Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
The Malveaux Family
“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”
George Bernard Shaw
The most recognizable, successful, and powerful of New Orleans’ old money families, the Malveaux family tree is more akin to a strangling vine slowly choking the life out of their home city and Louisiana at large. Although only modestly wealthy for much of New Orleans’ history, the oil booms of the early 20th century propelled the family into its current positions of economic and social dominance, and they’ve never once looked back. Efforts by the last several generations of patriarchs have also inserted the family into politics. Success, however, has not tempered their ambition, and their ambition is not benign. Graves and gutters are littered with those that stood in the way of their rise, and the family has spared them nary a glance as they continued onward.
Wealth is the foundation of their power. The exact net worth of the Malveauxes is a closely guarded family secret, but the core branch of the family maintains not only close to complete ownership of Malveaux Oil (Matthew, the board chairman and CEO, boasts the company will go public over his dead body), but also significant real estate holdings and an undisclosed number of stakes in smaller private companies. These are close to evenly spread among the family’s core New Orleans/Baton Rouge branch and the various Gulf Coast offshoots spanning as far west as Texas and as far east as Pensacola. The family is far from cohesive, but nevertheless makes it a point of pride that their name is never dragged through the mud by one of their kin living in poverty, and even the least successful Malveaux cousin can expect some degree of prosperity.
That wealth is cornerstone of the family’s political influence. Collectively, they are likely are the largest individual contributors to political causes within the state. The family owns judges, district attorneys, commissioners, mayors, councilmen, and (allegedly) even the governor. They also count family members among those lofty positions: while Nathaniel Malveaux is the most high-profile on the national stage as the charismatic up-and-coming junior senator for Louisiana, Malveauxes sit in the statehouse and benches across the state, including one State Supreme Court Justice.
Nowhere is their influence felt more strongly than in New Orleans proper. James Malveaux moved the family’s seat to Baton Rouge in 1966 during the height of the Civil Rights movement to better influence the state government, but their home has always been New Orleans. The modern patriarchs have done a great deal to reverse the damage and reestablish their family’s dominance in the Big Easy. Between the heavy hand of Archbishop Orson Malveaux on the city’s social consciences and the ever-present presence of the majority of the Malveaux heirs in the city and at higher social functions, it is almost impossible to avoid them.
“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
The Malveaux family proudly traces its origins in New Orleans all the way to 1738 and a pair of French brothers. One was a priest sent by the church to see to the spiritual well-being of the fledgling colony. The other had an unclear but professedly professional purpose. The ‘city,’ then little more than a fetid backwater with soggy wooden buildings and an abundance of buzzing bloodsucking parasites, took them in readily. By 1740, the younger brother was married to a local. By 1742, they’d established a proper household and a position of authority and influence within the colony. With that influence came the beginnings of wealth, and by 1750 he and his family had ascended to the wealthier (though still modest by the standards of Europe) class of the colony.
Their loyalty to the establishment was nearly the undoing of the family in the 1760s, when the colony was ceded to the Spanish as part of the Treaty of Paris. Both the now ‘elder’ Malveauxes supported the 1768 bloodless rebellion and narrowly avoided execution and imprisonment when the Spanish eventually returned in force to reassert Spanish law and order. Eventually they swore fealty and were forgiven: it was not long before they wormed their way into the new bureaucracy wrapping the city in its glove. The elder of the brothers passed away in 1775, and the younger three years later in 1778. He left behind the beginnings of a dynasty—seven adult children and twelve grandchildren.
That dynasty survived them. Though two sons and a daughter left New Orleans for greener pastures, and another was killed in a duel, Malveaux prosperity continued on into the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, surviving the turnover of power in the Louisiana Purchase without complaint, but with some contempt moderated only by the wisdom of leaving New Orleans relatively untouched. The following years of unchecked growth prompted by turmoil in the Caribbean only further played into Malveaux hands, as they became renters and landlords to immigrant French and other Creoles pouring into the city faster than new construction could be supported. By the time the War of 1812 rolled around, the city had grown from a colonial backwater into a true city actually capable of supporting a distinct upper class.
The Civil War
The Civil War was a boon for the Malveaux family. Though most Malveauxes owned slaves, the foundations of most of their wealth were not intrinsically tied to plantations: They were signs of status and matters of convenience. The early conquest of New Orleans by Union troops put them in an awkward position among many other Southern families, but made clear to them, far ahead of most, just how hopeless the Confederacy’s cause was. Rather than fight the prevailing winds, they instead cooperated with occupying forces to not only preserve but actively grow their own business interests. At the same time they buddied up the Union governor, they quietly extended lines of credit to other regional Southern families in the ‘support of the cause’, arguing with them that they themselves were manipulating the occupying forces. In the latter days of the war, many families drew heavily on these lines of credit simply to survive as the South disintegrated. Their ‘generosity’ set the stage for a century of Malveaux dominance.
As the war came to a close and Reconstruction began, the Malveauxes were already well-regarded by many Yankees for their ‘cooperation’ and ‘hospitality.’ Southerners looked upon them favorably for their ‘support.’ The family took ruthless advantage of their relatively intact position—particularly the savaged positions of their debtors. They squeezed down-on-their-luck dynasties for all they were worth, ruthlessly leveraging their advantage to seize choice properties, demand long term-concessions, and manipulate political institutions.
