. Goratrix, the renegade warlock who leads the clan’s antitribu among the Sabbat, is considered Etrius’ greatest adversary.
Childe of Tremere
What has not been said of the renegade founder, archwizard, elder and enigma? As with any placed among the mythical Antediluvians, stories contradict wildly. Historical accounts—if they can be called such—place Tremere as a cunning and manipulative magician who stole immortality, but all other speculations are open to interpretation. Some rumors state that he is a diablerist and demonologist; others believe that he intends to fuse the Kindred condition with his own mystic understanding to surpass the Curse of Caine. Stories have depicted him alternately as a might wizard of fearsome mien, as a limbless white worm, as a three-eyed beast or as a withered and demonic figure. Still, appearance means nothing to one of Tremere’s stature. While the Camarilla vehemently denies the legends of Antediluvians, Tremere’s apocryphal deeds certainly seem to match their power (if not their age). Some Kindred familiar with the Tremere clan believe that there is no singular “Tremere,” but those in positions of hierarchical authority occasionally mutter imprecations about directives handed down to the uppermost secret elders from the demented dreams of what can only be described as an ancient monster. Certainly something seems to guide the clan’s loyal members, but is it Tremere? Did the archmagus pass away long ago, or did he simply give way to something more terrifying as the monstrous Cainite curse devoured his soul? Does he, indeed, still exist tonight, or is the shadow of Tremere simply a conspiracy levied over an entire race of vampires? Answers vary from party to party. Those who dig too deeply into Tremere’s ultimate fate often find themselves bound to the Tremere clan by potent magic, if they do not vanish entirely. Ultimately, all that can be said with certainly about Tremere—whether or not he or it even continues to exist—is that he was a mystery beyond the understanding of either sorcerers or the Damned. Tremere was unique, an individual who could not be described by simple categories.
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.
Jonathan speaks rarely of his mortal past, but he has not forgotten it. Distant though it may be in his past, buried though they all are, he remembers his mortal parents, still living during his exile to Washington D.C. His mother’s disapproval and his father’s understanding over the duel that led to that exile. His father, too old to march off to war when the cannons fired on Fort Sumter, but proud to see his sons, Jonathan excepted, off to war.
He remembers his wife, so refined and delicate in his hands. It was a near to arranged marriage, all but set up by two plantation owning families when they were children, but one that was comfortable for them both. They were friends before they were husband and wife, and it made it all the easier, him all the more protective. A protectiveness that led to a flurry of duels in the defense of her honor, culminating in that fateful one that set him upon his course. On some nights he remembers the unborn life growing within his wife that he never saw enter the world, the son he never laid eyes on.
He remembers brothers and sisters, remembers the letters he received when one brother lost both legs at Antietam and another died at Gettysburg. Remembers the tear stained letter from his youngest sister when her husband died at Shiloh. It was a common story in the time, tragedy for every family, a sea of tragedies beyond the capability of any man or woman to withstand.
He remembers these things, but he does not dwell upon them, as he has not in more than a century and a half. It was a choice he couldn’t even contemplate for years, as a new apprentice. By that time, faced with the destructive immortality of the Embrace, faced with the loyalty he owed to the Tremere, and long reported dead to all relatives at the Siege of Petersburg he faced a choice: to attempt to juggle a life and a Requiem, or to settle for one. A half life a hundred miles away from his Requiem in Washington D.C. that could only lead to tragedy, or a complete Requiem in the Tremere dominated city that could lead to eternity. He made his choice.
There are nights Jonathan wishes he could say he never looked back. Nights that he wishes he’d simply abandoned his mortal life into the wind. The truth is that for all of his commitment to his choice, the temptation to look into the abyss was too much. As he grew more powerful, more free, he did look back, he turned his undying gaze back to his family. He found them long past mourning him, long having moved on. He found a son that barely knew his name, that called his wife’s new husband ‘father’. He found his family ruined by the war, by their investment in Confederate bonds wiped out, their slaves freed. He found his brother a bitter cripple and his youngest sister gray before her time, exhausted by labor she’d never imagined she’d perform. It was an embittering and sobering experience.
On rare occasions in the century and a half since he’s had a ghoul followup, research what has become of his once family, but never since has he made the mistake of visiting. There’s nothing there, nothing but a curiosity. A list of names and ages without faces. It’s better that way, for everyone.
