The Anarch Movement

“Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.”
Anaïs Nin
“Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered.”
Cicero, De Officiis
“Rich bastards screwed the country—but did they suffer? No, the little people suffered.”
Nines Rodriguez

The Anarchs of New Orleans are newly radicalized. For years, the covenant were unlikely bedfellows with Vidal: he gave them territory in Mid-City they got to run as a direct democracy (albeit still subject to his laws), with decisions made by popular vote. Older Anarchs like Coco Duquette and Miss Opal encouraged younger ones to “work within the system.” Resentment against the tyrannical prince built for years, though, and gains made by older Anarchs grew increasingly stale.

In 2015, Vidal was accused of concealing the deeds of an elder who’d secretly been feeding upon and blood bonding Anarch neonates. Vidal denied it. The Movement split into two camps: those who said the prince was full of shit, and those who kept their mouths closed (and may or may not have believed him). In 2016, following the final death of the city’s sheriff in the Battle of Mt. Carmel, the Hardline Sanctified’s power took a substantial blow. The Anarchs fought a brief but vicious civil war during the Battle of Mid-City to determine the covenant’s future direction. The creed of “work within the system” is now dead. Anarchs who supported Vidal have either fled the city, recanted that support, or met final death. The significance of this event is hard to overstate: for centuries, Savoy, the Baron, and their followers were the only Kindred who defied the prince. The Anarchs just became the third group to, and they take great pride in this fact. Tonight’s Anarchs are fed up with the status quo and want to radically transform the city—although into what varies by Anarch. The Movement is currently split into two major camps.

The Mamanems, led by Miss Opal, make their home in Mid-City. They are closely allied with the Circle of the Crone, who lent them significant aid against Coco’s Anarchs: this alliance is the principle factor that keeps the Hardline Sanctified from retaking Mid-City. Vodoun and celebration of traditional African-American culture has flourished among the Mamanems, and the sentiment of “mama knowing best” is fairly prevalent: Miss Opal sees herself as the camp’s “big mama” and many of its Nosferatu members are her descendants. They derive their name from “ya mom’n’em,” a mortal New Orleans expression that refers to someone’s family members.

The Firebrands, led by Veronica Alsten-Pirrie, make their home in the French Quarter and are allied with the Bourbon Sanctified. They were the first Anarchs to turn against Vidal in 2015 (the Mamanems waited until 2016) and the camp is stereotyped as consisting more of hotheads and agitators.

The Indeps, finally, constitute a minority of Anarchs who are more or less equally friendly with both camps.

Unlike the Sanctified, the Firebrands and the Mamanems aren’t at war with one another. Both are of the consensus that Vidal must go, and both have struck blows against the prince. Neither wishes to be used solely as pawns and accessories, either, by their Crone and Bourbon allies: the Anarchs are stronger together than they are apart. They have different visions for what the city should look like after Vidal is gone, though, and Veronica and Miss Opal are both thought to desire greater influence over the other’s followers. For now, more subtle maneuverings for power are the order of the night.

Before 2015

The following description applied to the Anarchs before the summer of 2015:

The Anarchs of New Orleans are not the wild, gun-toting hooligans whose stereotype defines the California Free State—or at least, the influential ones aren’t. Prince Vidal remembers the tumultuous nights of the original Anarch Revolt and is extraordinarily harsh in punishing rabble-rousers who would upset the Camarilla’s order. Anarchs who have achieved any measure of status in the Big Easy have learned to work from within the system, side-by-side with the prince, in hopes of effecting change. Indeed, they have actually managed to insert themselves into a few fairly important positions in the city hierarchy. Two of the city’s primogen, Miss Opal and Coco Duquette, consider themselves Anarchs. Between their efforts, they have managed to restrain Prince Vidal from oppressing the local Unbound to quite the same extent that he throws his weight against the Invictus and the Circle of the Crone. (Of course, some argue that his tolerance of the Anarchs is based less on the efforts of these two primogen and more on the fact that the Anarchs simply don’t pose much of a threat.)

Ultimately, the Anarch goals in New Orleans are similar to the covenant’s objectives elsewhere: to establish a Kindred leadership based on more democratic (or at least egalitarian) principles than rule by eldest or by divine right. Neither Duquette nor Miss Opal has any delusions, though. Their positions simply aren’t strong enough to push for any sort of major change. For the time being they perform a balancing act, arguing and maneuvering to restrain the worst of Vidal’s excesses (as they see them), while never opposing him so strongly that he considers them actual enemies.

In the interim, they recruit, speaking often to young Kindred of all the covenants—and other factions besides Vidal’s when they can get away with it. They’ve actually succeeded in bolstering their numbers since Hurricane Katrina, though the overwhelming majority of new recruits comprises neonates, some of whom do not even dwell in New Orleans proper, but in the surrounding parishes and communities. The Anarchs also make a habit of playing intermediary, carrying messages between and working with multiple opposed parties, even hosting the occasional meeting between Vidal’s, Savoy’s and/or Baron Cimitière’s representatives. By doing so, they hope to make themselves useful to all three factions. If they can maintain their position, they prevent any of the primary factions from turning against them, and have already proven themselves a valuable ally should one faction finally gain a true victory over the others.

The Anarch Movement

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