The Modern Age
In the post-war Era the Malveaux family’s power dramatically expanded alongside their wealth during the early 20th century oil boom in the region. Aided by the vast tracts of land they’d taken possession of in the years after the Civil War, the family aggressively capitalized by buying up every scrap of oil rich land available—often for pennies on the dollar. Much of that development happened under Willard Malveaux, the oldest son of his generation, who ruthlessly cut out his siblings to consolidate an oil empire that made him one of the wealthiest men in the state. The iron fisted tyrant only relinquished his old in the mid 1960s after a more than forty-year run, and even then only to a stroke that left him mostly paralyzed and unable to speak. While the old man limped on another near decade, his son James outmaneuvered his siblings to seize control of the company and by extension, the family.
James Malveaux proved to be cut directly from the cloth of his father—more of a propagated stem than a fresh start. He was a mean-spirited Catholic and misogynist that looked down on everyone from protestants, to the poor, to all ethnic minorities. James used the family’s wealth to carve out a place in politics for the family and was one of Louisiana’s most staunch opponents of racial integration. It was James that moved the family from their New Orleans roots to Baton Rouge to better influence that fight, and James who while he lived never stopped fighting against the ‘ludicrous’ and ‘insulting’ idea that either the ‘negro’ or the Irishmen was the equal of a ‘true’ white man. That superiority didn’t stop James from a number of (alleged) indiscrete ‘relationships’ with women (including those of color) other than his wife—rumors persisted for years that he fathered several out of wedlock children with maids and other servants at the family’s mansion in Baton Rouge. The family has ardently denied such claims, and no evidence to directly support them has ever surfaced.
It was that unreasonable standard for others—and his refusal to change his vocabulary as the times changed—that saw James’ influence increasingly marginalized within the state after the 1960s, as political and social leaders found it increasingly difficult to associate with him directly. Amid that declining influence his sons became pieces on the board for him—tools to be molded and shaped as he became an increasingly isolated figure. That isolation, alongside the abject hatred the young men grew up with for their father—particularly for his abuse of their mother—planted the seeds for a changing of the guard and a new order as they increasingly boxed their father out of the very influence he sought to cultivate through him, working together to undo the most misguided and ill-conceived of his plans until his untimely death in 1991 left them in control of the family’s oil company, and by extension the family.
The Three Kings Era
In the modern era the Malveaux family was internally dominated by three brothers, the sons of James Malveaux: Orson, Matthew, and Nathaniel. Collectively they steered the course of the family for more than two and a half decades. They held the reigns of power, including the ownership stakes in Malveaux Oil, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, and the junior senator position for the state of Louisiana, and collectively made decisions largely in the best interests of the family. Though success and power drive wedges between them, they were united by their hatred for their deceased father and desire for the advancement of the family as a whole, and undid much of the damage his own reign of terror had done with the wayward branches of the family tree.
In 2016, the wheels on that arrangement came off. Already increasingly distant from affairs of the state and family while working and largely living in Washington D.C. the influence of Nathaniel waned to a breaking point following the tragic death of his wife, Claire, who had been handling most affairs within the city in his absence in his name. Around the same time, Matthew Malveaux largely withdrew from public life. Rumors abounded, but the family declined to confirm the reasons behind the CEO’s hasty transfer of power and reclusiveness.
“That the victors write history has never been in dispute. Whatever hopeless dreams doddering old professors might nurture of the narrative of the past, the truth is we know only what they saw fit to record.”
Andre Malveaux (b. 1813, d. 1886) + Babette Malveaux (b. 1812, d. 1839)
Leonide Malveaux (b. 1837, d. 1893) + Iris Malveaux (b. 1840, d. 1893)
Joseph Malveaux (b. 1863, d. 1947) + Rexanna Malveaux (b. 1868, d. 1962)
Willard Malveaux (b. 1896, d. 1971), + Corace Malveaux (b. 1900, d. 1981)
Carter Malveaux (b. 1923, d. 1965) + Myrtle Malveaux (b. 1925, d. 1999)
• 6. Carson Malveaux (b. 1952) + Barbara Malveaux (née Flores) (b. 1955)
• 7. (His children)
• 6. (Their children)
James Malveaux (b. 1926, d. 1991) + Camillia Malveaux (née Lawless) (b. 1929)
• 6. Orson Malveaux (b. 1950)
• 6. Matthew Malveaux (b. 1954) + Vera Malveaux (née Dyer) (b. 1957)
• 7. Adam Malveaux (b. 1985)
• 7. Savannah Malveaux (b. 1987)
• 7. Susan Malveaux (b. 1990)
• 7. Charlotte Malveaux (b. 1992)
• 7. Elaine Malveaux (b. 1994)
• 7. Virginia Malveaux (b. 1996)
• 6. Nathaniel Malveaux (b. 1957) + Abélia Devillers (b. 1956)
• 7. Caroline Malveaux-Devillers (b. 1989)
• 6. Nathaniel Malveaux (b. 1957) +
Claire Malveaux (née Monroe) (b. 1958, d. 2016)
• 7. Luke Malveaux (b. 1991)
Westley Malveaux (b. 1993, d. 2015)
• 7. Gabriel Malveaux (b. 1997)
• 5. Thomas Malveaux (b. 1933) + Mary Malveaux (née Whitney) (b. 1934)
• 6. (Their three children)
• 6. (Other illegitimate children rumored)
Clementine Malveaux (b. 1901, d. 1989)
Andre Malveaux (b. 1813, d. 1886) + Edmée Malveaux (b. 1829, d. 1881)
Édouard Malveaux (b. 1849, d. 1928) + his wife
• 3+. (Their descendants)
Thaddeus ’Teddy’ Malveaux
Monique Malveaux (b. 1855, d. 1893) + Monique’s husband
• 3+. (Their descendants)
Monique Malveaux (b. 1855, d. 1893) + one of Napoléon’s nephews (allegedly)
Their son (allegedly)
• 4+. (Possible descendants)
Benjamin Malveaux (b. 1864, d. 1893)
Vera Dyer (18 yrs old) graduates high school from McGehee.