A powerful magister and former archon, Jonathan has had ample opportunity to accumulate an array of potent artifacts. Some of the most noteworthy are detailed below:
As part of maintaining his worldwide network of contacts, allies, and associates developed over the last century Jonathan has implemented an array of means of maintaining those connections. These include dead-drops (typically lockers collected by oblivious mortal pawns at semi-regular intervals), contact maintained by the travel of Rachelle with agents, irregular travels by North himself, and (most recently) a pair of phone services that operate independently of each other.
The Tzick Call Center
Operating out of Indonesia, the Tzick Call Center screens calls and takes messages for a wide array of clients, including corporate interests and wealth individuals of taste. For Jonathan this includes calls from most Kindred that would seek to contact him. The most typical method is for callers to leave their own name and a number they can be reached at, though a number use aliases that correspond to notes Jonathan keeps in the name of discretion. These messages are checked each day by either Nicoletta Mortellaro or Rachelle Claudel and briefed to Jonathan shortly after he rises. Calls to the center to collect messages require the caller call from an approved number and ‘pin’ in with an operator. With some regularity Jonathan changes the exact call center used, typically in sequence with when he sends Rachelle off on a European tour to touch base with those he isn’t able to contact more easily.
The Mora Institute
Located in Geneva, the Mora Institute is a distinguished name for a relatively conventional group that provides an array of services, including safety deposit boxes, call screening, and concierge service to the rich and powerful. It prides itself on the ‘class’ of service provided, and on the privacy of its client list. Jonathan makes use of a number of the Mora’ Institute’s services, among them the call screening for more distinguished or discrete Kindred that which to reach only him. Checked more irregularly than the Tzick Call Center (though always at least weekly) by Jonathan directly, the Mora institute is typically only given out to archons, justicars, princes, elders, and others of particular distinction (Status 4+). Calls to the center require that he both ‘pin’ in and answer a security phrase.
While Magister North has yet to stake a claim within New Orleans to a domain (though most assume such an action will follow immediately upon his formal acceptance into the city), Magister North nonetheless maintains a significant ‘domain’ beyond it.
Jonathan North maintains his current haven in the New Orleans chantry.
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.
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.
Jonathan’s fortune originates from an array of sources to rival any Ventrue’s. He’s responsible for a number of medical patents that are owned by a corporation that ultimately answers to him and feeds accounts he draws upon. Under the direction of astute ghouls (mostly Gregory Reed) the company has diversified since the 1960s and today not only owns many medical patents, but substantial manufacturing and power in the pharmaceutical industry. More wealth has originated from the array of events Jonathan has involved himself in over his Requiem.
He may have focused his looting during World War II upon medical research and eldritch lore from the crumbling Third Reich, but he (and several ghouls including Konrad, and in particular Lucille who became quite an art connoisseur) was wise enough to also gather an array of precious artworks, gold, and other items of material value. Carinhall in particular provided a massive selection of masterpieces looted from across Europe. The gold and other items of currency were folded into his operations easily enough, but most of the art was placed into an array of vaults and other secret caches.
Though he eventually turned over many of these items of Jewish origin to his sire for repatriation after the war, many more had simply been stolen from museums, and he saw little need to simply return them. Over the subsequent years some have subsequently passed into the hands of private collectors, both Kindred and kine, for currency and eldritch lore. Some remain, locked in vaults or (in a few rare cases) in his private chambers: masterpieces missing from time, but not lost to him. Were he to liquidate such treasures on the open market, black market, or among the All-Night Society he would no doubt substantially increase his available assets: for now he appears content to hold onto them, much to his financial manager’s distress.
More wealth has appeared by similarly dubious means: briefcases of cash taken off cartel members that served as pawns to Sabbat or Camarilla faction members during his time as an archon, and in particular from several catches raided, then looted, in the ‘90s during the chaos of the U.S.-backed conflicts in Mexico and Columbia. These piles of cash tend to be tendered to Gregory, who experienced both the joy of the windfall of cash and the headache of figuring out how to launder it into his master’s enterprises seamlessly.
Numerous other fortunes are buried behind numbered accounts—much as they have been for lifetimes, slowly growing behind irregular deposits and the unstoppable power of decade after decade of compound interest. Jonathan is quite certain that before he brought Mr. Reed into the fold he actively lost track of several such accounts over the years (and more when Lucille was lost in 2005). Though not so foolish as to leave all of his finances in the hand of one ghoul, his aid in tracking less important ones has been substantial for Jonathan’s peace of mind and fortune building.
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 grandsire) 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.
New Orleans (1890—1930)
Following his early years in Washington DC, Jon was moved to New Orleans around the turn of the century, where he remained until reassigned to the increasingly unstable and chaotic then Vienna. In that time he made many connections, and though some have passed, some relationships remain with the city’s older denizens, colored by those distant past events
[[File:836427 | class=media-item-align-left | 200×200px | Augusto_Vidal1.jpg]]
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 thaumaturgical 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 goodwill 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 (Toreador/Lancea et Sanctum, e. mid or late 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.
Jonathan served under Sheriff Donovan as a hound for much of his tenure in New Orleans, the two’s close working relationship over the course of decades breeding a mutual respect that persists even to this night and which led to Jonathan’s recommendation that the sheriff be recruited into the archons (an invitation Donovan declined). The two crossed paths again in 2005 when Jonathan returned to New Orleans as an archon to face the looming disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the many challenges it brought with it. Most recently the sheriff demanded Jonathan’s loyalty in exchange for an alliance between them—a demand Jonathan found easy to accept.
• Erwin Bornemann (Tremere/House Tremere, 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.
Erwin and Jonathan could just as easily have become rivals. Neonates of almost equal experience, with similar pedigrees and aptitude in the same city circa 1890. Instead Jonathan willingly took a backseat to the (moderately) older and more locally powerful and influential Tremere. Perhaps banking on the rotation of Erwin, perhaps simply bowing to the needs of the Pyramid, or perhaps simply due to an alignment of priorities. The two became compatriots rather than opponents right up until Bornemann’s rotation to Baltimore in 1916. Until then the ‘elder’ Tremere reaped many of the benefits of their partnership, serving as the more public face of the two, the more personable of the two, with Jon working more behind the scenes and dispensing violence as needed with the aid of his position as a hound. When Bornemann rotated he, in turn, left many of the assets they had cultivated in the city to Jonathan. The two have remained in contact ever since, trading letters on occasion.
• Katherine Beaumont (Toreador/Invictus, e. early 20th century)
Jon was complicit in the burning of Katherine Beautmont’s much beloved Opera House with Marguerite Defallier, and though he initially bore her no personal animosity his continued alignment with Marguerite Defallier eventually created friction between them that rubbed her nerves raw on more than one occasion. Jonathan frequently got the better of such interactions, though such was not always the case. On more than one occasion the bitter and budding harpy took the opportunity to sink her talons into Jonathan in Elysium, something the proud surgeon has never been able to completely ignore or forget.
• Lidia Kendall (Gangrel/Circle of the Crone/Ordo Dracul, 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.
In the then young, ambitious, and full of zeal Lidia Kendall Jonathan found a calculating mind that matched his own, and that for a time set his unbeating heart moving. Coming together in the wake of her sire’s destruction, they experimented into the nature of Kindred existence and limits even as they pursued their own brands of blood sorcery. For some years the two carried on as close to a relationship as two Kindred might, but it was not to last. Prior to, but driven by, Jon’s (imminent) departure for Europe in the mid 1930s the two split amid a particularly nasty spat over race, spirituality, his service to Prince Vidal and aid persecuting the city’s Vodounists, and the city’s still deeply bitter political tensions that increasingly placed them at odds with each other. Still, the two left lasting marks on each other—the doctor pushing the Vodouisant further towards the nature of Kindred physical transcendence (likely leading towards her immersion in the Ordo Dracul), and the Gangrel greatly furthering his own understanding of the occult beyond Tremere thaumaturgy and solidifying his views as an empiricist.
• Marguerite Defallier (Toreador/Invictus, 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.
Jon initially dealt extensively with Defallier for vessels and herds as neonates. In time it grew into a more expansive working relationship that included trading favors, gossip, and influence on each other’s behalf. She was a valuable asset for him as a hound—a ready source of information before it became common knowledge. Though some presumed (and even presumed) that there was more to their relationship, in truth their interactions were ever grounded in practical and professional matters.
New Orleans (2005)
In 2005, prior to, during, and amid the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina, Jon returned to the city as an archon with his grandsire, Justicar Karl Schrekt. Though brief, the visit caused a great deal of upheaval in New Orleans and created its own relationships amid the Kindred of the Big Easy, for good and ill.