Orson Malveaux (26 yrs old) is ordained as a priest.
Nathan Malveaux (27 years old) is elected to the Louisiana State Senate.
Nathan Malveaux (30 years old) switches political parties to the GOP and launches a failed bid for governor. He begins his decades-long crusade to flip Louisiana red.
James Malveaux (86 yrs old) dies. The family seat moves back to New Orleans.
Orson Malveaux (51 yrs old) becomes archbishop of New Orleans.
Nathan Malveaux (53 yrs old) flips Louisiana’s legislative chambers red for the first time since Reconstruction. With Republicans in every other statewide office, the GOP takeover of the state is complete.
Adam Malveaux (27 yrs old) is ordained as a priest. Nathan Malveaux (55 yrs old) is elected to national office later that year as the state’s junior senator.
Westley Malveaux (23 years old) drowns in a yachting accident while intoxicated.
Claire Malveaux (58 years old) dies from a fatal combination of mis-prescribed medications.
“I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.”
Tonight the Malveaux Family negotiates a changing of the guard like it has not seen in a century: absent a fall single tyrant the transfer of power to the next generation has been an incremental and opaque thing to outsiders. In Washington D.C. Nathaniel Malveaux’s star waxes even as his influence in New Orleans wanes. In the city itself, Orson Malveaux clings to atrophying power, the largest fish in pond increasingly full of small ones – and increasingly unable to exert his influence upon them. In the shadow of these both of these giants have risen the most ambitious of the next generation to fill the void left by Matthew Malveaux—and growing the voids of both Nathaniel and Orson.
Status: Catholic Church •••••
Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans with tremendous influence within the church, perhaps even above his station. Rumor holds that the archbishop still has a prominent, if unofficial, hand in the family oil company’s operations; certainly, the Malveauxes makes regular and quite sizable donations to the Catholic Church. Less benign rumors hold that the archbishop has his fingers in less savory areas of business and politics as well, including ties to the Mob. Has no children of his own but is heavily involved in the lives of his numerous nieces and nephews, some of whom have also taken up lives of the cloth. Resides in a walled estate in the Garden District with an array of private security guards and servants. Enjoys lavish banquets and has his own staff of private chefs. Extremely controlling and dedicated to the welfare and future of the family, he commonly functions as the family disciplinarian. The most bigoted of the Malveaux brothers, and the closest to their deceased father.
Status: Malveaux Oil •••••
CEO and board chairman of Malveaux Oil and a man of tremendous wealth and means. Rumors abound about his business practices, but nothing has ever been made to stick to the middle Malveaux brother. From Matthew flows the lion’s share of the family’s wealth. Though most of the family members have multi-million dollar trusts that could sustain them in comfort for the rest of their lives before they reach maturity, Matthew provides the vast sums of spending money that the next generation of Malveauxes blow through regularly, and also helped fund his brother Nathan’s congressional bid against other powerful state politicians in the last election. Matthew is a shrewd businessman that has steadily grown the family’s business interests in his time. Known to make a habit of buying an expensive new sports car every year, gifting older models to favorite nieces and nephews: it’s possible to identify who has his favor by who gets the most recent car. Encourages relatively responsible spending by the family as a whole. Matt himself is one of the only two Forbes-listed billionaires to reside in Louisiana, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.
Status: U.S. Senate •••••
Nathan Malveaux is the youngest of the Malveaux brothers and the current junior senator from Louisiana. He’s known as a shrewd politician and crisp, gifted speaker who spent twenty years as a state representative and senator while concurrently serving as the state GOP’s chairman. Flipping the historically blue state red was his driving goal for years, and finally paid off in 2011 when he secured a Republican majority in both chambers (both Democratic since Reconstruction). He spent another year as the biggest fish in a small pond until he all but bullied his way to national office in 2012. His campaign was heavily financed by his family’s immense wealth and is rumored to have benefited significantly from backroom dealings in the state. He has no known vices, although there is a twenty-plus-year story of impropriety during his otherwise tame courtship of his wife. He is close to his niece Charlotte Malveaux, who also lives in D.C., but is distant from his own children thanks to his embroilment in national politics. He ran for president in the 2016 GOP primary and dropped out after New Hampshire, but most suspect he is biding his time for another run. He’s also a well-known jazz lover and frequents any concerts available in D.C., but laments his absence from New Orleans.
" If you want a seat at the table, you’ll need to bring your own chair."
Malveaux scions are influential family members who lack the primacy of being James Malveaux’s sons. Although less influential than those patriarchs, the scions nonetheless wield substantial power both within and without the family. Included are the wives of the brothers, the most independently prominent cousins, and those cousins who simply have close proximity to the brothers proper. More cynical observers might argue these individuals can be counted above their peers for another reason: their usefulness to the brothers three.