[[File:909170 | class=media-item-align-left | 100×100px | Caitlin_Meadows_Small.jpeg]] • Caitlin Meadows (Gangrel/Lancea et Sanctum, e. mid 19th century)
Prince Vidal’s scourge during (and before and after) Hurricane Katrina, Meadows found common purpose with Jonathan amid keeping the peace, and was a more ready in her single minded violence than the prince’s many hounds (each of whom had their own more deeply private agendas and concerns during the catastrophe) to join with him in ending an array of Kindred driven to frenzy, possessed, or otherwise liabilities within the city. More recently he crossed paths with her in Elysium, the two trading conversation that turned to barbs as she examined his childe Kyrstin Grey. Provoked nearly to frenzy by the former archon’s response to her examination, Meadows fled the Elysium in a rage, showing her claws.
[[File:876094 | class=media-item-align-left | 100×100px | Shep_Jennings.jpg]] • Shep Jennings (Brujah/Anarch Movement, e. late 19th century)
During the chaos of Hurricane Katrina among those victims of the justicar’s presence in the city was Shep Jennings’ then-paramour, who remained behind in the city to sea to mortal family members. While the details have been difficult to come by for the Brujah ancilla, he has learned that she was destroyed directly by Jonathan, and he has harbored a bitter grudge against the Tremere archon ever since, though he’s had little opportunity to act against him to date. Jonathan’s return to New Orleans may however lure him into action.
Beyond New Orleans
Constantin Diaconu (Tzimisce/Sabbat, e. early 18th century, d. 1945)
Tzimisce ‘elder’ active in 19th and early 20th century Europe, diablerizing several Camarilla elders in formative Germany with the use of an array of szlachta (some rumors claim a vozhd). Knocked into torpor and presumed deceased circa 1917 during World War I, Constantin returned in late 1943 as part of a campaign of terror in war-torn Germany, taking advantage of allied bombings and insurgent attacks to diablerize several further Camarilla Kindred. Met his end at the hands of the the Tremere surgeon Jonathan North near Carinhall in April 1945.
Research into his past produced mixed results (Sabbat Embraces are notoriously difficult to verify the details of), but reports of a Kindred matching Constantin’s description date back to at least the 1750s. His own sire met his end circa 1871 during the wars that led to the German Unification, sparking an apparent vendetta against German Ventrue who backed Bismarck’s efforts.
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.
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 (Tremere/House Tremere, 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.
Jon’s eldest childe is a tremendous disappointment and failure to the former archon. A German physicist Embraced during World War II, Jon hoped his childe would help bridge the gap in his own experience between physics, thaumaturgy, and reality as a whole with his brilliant mind. Instead, separated relatively early into his childe’s Requiem, Heinrick was heavily influenced by the clan’s Hermetic roots and abandoned his own, becoming a devout occultist heavily focused on the meaning and purpose of reality rather than the study of it as a whole through his own lens. Though a member of the clan in good standing, and a potent ritualist with an impressive collection of relics and lore, relations are strained between childe and sire. Not that Jon is in favor of airing such dirty laundry.
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, 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).
[[File:850369 | class=media-item-align-left | 200×200px | Cashmere_B_W.jpg]]
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 the Justicarate’s 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._
• Karl Schrekt (Tremere/House Tremere, e. 13th century)
Justicar emeritus Schrekt, the master of Castle Schrekt and in life demon hunter, needs no introduction. The eight-term 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.
When then Justicar Schrekt decided in the 1970s to spearhead the creation a group of archons for the Camarilla to investigate the many strange activities of the world, he drew upon (among others) his grand-childe as one of their early members. Decades later, well seasoned by the paranormal investigations as one of his archons in what became E-Div, he drew upon Jon again, this time working directly for him in his travels, a capacity in which Jon served until 2011.
Larry Newton (Tremere/House Tremere, e. late 20th century, d. 1980)
Mentions of Jonathan’s little-known and executed childe (by his own hand) are an almost certain way to earn the former archon’s enmity. A silicon-valley maverick in the late 70s, Jonathan Embraced Larry in the belief that the young man’s intellect and drive would make him an ideal candidate and potential power player in the clan amid the brewing technological revolution. Instead he found a weak-willed and effete youth that loathed his new-found condition, the rules of the Tremere, and lamented the future he might have had in the burgeoning field. Already disgusted with his first childe, and unwilling to introduce what he perceived as more weakness into the clan (weakness with his own name, much less that of his sire and grandsire attached), Jonathan executed Larry for one too many failures prior to his release and subsequently buried almost all memory of him. The few that have inquired based on some gleaned detail have typically earned a stern reproach. Those that continue down the path tend to earn a punch in the mouth. Most assume Larry was destroyed amid some internal infighting or took his own life.
• Nathan Mendelssohn (Tremere/House Tremere, 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 impediment 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.
Jonathan’s sire and superior in the Astors, Nathan Embraced Jon during the Siege of Petersbrug when the surgeon (whom he’d been eyeing for some time) was shot and despite his removal of the bullet lay on death’s door from infection. In his childe he saw (or claimed to see) will, determination, and resiliency, and though separated early in his Requiem made clear the expectations of him early on. Jon has, ever since, striven to exceed those expectations, and for his successes is one of the few aware of the true extent of his sire’s influence as the head of the Tremere’s ‘secret police’. Quite religious and Jewish, which constituents his only real connection to mortality in the present.
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 justicars 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.
New Orleans (2016—present)
• Kyrstin Grey (Tremere/House Tremere, e. early 21st century)
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.
Jonathan’s of yet unreleased childe brought with him from Seattle Washington. Second generation Japanese-American former calculus student at the University of Washington that earned scorn and derision when she ‘murdered’ her would-be rapist in a viciously brutal struggle at a frat house party. Questioned, doubted, with her sexual history paraded publicly in front of her deeply (conservative) ashamed father, she only narrowly escaped charges for in the death after evidence of her own defensive wounds was ‘lost’ by the local police department. Equally narrowly avoided failing out of college that semester as many of her instructors became increasingly abusive and belligerent towards her for the negative light she brought to the school and those few supporters she had found their lives increasingly complicated by their support of her. Embraced by Jonathan for her toughness and resiliency (mentally), something he felt was missing in his last childe. Still early in her Requiem, not yet released or interacting outside the Pyramid. Jonathan is intensely protective and jealous of his third childe
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.
In a Requiem that has spanned more than 150 years Jonathan has created many ghouls. Most of his early slaves to the blood met quick and violent ends, and too often at his own hands amid frenzies. Many more have since then, bodied piled high in place of his own. Few have been worth remembering. For his part, Jonathan tends to approach his ghouls with a kind of mild neglect. They are simply tools, to be picked up and put away as needed. They are not peers, not friends.
Despite, or perhaps because of how he regards them, his expectations are rather clear. With rare exceptions, his ghouls are to be presentable and professional. Clean, well dressed, and capable of understanding their place in the orderly Requiem he has established. He demands obedience without question and discipline in their dealings beyond their interactions with him. In particular, while Jonathan does not desire to know the particulars of their dealings outside their service (i.e. the lives they lead when he is not calling upon them), those that are incapable of maintaining those lives without causing problems within them quickly find themselves suffering his not insignificant ire. Repeat violators tend to find their opportunity for re-offense severely curtailed.
Of course, as in all things, there are exceptions. The average ghoul may be little beyond an investment in vitae, a candle in the night with an expiration date to match, but a rare few have burned much brighter and longer. Ghouls that might have even meant something to the Tremere surgeon in his Requiem. Ghouls that might still mean something to him.
• Andrew Morgan (b. 1980, g. 2008)
A rare third generation ghoul, Andrew Morgan (to a much greater extent than his father) was groomed from an early age into Magister North’s service. Whether that was done as part of a greater effort remains to be seen, but Andrew comes from very choice stock indeed and few have been Magister North’s actions without purpose. His mother, like his grandmother, was a collegiate, athlete—an alternate to the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics’ Team—while his father’s background is one of public (and Kindred) record. Raised from his childhood with an eye towards physical and mental development, records show he was a three sport athlete in high school before attending the United States Naval Academy and commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 2002.
The junior Morgan served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually attaining the rank of Captain in the savage fighting therein, before he abruptly tendered his resignation in 2008, presumably around the time he was ghouled by Magister North. In the years that have followed he has functioned as the tip of the spear for Magister North when required, leading teams of less skilled ghouls into violence. He’s proven a natural in both aspects of his role, both as a leader and as a dispenser of his domitor’s displeasure more directly. With the death of so many others in the same role in recent years, he has become one of the last such tools available. It is likely his loss would be a significant one.
• 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.