Sphere: High Society
The picture of a trophy wife, Claire is a beautiful if aging woman who is socially witty and publicly loyal to her powerful husband, Senator Nathan Malveaux. Her own family was wealthy, but nouveau riche, and it is whispered she married far above her station—though only behind her back. Claire lives in Baton Rouge, but regularly travels between Washington and New Orleans, attending to her husband and children respectively. Very protective of her children, and combines high expectations for them with excuses for their every mistake to others. She died prematurely in 2016 from a fatal combination of improperly prescribed medications.
Sphere: High Society
86-year-old matron of the Malveaux family, Camillia rarely makes it out of the family mansion in Baton Rouge these days, or even out of the house after three hip surgeries in the last decade. Mother to the Malveaux brothers, she married into the family from a very stiff, formal, old family. Very firm traditional views on etiquette and social position, and in particularly hateful of yuppies and those that fail to show the proper respect to their elders. Occasionally chases servants around the family manor with a broom from a wheelchair when they aren’t respectful or diligent enough. A powerful figure in the family until the last decade, she’s now a shadow of what she once was—the schemer behind the scenes for the family that offered guidance to her sons and shelter from her domineering and abusive husband. Still, despite her deteriorating mental condition and increasing physical frailness, many secrets may yet be locked within her aging mind. Lives with and is close to Gabriel Malveaux, who carves out time to spend with her despite his many other obligations, but largely avoided by the rest of the family, especially her sons who remember the steadfast woman made of iron that she was, not the broken shell has limped into the modern era that refuses to let her die a dignified death.
Status: Orleans Parish Criminal Court ••••
A cousin to the three Malveaux brothers, Carson is far enough removed to be merely wealthy. A Citadel graduate, he ‘fought’ in Vietnam near the end of the war and left the army as a major (prompting many subsequent jokes that he’s a ‘major’ pain in the ass). Stern, disciplined, and uncompromising, he’s developed a reputation as a killer judge as the chief justice of the Orleans Parish District Court with little sympathy in his sentencing and a great deal of influence over other judges on the bench. In meticulous shape, as he continues to run four miles every morning. Frequent adviser to the Malveaux brothers, as he grew up with them in Baton Rouge and they were childhood friends despite their diverging paths. Despised their father, especially after his military service. Known to carry a Colt .45 on him to this day.
Sphere: High Society
The Dyer family was old money in the state of Louisiana even before their oldest daughter married Mathew Malveaux, now CEO of the family’s multi-billion dollar oil company. Today Vera is an icon of high society and well-known patron of the arts who spends lavishly on herself and her five daughters. Less well-known is her dependency on opiate painkillers since the attack she suffered a decade ago (wrongfully believed to have been at Hippolyte “Big Mon” Broussard’s hands) that left her face scarred. She allegedly needs painkillers because of a severed nerve. The prolific mother of six children, five of them girls, her husband has never forgiven her for not giving him a second son. She in turn has never forgiven him for Adam’s entry into the clergy. She rarely speaks to her son these days and has drifted away from her faith. Her relations with her brother-in-law Orson remain extremely cold.
Status: Louisiana Supreme Court ••••• •
Thomas is the chief justice for the Supreme Court of Louisiana, having sat on that distinguished body for more than two decades. He is also one of the eldest and most respected members of the Malveaux family, among whom he serves as an unofficial historian and chronicler of their many scions’ accomplishments, connections, and resources. He’s often a point of contact between the New Orleans Malveauxes and their more distant cousins along the Gulf Coast. He retains a sharp mind despite his growing age and physical frailty, as well as a flirtatious sense of humor. He was quite the lady’s man in his youth, and though he has three legitimate children by his wife Mary, he’s rumored to have fathered a number of illegitimate offspring with assorted mistresses.
“Some maladies are rich and precious and only to be acquired by the right of inheritance or purchased with gold.”
The future of the family, the Malveaux heirs are the children of Matthew and Nathaniel who are set to inherit the bulk of the family’s fortune and power as soon as they can shake out who will fall where in the primacy of power. Most are in their late teens to mid-twenties, just coming into their own, and some of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in New Orleans. They are not just sought by suitors as potential marriage partners, however, but also by business interests as potential investors and points of contact with their older relatives.
Nephew of Orson Malveaux and son of Matthew Malveaux being groomed to succeed his uncle as archbishop.
Status: Malveaux Oil •••
The oldest daughter of Matthew Malveaux, Savannah is a successful Stanford graduate looking to break the traditionally male-dominated family’s glass ceiling by succeeding her father as CEO and board chairperson of the family oil business. Savannah publicly eschews being a feminist, but privately sees no reason why she should not be viewed as the heir apparent to the company. While her cousin Luke is a charming face good at drumming up capital, Savannah is quite the opposite. Cold, severe, and utterly professional, Savannah has succeeded because she has a nose for the oil business. She can almost smell promising fields, and understands the particularities of the field work like few dedicated rig techs ever do. She is currently additional offshore options and working closely with her uncle Nathaniel to get additional fields opened up in the Gulf of Mexico. She has a long-term personal assistant, Emilia Rosa, with whom she is very close.