By the late 1960s it became apparent to Jonathan that his own growing influence, particularly in the mortal realm, was both not easily managed by himself and his existing ghouls, but also increasingly important to him as his own collections of occult lore, artifacts, art, and other personal holdings grew larger and larger. Taking a cue from a (Ventrue-like, and very senior) associate, his fellow Tremere archon Carfax, he identified and later ghouled Gregory Reed, a promising Scottish stock broker working in London that would go on to manage and organize much of Jonathan’s oft neglected but growing empire. As the Tremere surgeon immersed himself further still in his studies, and went on to become an archon in E-Division, Gregory was left to manage accounts, invest revenue, provide on demand currency, pay taxes, arrange shipping and other travel accommodations, and see to a thousand other random and behind the scenes needs for his domitor, all while navigating the twisted labyrinths of the shadowy ghoul society buried under the surface of the All-Night Society.
With the loss of Lucille Pearson, Jon’s long term personal assistant, the demands upon him grew more extensive, even as his contact with his domitor directly grew more frequent. Regarded as marginally capable in that role, and Jonathan has yet to replace Lucille, leaving Gregory to handle many matters directly.
In truth, Jonathan finds many of the matters that Gregory handles quite tedious, a tedium that would be made worse only if he had to handle them himself—or go without. After decade upon decade of relative privilege, in which money was no object and his day to day needs were handled with little input, he has grown desensitized to the advantages of his resources and come to simply expect that these things will be handled. To Gregory’s great credit and great detriment he’s done his job so well, so seamlessly, that Jonathan now expects such exceptional performance as the norm. Not that things have been all bad for Mr. Reed: the ghoul has enjoyed not only long life and youth, but a life beyond Jonathan’s service that few ghouls enjoy. He’s enjoyed two wives (both trophies) and in his younger years partied through the sixties and seventies with relatively little contact with his domitor as he spent most of his time managing finances and coordinating mundane means. Even today, Jonathan tends to interact with him only when needed—as much to shield the ghoul from outside eyes as anything else.
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).
Jonathan’s long time bodyguard, thug, enforcer, and wet-works man, Konrad was the son of a German coal miner and miner himself turned officer in the Wehrmacht turned officer in the Waffen SS that fell into Jonathan’s hands during the annexation of Austria (Anschluss). Throughout World War II he served as a potent tool in Jonathan’s arsenal, especially as he rose to the rank of Major in the closing year of the war. Faked his death in the last days of the war at his domitor’s insistence and became his bodyguard and enforcer after the war. Met his end along with many other ghouls defending his domitor and fellow archons from a pack of Lupines in 1989 when an expedition by E-Division went badly wrong in. Jonathan felt strongly enough about the ghoul’s death that he had his remains (too call it a body would be too generous) recovered and buried near his ancestral home.
A physical monster of a man in life, standing almost 6’8, Konrad was truly monstrous in the service of Jonathan, racking up a body count that was prolific by any standard, often in the background without his domitor’s direct oversight. His loss has forced Jonathan into more direct confrontations of his own, towards greater and more personal violence. Attempts to replace him have met with very mixed success, with none thus far able to meet the rigorous standard set by their predecessor, and a great many ending up in the ground beside him.
Perhaps Konrad may yet be of some use to Jonathan—the Tremere has kept tabs on the several children sired by the monster in the waning years of his life, and he has a hope that one might yet distinguish himself amid the group before age robs him of their service. Of course, patient as he is, perhaps it will be their own children that replace their father.
• Ian Morgan (b. 1920, g. 1945)
Mr. Morgan (the senior of the two remaining) is one of Jonathan’s older ghouls, a decorated U.S. Army service member originally from Richmond Virginia that survived the Normandy Landings and Battle of the Bulge before he was ghouled by Magister North in the closing months of World War II. His entrance into Magister North’s service brought the unit he commanded under the influence of Magister North to replace the SS unit he’d previously manipulated through Konrad Sommer that was virtually annihilated by the wars end (I would speculate, purposefully, as Magister North has historically left few loose ends). Magister North utilized him to significant effect to increase his own mobility and those of his agents in the closing months of the war, and subsequently as the Allied occupation settled into Germany. Even after Mr. Morgan was discharged following the drawdown in U.S. Forces, Magister North found ample use for him alongside Konrad Sommer as his personal security liaison and later security coordinator for the Magister North’s special projects, including the transfer and protection of his much increased collection of occult artifacts, lore, and plundered Nazi treasure, as well as more esoteric projects. Amid these efforts the former Captain managed to—most unusually—find time to marry and father several children with one Elise Childs. Even more unusually, Magister North allowed this ghoul to age years as part of his life with his ‘family’, from prime physical condition in his youth into middle age. To the best of my knowledge Elise Morgan (nee Childs), a was largely ignorant of the details of her husband’s existence until her death in 1998 (presumably of old age).