Beautiful and well-regarded up and coming young woman and former rival to Caroline Malveaux-Devillers who shocked the social scene in New Orleans when she declined her admission to Yale and quietly announced she was joining a local convent just days before she was to start her Freshman year of college. Rumors swirled that her actions were prompted by some exterior motive for a time, but faded as she did from social consciousness. She has been little seen or heard from since, falling off the social radar and away from memory of most, even among her family. Most outside the family now barely remember her as one of Matthew Malveaux’s middle daughters, and even among them few contact her these days, leaving her to her secluded life away from the troubles, responsibilities, and expectations of the modern world.
Status: Conservatives for Energy Awareness ••
Graduate of Penn State who majored in political science now living in Washington D.C. and working with the Conservatives for Energy Awareness, a non-profit that works to educate people, especially college students, on the natural resources available within the United States to reduce dependence on foreign oil and create jobs. Former congressional intern to Senator Joseph H. Kelly, Charlotte is charming, outgoing, and socially active in DC, attending most of the major party events (often with a ticket courtesy of her uncle Nathaniel) and doing the social rounds at local charity events. Positive relationships with her uncle Matthew, with Senator Kelly, and with many other political figures in Washington. Draws heavily on the Malveaux wealth for the nonprofit. High school and collegiate athlete who was on the 2013 and 2014 National Championship winning Division I volleyball teams at Penn State. Attractive without being truly beautiful like both of her older sisters, she makes up for it with athleticism and height—standing close to 6’0".
Sphere: High Society
Currently attending Stanford (following in the footsteps of her sister Savannah) and slated for graduation in 2016, Elaine has lived a privileged life, even among the Malveauxes. She’s embraced her role as a socialite and heiress to an even greater degree than her siblings and cousins, sliding easily from social function to social function, showing the flag as it were as a Malveaux and retreating to her private interests without attracting scandal. Young, beautiful, manipulative, and social, she loves to be the center of attention, and maintains a large circle of friends and contacts. It’s a rare night that she isn’t out on the town, or at some party. She isn’t really sure what she wants to do after she graduates, though she typically defaults to vague answers about communications or media relations when pressed on the topic by her family. Arguably the most attractive of the Malveaux heiresses, if the most dainty, she’s considered quite a catch and has been aggressively pursued in the past when in New Orleans. She plays her suitors just as often, juggling three or four at a time.
A math prodigy off at MIT on a full academic scholarship, Virginia struggled with her family’s social expectations in her youth and is exceptionally shy and reserved for a Malveaux. Although spoiled by her father as the baby in the family, she doesn’t have a taste for it and prefers to live practically (she begged him out of a sports car for her 18th birthday). Her closest family contact is Gabriel Malveaux, with whom she shares a comparatively gentle nature. She plays the violin quite beautifully, saying it speaks to her, although she rarely does so before audiences, and prefers to use music as a means of calming her thoughts when alone. She is uninterested in publicity and somewhat frustrated by her status, both in the family and at large. She was all-too grateful to get away from her immediate family in New Orleans, as her relationship with her mother was always strained (Vera never seeming to understand her).
The eldest daughter of Nathaniel Malveaux with Abélia Devillers, Caroline is the only one of Nathan’s children not born to Claire. She is talented, driven, even domineering in her social climbing and social engineering: her father’s daughter to the core. Despite her gender in the male-dominated family and despite her status as the odd child out, those who knew her even as a teenager whispered unashamedly she was her father’s heir apparent. Her star rose without pause, without blemish.
That came to an end in late 2015 when Caroline was disowned by the Malveaux family after her relationship with a young artist was brought to their attention, following an undisclosed scandal during Southern Decadence. Unlike her cousin Susan, it seems to have done little to dissuade or derail her. She recently passed the Louisiana Bar Exam after completing law school at Tulane, where she had previously earned her undergraduate degree. Whispers have also tied her to Monument Law, and though cut off from her father’s resources, the Devillers name carries weight of its own…
Status: Malveaux Oil •••
The oldest of Caroline Malveaux-Devillers’ siblings (though junior to her), Luke is an Ivy League graduate with an eye towards business who is already sunk hip-deep in the family’s oil company. Tall, handsome, and well-spoken, Luke fully looks the part of the well-groomed and well-bred heir to the family fortune. He has a knack for drumming up foreign capital that has put him in contention with his cousin Savannah as next in line for the family business. He’s particularly close to several Saudi princes, having roomed with one in college, and has heavily drawn upon them to raise his profile within the company and in his uncle’s eyes. Matthew is intrigued, but the connection also makes him nervous at the prospect of a foreign takeover should Luke gain power. Oil has long been the foundation for the Malveaux fortune, and introducing foreign elements to it is… unsettling.
Sphere: High Society
The oldest daughter of the Devillers family (and half-sister to Caroline Malveaux-Devillers), Cécilia is everything one would expect of such a well-bred scion. Her beauty, Ivy League education, social graces, and gentle character combine to make her a choice prize for the city’s wealthy young heirs. Rumors linked her to Luke Malveaux for a while, though she demurred when asked about it, insisting in charming French fashion that “youth is a time for love and lust, not romance.” The two made a splash announcing their engagement in late 2015 several months after his brother Westley’s death.
Sphere: High Society
The black sheep of the Malveaux family, Westley has a storied tabloid history that only his father Nathan’s Malveaux influence has kept from spreading beyond the state. He was publicly painted as a redeemed young man during Nathan’s 2012 Senate campaign, but rumors still swirl around him in private circles. In truth, Westley is an addict, and will likely always be an addict. He’s experimented with every drug from ecstasy to heroin, forgoing only crack and preferring cocaine. These days his “acceptable” drug of choice is alcohol. Though he remains coherent at social functions, his family’s handlers are never far. Deceased following an intoxicated yachting accident that resulted in his drowning.