Exactly what the purpose of these efforts was did not become clear until Magister North subsequently ghouled one of Morgan’s sons, a Vietnam veteran, and began the process of grooming the veteran to serve him alongside his father, largely replacing him in a field role. These days Morgan Sr. appears to do little field work, capable though he still remains with a Thompson submachine gun. Instead he helps to coordinate broader protective efforts for Magister North’s widely held assets (among them, counted by Magister North, several specific ghouls), leading a number of other ghouls in that role (including his grandson). His direct interactions with Magister North in recent years have appeared more limited.
Isaac Morgan (b. 1950, g. 1977, d. 2001)
One of three sons of Ian Morgan, the ghoul of Magister North, it is unclear if Isaac was a planned effect of Magister North’s permission for Ian Morgan to take a family, or if he was simply a happy accident cooped by the ghoul’s domitor for his own purposes. By purpose or accident the boy grew into a man and enlisted in the US army just in time for the American war in Vietnam alongside one of his brothers. Much of his record during this time is heavily redacted, but I surmise he functioned as part of a special forces element. He served multiple tours in Vietnam conducting these operations—even earning a silver star—before his return to the United States and subsequent ghouling by Magister North to work alongside his father. Much as with his father before him, Isaac was quite successful in that role and was, eventually, allowed to take a family of his own, and to father several children.
Isaac Morgan proved quite an asset during Magister North’s time as Archon North, functioning as a point man for Archon North when violence was required. He was an artist with a suppressed rifle, and with covert warfare that dominated the 80s and 90s with the Sabbat’s aggressiveness in the Americas. That artistry was not to last, as Mr. Morgan was killed during the Siege of New York in the vicious third day of fighting. The loss was not insignificant to Magister North, especially following the death of Konrad Sommer only a decade before.
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.
Jonathan’s long-time ghoul, among the first he took into his service following his release from the Chantry in Washington D.C., Lucille was the daughter of an undertaker turned nurse that provided him with ready access to both cadavers and the maimed and dying for his own purposes. Originally intended to be little more than that, her fierce dedication and practicality ‘earned’ her the right to travel with him to New Orleans when he made his long journey to his second Chantry in the Big Easy. Fanatically devoted to him, shy, and not even the least bit squeamish, she in time became his principle assistant, a ghoul with tremendous medical knowledge, near complete insensitivity to the Kindred condition and its many related activities, and an intimate familiarity with his own preferences (and moods, which let her avoid the worst of his frenzies). Deeply in love with and idolized him, but thought herself unworthy due to crushing self-esteem problems that persisted throughout her life. Eventually became a quite a terrifying monster in her own right, and an artist with a knife that unnerved even fellow ghouls with her icy emptiness.
For his part, Jonathan came to value and trust her like few others in his Requiem, treating her as closer to a peer than any other ghoul—though still not quite one of the Tremere. Despite her long service he never considered her fit for the Embrace, believing it might crack her mind—or perhaps merely cost him her service. Lost by Jonathan during the events of Hurricane Katrina.
• 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.
Italian national out of Milan who was identified and taken into Jonathan’s service just out of fashion school, Nicoletta was selected for her vanity, deftness, and deferential nature, having been raised by a physically abusive father and emotionally abusive mother. The Tremere archon initially brought Nicoletta into his service without even ghouling her and used her for various secretarial tasks, as his more dedicated servants were tied up with more important matters. Jonathan gave the fashionista his blood after Lucille Pearson’s death and expanded her role into a personal assistant. Nicoletta found the role incredibly demanding and never fully satisfied her domitor with her performance.
Fortunately for both parties, Jonathan found a new use for her in 2013 when he Embraced Kyrstin Grey. His new childe required a ‘guardian’ and Jonathan re-purposed her serve as his stand-in and Kyrstin’s night-to-night companion. She still remains responsible for selecting both Tremere’s wardrobes. Caught between her young ‘ward’ and her Kindred master, Nicoletta finds her duties quite onerous, for Jonathan expects only the best for (and of) his childe and blames Nicoletta whenever those expectations are not satisfied. She’s managed to navigate that minefield so far, but her future remains uncertain, especially as Kyrstin grows more powerful and approaches her release.