The youngest of Nathan’s children, Gabriel is a bright, athletically gifted, and scandal-free high school senior whose youth has sheltered him from the Malveaux family’s worst excesses. Several schools are pursuing him and he wants to go into volunteer or non-profit work. Those who know the Malveauxes, though, suspect his path was laid out shortly after his birth. His father sees a future for him politics, while Orson eyes the possibility of another man of the cloth. Gabriel remains seemingly oblivious as to this fact and has been dating the same sweet and well-behaved middle-class girl since freshman year. He truly seems to believe they have a future together.
“My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the “boss” is away, as well as when he is home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks will be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town, and village—in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such; he is needed, and needed badly—the man who can carry a message to Garcia."
Outside of their proper business interests, including Malveaux Oil and their array of subsidiaries, the Malveaux family employs an array of individuals both officially and unofficially to see to their various needs. These include personal assistants, bodyguards, investigators, drivers, media contacts, and health care providers. Most are loyal to their patrons: those that are not know better than to betray them… or at least purport to.
The long-time driver for Orson Malveaux, Alphonse is not exactly Vatican-issued. If one were to dig deeply into his past they’d find a youth of indiscretion, violence, and blood, including arrests for battery, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder. Most of the crimes didn’t stick despite their brutal details: evidence had a habit of getting lost. The archbishop of course would tell you such is the power of God, that He can save such men from themselves. Wise outsiders should question how much of that past has been left behind. In truth, mild-mannered Alphonse is as cold-blooded as they come. The point of contact for his boss’ more unsavory contacts, he is the link between the archbishop and all manner of unpleasant individuals—and also his employer’s shield. The .44 magnum he keeps in the glove box is not just for show. A thin man with thinner hair, few ever see him coming.
Family: The Gallaghers
Status: U.S. Senate ••••
The chief of staff for Senator Nathaniel Malveaux, Caleb is an old breed of Southern snake, a cottonmouth with a terrible temper and a vicious bite. While Malveaux is charming, Caleb is terrifying, the stick to his boss’ carrot. He’s a mean old man who walks with a cane and has strict Southern values that include closeted (and sometimes less than closeted) bigotry. Caleb has been with Nathaniel for more than twenty years, and before that served his uncle, Senator Carter Malveaux, in a similar capacity prior to the senator’s untimely death in a plane crash. He likely knows more about where the bodies are buried in Louisiana politics than any man still alive. He prefers to communicate face-to-face, and hates email and text conversations, which he considers impersonal and rude. He rarely even uses the phone, and considers it a favor when he does.
Status: NOPD ••
A former marine who served in Iraq alongside Ben Chandler, Drew returned home to New Orleans after he finished his commitment with the Corps and became a cop. Recruited by Ben Chandler and paid a stipend by the Malveauxes to work for them on the side, part-time but on demand, using both his military training, combat experience, and (importantly) badge and police powers to great effect. Though the family has many more highly-placed police on the payroll, Roger Ferris has found that having a cop show up and flash a badge is particularly useful when he needs to handle simple problems. Drew was called in as a first responder by Roger when Westley Malveaux had his “accident” and helped keep him from getting arrested that night, a move which justified every penny they’ve spent on him both before and since. Family man married with three small children at home to his high school sweetheart (despite several instances of disclosed infidelity on both their parts during his time in Iraq) who sees nothing wrong with earning a bit (or more than) of money on the side, and treats the emergency calls that pull him away no differently than he did duty as a marine, though he rarely works more than five hours a week for the Malveauxes, and can often arrange to do it while he’s on patrol.
Status: Malveaux Oil ••
An anchor baby for her impoverished Mexican parents, Emilia has risen far in the world behind good looks, intellect, and force of personality. Personal assistant (and some whisper more—though they do so quietly indeed) to Savannah Malveaux, Emilia is the eminently charming public face that is put forward in in place of the antisocial Malveaux heir. In fact, Emilia attends most of the meetings on behalf of her boss, standing in her place and reporting back to her. Another Stanford grad, she’s followed Savannah’s course since they attended business school together, and has significant influence on her decision making. For his part Matthew Malveaux tolerates Emilia only in so far as she shields his daughter from scrutiny. He looks down on her humble origins, and the backroom whispers as to the nature of her relationship with his daughter may soon see her banished from the company if they reach him. Though she speaks without an accent, having grown up in the United States, there’s a distinctly spicy tint to her sultry voice, a slight hint of rolled R’s.
Status: Ware & Lebowski •••
Attorney with Ware and Lebowski, Franz and his family immigrated from Germany when he was eight, settling in Pittsburgh. Attended Duke Law in 1978 and graduated with honors, but despite a talented legal mind, Franz’ noticeable accent and stutter rendered him utterly incapable as a trial lawyer. Eventually he signed on Ware and Lebowski, a large firm that services an array of corporate clients in need of outside council, drafting contracts, settlements, and the like. He spent time in San Diego, New York, and Chicago before landing in New Orleans, where he handles a great many contractual matters for Malveaux Oil, and has been on a standing retainer for the family as a whole as well for more than ten years. Franz deals primarily with contracts, including non-competes, non-disclosures, and other employment agreements, while also helping negotiate larger contracts for his clients with service providers such as insurance companies. Franz is a short, meticulous, and boring man who prefers to correspond in writing and hates meeting clients. Reform Jewish in his personal life.
Jackson Kibbe is loyal to three things: publicity, a juicy story, and the Malveaux family. Their designated hitman in Louisiana media, he’s risen to the lofty position of editor for the Times-Picayune mostly through nepotism, but also maintains a ‘news blog’ on the side not directly linked to him, where he’s published many of his most sensitive stories he can’t get into the paper under the name ‘Axis’. Directly responsible for leaking everything from damaging internal memos belonging to environmental groups, to graphic photos of democratic politicians engaged in unsavory actions, to stolen medical records belonging to 17-year-old girls like Hillary Cherry. An incurable gossip and flirt, his cruelty was on full display when he posted not only Hillary’s medical records, but photos of her, pale as a sheet with a tear streaked face, as she was loaded into the ambulance following her suicide attempt.
Status: Independent nurse contractor ••
The principle caretaker for Camillia Malveaux, Jordan is a live-in LPN (licensed practical nurse) and physical therapist who also theoretically serves as a ‘caretaker’ for Gabriel Malveaux during the frequent absences of the young man’s parents. Jordan was brought in almost ten years ago after Camillia was released from the hospital with her first hip fracture, and help the Malveaux matriarch with her physical therapy and recovery. Small but stoutly built, and originally from Texas (he remains a die-hard fan of the Dallas Cowboys) Jordan spends much of his free time as a gym rat, and on the rare occasions when he’s able to get time off, he competes in amateur bodybuilding competitions. Camillia initially hit off with him poorly, but she’s since grown fond of his plainspoken and genuine demeanor—and only has so many people to talk to now that most of the Baton Rouge Malveauxes have left the family home. Today Jordan is one of the few individuals who can talk her down from beating the maids or screaming at the family chef, and she’s invariably cantankerous with stand-in caretakers on the rare days when her preferred one isn’t present. Jordan, for his part, has grown fond of Camillia now that he’s come to understand who she is and what she has endured and accomplished over her long life. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s very well-compensated for his job, though he’s mildly and increasingly concerned as to what he’s going to do when the old woman passes away. He is also relatively friendly with Gabriel Malveaux, who he occasionally works out with and otherwise leaves to his own devices.
Sphere: High Society
Personal assistant to Vera Malveaux, helping maintain her social calendar, makes reservations, runs errands, and generally sees to all the needs of the scarred matron. Vera is rarely seen out at public events without Katherine at least somewhere nearby. For her part, Katherine is increasingly frustrated with the ever-growing needs of her employer and her very limited time off, but is reluctant to give up what is an influential job with excellent pay and many fringe benefits. Replaced her predecessor (who quit in spectacular fashion after a nervous breakdown, the third such failure in the last ten years) approximately two years, and has a finally gotten a good feel for what her boss wants. Works long hours, waking up in the morning and typically meeting Vera (Mrs. Malveaux) with her coffee when the woman awakes and departing only late into the evening when she has been settled into her home or hotel for the night. As a result Katherine’s own social calendar is extremely limited, typically limited to her (typical) half-day on Sundays.
6’6" Jamaican-born bodyguard from the worst slums of Kingston, Mr. Taylor escaped to the United States when he was seventeen. Eager to make something of himself, he instead found that with no education, a thick accent, and limited language skills, New Orleans was far from from the land of opportunity he had hoped. The ruthlessness he brought from his rough upbringing still allowed him to find work as bouncer, while a developing sense of professionalism—and iron determination to make something of himself—allowed him to work his way up to being a private investigator, a bodyguard, and finally one of the region’s most sought-after ones. Mr. Taylor prides himself on that professionalism, dressing in immaculate suits and speaking only when required, and never out of turn. He is quietly taking online courses and attending night classes for his MBA. For the last five years he’s been in the employ of Matthew Malveaux, and is one of few privy to many of the man’s secrets by necessity.
Status: Blackwatch ••
Amanda fled a sexually abusive father after her mother’s death and enlisted in the marines when she was 17 years old, just in time for the Iraq War. Angry, hurt, and wanting to lash out she was infuriated by her exclusion from combat roles, particularly as many of her friends and comrades came back maimed or dead. Left the service after four years and found the private sector more accepting of her desires. Her commander called her suicidal. Her squad-mates called her crazy. She didn’t really care. When the last Blackwatch merc was pulled out of Iraq it was the saddest day of her life. Amanda was a fiery and fearless young woman who was always spoiling for a fight, even with men twice her size. Perhaps especially with them. Her commander threatened to have her thrown out of Blackwatch if she put any more of his men in the hospital. She was eager to deploy elsewhere, and readily took up employment with Caroline Malveaux-Devillers in 2015. She lost her life mere weeks later.
The right hand of Roger Ferris, Ben knew his boss long before either of them entered the Malveaux family’s service as private security agents. An ex-Marine who’s a massive slab of a man at 6’8" and nearly 300 lbs, Ben is the blunt end of the stick used when his employers’ efforts require direct action. Though far from a dunce, Ben is used mostly for his intimidating presence and physical skills. Truly enjoys his job and his boss, both for his professionalism and the opportunity it has given him. Diehard fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and often wears a ball cap for the school. This earns him a great deal of “love” in New Orleans, though few people have the guts to say anything to the titan of a man. He left the Malveauxes’ employment in 2016 with Roger Ferris to work for Sebastian Ortega.