• 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.
The daughter of a visiting French ambassador, Jonathan was charmed by Rachelle’s poise, confidence, worldliness, and (secret) interest in the occult at a dinner party hosted in the French Quarter shortly after his transfer to New Orleans. In need of someone with those particular gifts (which his own principle ghoul, Lucille, lacked) to see to a number of unfinished affairs of his in Washington D.C. the Tremere surgeon seduced and subsequently ghouled Rachelle in short order to serve as his agent. At the time he believed her travelling arrangements with her powerful father back to D.C. would allow her to carry out the tasks he assigned quickly, and that she would subsequently almost certainly end up in the wind, the memory of her time as a ghoul quickly fading behind whatever life might await her elsewhere in the world.
Rachelle, however had other plans, and surprised Jonathan by returning to New Orleans, having fled her father in search of the ‘man’ she ‘loved’ and desired so. In part taking pity, in part delighted by her dedication, and in part out of curiosity the young Tremere took her back in, welcoming the detoxing ghoul back into his arms—and back onto the blood. He found uses for her, ignorant of many of his dealings as she was, as a go-between with other Kindred, as a place holder and name to attach to various properties and legal records, and occasionally as a spy. In truth, he half expected her to perish in the varied roles in which she worked—the life expectancy of ghouls is quite short—but through either fortune or skill she survived those harrowing first months, then years, her value, knowledge, and skill growing all the while to Jonathan.
As years turned to decades Rachelle became more than an incidental ghoul, becoming more and more useful for the Tremere surgeon, a larger and larger part of various plans and plots. His sometimes date, his often-times envoy or companion in meetings. Still in the dark as to the details and secrets of them, but now very intentionally so and serving in a role that allowed her to come and go more freely than Lucille ever could with the deadly secrets and access the grave-digger’s daughter held. Rachelle was the perfect foil, the other half that Lucille could never be for Jonathan.
The two ghouls of course vied for Jonathan’s attentions and affections in a conflict that would span more than a century. Lucille, his oldest and most trusted ghoul, ever at his side but given so little freedom as a result. Plain, painfully shy, uncultured, and isolated. Rachelle, who had once enjoyed his outright affections, who roamed the streets by day and night freely, who was beautiful, and refined, and alluring as only French women could be. The two hated each other, and that hatred only grew over the years as Lucille’s intimate knowledge of the details of Jonathan’s life grew from her place by his side, and Rachelle grew only more refined by what became travels around the world on missions for her domitor. Only the fear of Jonathan’s reaction should they outright harm each other kept them from each other’s throats.
Both were among the few ghouls to make the journey with him to Vienna when he was transferred. Lucille hated Austria—Rachelle delighted in Europe. Her role became all the more useful for Jonathan, especially as travel became easier and faster. He could leave her behind in Vienna to accept messages and make arrangements when out of the city—and frequently did. He could send her to other cities to deliver packages and messages—her linguistic ability (cultivated by her travels in her youth) invaluable. As World War II broke out, Nazism ruled, and Europe came apart she became a more overt spy, and occasionally a killer for Jonathan. She helped him identify and subvert Konrad Sommer for his use during the war. She looked after his childe, Heinrick Roehr, when he was unavailable in those early days of his Embrace and once more held properties and titles in Jonathan’s place.
In the years after the war she became his emissary, his envoy, to others in nearby cities he maintained relations with. Experienced and skilled enough to conduct herself without embarrassing him, kept in the dark as to damaging secrets and used to leak others. This role only grew in importance when Jonathan was invited to become an archon for his grandsire and the frequency of his travels (and dealings in other cities) became an order of magnitude greater. By now well known in his service—and having survived with numerous other ghouls had not—Rachelle’s role became something of that of a herald—if less presumptuously as she arranged and conducted exchanges of all manner of goods, delivered and collected messages or information, and worked to maintain Jonathan’s then growing network of contacts as he grew less available.
In the years since he left the service of his grandsire Rachelle has continued in that role for Jonathan, maintaining contact as needed, if less frequently, as she has been pulled ever closer to him by his loss of Lucille. His oldest and most capable agent, Jonathan has on a number of occasions considered bringing her deeper into his day-to-day operations, only to turn aside at the last moment, reluctant to remove her from the role in which she has been so capable for more than a century.
• 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.