Brett Goodman is ostensibly a “profiler” and “investigator" for the Malveaux family. In actuality, he’s a conman, spy, and expert at breaking and entering who uses his talents to infiltrate groups and buildings on behalf of his patrons. He’s also a consummate womanizer who loves nothing more than to sleep with a pretty girl and brag about it to anyone who’ll listen. He left the Malveauxes’ employment in 2016 with Roger Ferris to work for Sebastian Ortega.
A high school and college beauty pageant winner (as well as former Miss Louisiana), Kayla grew up wanting to be a cop after her father’s murder when she was nine years old. Upon joining the force, she was assigned to VICE as bait in prostitution stings. Years of such work and sexual harassment from co-workers left her feeling dirty and cheap. Roger Ferris offered her a better paycheck working for the Malveaux family and Kayla happily jumped ship to the private sector. She still serves as a honeypot who draws in men with access to information her boss finds of interest, but appreciates that he doesn’t treat her like a bimbo. Also works occasionally as a discrete bodyguard, as she’s often underestimated for her looks. She left the Malveauxes’ employment in 2016 with Roger Ferris to work for Sebastian Ortega.
Former white hat now black hatted hacker from a prominent New Orleans family, Margaret dropped out of MIT in her senior year (at age 20 after graduating high school a year early) to get under the skin of her controlling, prim, and proper family when they reacted badly to her coming out and was subsequently cut off from her family resources, thrown on the street, and forced into menial work just to eat in an effort to ‘punish’, ‘break’ her of her poor attitude, and return her to the conservative, traditional, and meek girl she was as a young teen. Eventually started violating her own principles, turning to more black hat work for money in her desperation. Those desperate (and in many ways reckless) actions led to an investigation by the authorities and her arrest. Enter Roger Ferris, always on the lookout for new talent, who offered her a deal she couldn’t turn down: a job, shelter from her family, and a way out of her legal troubles. Down the rabbit hole she went. In the two years since she’s tumbled deeply down the moral abyss that surrounds the former CIA Station Chief. Her six months working retail and food service deeply affected the otherwise sheltered girl, and she deeply appreciates the opportunity Roger gave to a girl with no degree or on the books certifications. For his part, he deeply appreciates the advantage of having a nearly completely off the books hacker (her arrest record was wiped). Heavily tattooed, with brightly colored hair and many piercings that frequents the party scene but is still socially awkward within it. Rape survivor that rarely talks about it, even to those closest to her.
A former CIA case officer turned station chief who spent more than a decade in the Middle East, Roger quit the agency after he lost two fingers and was brutally tortured following a fouled op in Jordan. Today, Roger is in charge of the Malveaux family’s physical security and protection while quietly overseeing many of the more unsavory activities that advance the family’s agenda. He supervises more than a dozen operatives and is deeply involved in both the Malveaux political and industrial machine, though he’s officially separate from both. No one who’s dismissed him as an overpaid thug hasn’t regretted it later. Roger is a frighteningly devious and manipulative bastard with a tested IQ of 142 who never stops scheming how to advance his patrons’ fortunes, and is utterly without scruples. He was the principal architect of the Cherry family’s woes during the 2012 Senate election, among many dark deeds. He left the Malveauxes’ employ in 2016 to work for Sebastian Ortega, a reclusive Chilean political magnate said to be even more amoral than his former employers.
As with all powerful families many rumors, both new and old, swirl around the Malveaux family at various levels of society. The veracity of many is questionable at best, but some may have more truth to them than others. Surely a family as old and powerful as the Malveauxes have plenty of skeletons hidden in their closets. Some of the more persistent whisperings include:
• Caroline Malveaux-Devillers is the slut of Tulane University (recent)
• Carson Malveaux was actually special forces during Vietnam, and carried out all manner of unthinkable acts towards the end of the war.
• Charlotte Malveaux is dating Charles Kelly, the grandson of Joseph. H. Kelly, in an arranged relationship.
• James Malveaux was murdered by his own sons so they could seize control the family.
• Malveaux Oil was behind the Deepwater Horizon disaster to chase Endron out of the Gulf.
• Matthew Malveaux has carried on an affair with his assistant for a decade.
• Nathaniel and Claire Malveaux are swingers.
• One of the Malveaux daughters in the 19th century carried on an affair with Napoleon’s nephew, and even gave birth to a son as a result.
• Orson Malveaux is a pedophile with a taste for young boys.
• Savannah Malveaux is a closeted lesbian in a relationship with her assistant Emilia Rosa.
• Susan Malveaux is quite ill, suffering from some horrible disease, and was stashed away from the public eye in a convent to keep it quiet.
• Susan Malveaux had an abortion in high school, that’s why she was forced to join a convent by her family.
• Susan Malveaux is actually illegitimate, the product of an affair or rape by her mother.
• The Malveaux family maintains a secret vault of silver and gold, left over from the era of Spanish rule.
• The Malveaux family stole the medical records of Hillary Cherry and leaked them.
• Thomas Malveaux has all number of illegitimate children, and now grandchildren, from his youth.
• Vera Malveaux is addicted to painkillers.
• Westley Malveaux is HIV positive after contracting it from one of the many prostitutes he used to frequent, and it’s one of many reasons he is no longer socially active.