Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
“Dumuzi! Gilgamesh! Zeus! Jupiter!
We are every great man, every perfect man.
We rule, not by strength, but by right.”
—Ventrue’s words to his childer
Expanded from original material by Brian O., Ventrue Coordinator for One World by Night.
Ventrue put great stock in ancestry. Of all the Kindred, they are the sole clan who can (almost) uniformly trace their lineage from the lowliest thirteenth generation fledgling all the way back to Caine himself. Those few Ventrue ignorant of their genealogy are ostracized by the clan and considered little better than Caitiff. Woe to such blue bloods who seek to falsify another clanmate’s ancestry as their own, however, for Ventrue receive relentlessly comprehensive educations in matters genealogical during their agoge and can recite the names, deeds, and relevant dates of their ancestors by heart. While most Ventrue do not keep their lineages secret, dates and other obscure historical facts are rarely shared outside the immediate family. Even beyond its use in ferreting out impostors and infiltrators, family members believed lost can verify their identities by providing little-known details such as the location, time, and full date of their great-great-grandsire’s Embrace.
Ventrue cultures holds childer accountable for the deeds of their ancestors, but they ascribe the greatest significance of all to the fourth generation progenitor who lies at the root of each clan member’s family tree (after the clan founder himself, of course). This goes beyond “so-and-so’s brood always turns out bad” and other such simple stereotyping; many Ventrue genuinely believe that mystical forces in the Blood pass on mental qualities from sire to childe. These traits can be beneficial and negative, though most Ventrue downplay the latter where their own lineage is concerned.
While few Kindred outside the Clan of Kings have thoroughly investigated the veracity of this belief, few would dispute that sires are often driven to Embrace childer with similar personalities to themselves. Whether the phenomenon is mystical, sociological, or both, no Ventrue can deny the weight of their ancestors’ legacies.
V20 Dark Ages Companion Writes: Ventrue exalt in the glory of their lineage. A Ventrue in a Toreador city may bore the prince with recitations of ancestry, but that same blue blood in a Ventrue city will be expected to recount not only the names of her forebears, but their achievements and misdeeds. Woe betide the clanmate who misremembers.
In truth, there is little to do but take many Ventrue proclamations of lineage at face value. When summoning a vampire of the twelfth generation to recite her great-great-great-grandsire’s domain name and deeds, it is more a test of the Cainite’s ability to tell a convincing tale than a memory exam… unless, of course, her audience is acquainted with any of the ancestors she names. Presentation becomes far more of a factor when naming notable Ventrue. If a blue blood claims their sire as “Francis Stephens, murdered by Lupines one night following my Embrace,” few Ventrue would shift in their seats. If instead she names an ancestor such as “Hardestadt, Founder of the Camarilla,” the claim will draw questions, interest, and where the declarations are believed, approval and hospitality. Even rogues are acclaimed, if their legends are known.
No ancestor is as important in the Ventrue lineage as the fourth generation methuselah. Each of the fourth generations’ lines habitually manifest certain traits, fuelling claims they possess blood more potent than other clans. Scholars of the vitae postulate each methuselah spawns a new bloodline, but learned Ventrue refute such speculation. Ventrue vitae is pure and never spawns a bastard line,” they say, “but the Ventrue progenitors’ minds are strong, and leave impressions on all but the thinnest of blood.”
Members of this lineage have reputations as master politicians and revel in the fame and accolades that they achieve. These Ventrue are credited with many of Imperial Rome’s glories and are hailed as bold visionaries with a natural flair for intrigue and leadership. Detractors, however, describe these blue bloods as two-faced, manipulative, and more concerned with their own glory than that of whatever cause they profess to champion.
Bold, Innovative, Subtle
Duplicitous, Manipulative, Selfish
• Camilla: Leader of the Roman Camarilla for much of its history. Laid the basis for the clan’s modern hierarchy.
• Frederick Barbarossa: Apocryphal childe of Julia Antasia. One of the Holy Roman Empire’s greatest rulers.
• Julia Antasia: Prince of Frankfurt during the Middle Ages. Backed Barbarossa’s rise to power.
• Julius Senex: Founder of the Roman Camarilla, an unprecedented innovation for its time.
• Konrad von Babenberg: Primogen of Vienna. Patriarch of those Ventrue associated with the Habsburgs.
• Marcus Vitel: Prince of Washington D.C. Wrested the city from Tremere control following the MLK riots.
• Valerianus: Forged the Ventrue-Tremere alliance that brought the Warlocks into the Camarilla.
Tinians in New Orleans
Several members of this line have achieved fame solely through display of immense personal power. These Ventrue are decisive, relentlessly driven, and prefer dealing with matters personally rather than delegating tasks to subordinates. Although sometimes regarded as cruel, corrupt, or inhumane, these same blue bloods are just as often considered tragic figures, quickly overcome by bad situations or a string of bad decisions.
Decisive, Domineering, Fearless
Corrupt, Cruel, Hasty
• Augusto Vidal: Prince of New Orleans and centuries-serving archon. Claimant of one of the longest praxes in North America.
• Jadviga Almanov: Instrumental in the Giovannini coup of the Cappadocians.
• Lucinde: Current Ventrue justicar, renowned hunter of Anathema.
• Madame Hoteph: Strategos of Egypt and retired Ventrue justicar. Crushed the Anarch uprisings of the 1960s.
• Severus: Retired Ventrue justicar. Held the Camarilla fast in the Thirty Years’ War.
• Urcalida: Former prince of Madrid. Strongest opposition to Lasombra dominion of Spain for a millennium.
Tiamatians in New Orleans
Like Tinia’s scions, members of this lineage have reputations as master politicians and natural leaders, but they rarely seek fame or glory for themselves. Instead, these Ventrue prefer to quietly build legacies and reputations that will outlast all others. Members of this line are often skilled negotiators and can put aside personal differences to build relationships on common interests. These Ventrue would meet final death before sullying their reputations or the legacies of their ancestors. However, that same dedication can also drive them to be notoriously stubborn and bullheaded, willing to take even the most extreme actions to avoid bringing dishonor upon their line.
Honorable, Objective, Selfless
Inflexible, Proud, Stubborn
• Democritus: First Ventrue justicar. Founder and current Consul-General of the Assembly of Colors.
• Livia di Ravenna: Former prince of Ravenna for close to a thousand years.
• Lysander of Sparta: Crushed the Athenians in the Peloponnesian War. Close advisor and confidante to Camilla.
• Natacha Dimitriva Radocara: Former archon, primogen of St. Petersburg, and Matriarch of the Sorority of Amastris.
• Purissimma Geiss: Defeated the Giovannini bid for further power over Swiss banks during the ‘07-’08 financial crisis.
Orthians in New Orleans
• Becky Lynne Adler
• Gabriel Hurst
• John Harley Matheson
Members of this lineage are renowned for their dedication, tenacity, and willingness to go any length to achieve their goals. These Ventrue can be as passionate about their beliefs as any Brujah and have domineering personalities and effortless confidence that others cannot deny. Detractors, however, describe this as overconfidence, and point to the tendency of these blue bloods to deal with their own matters and concerns before addressing those of others—sometimes disastrously too late.
Confident, Dedicated, Passionate, Tenacious
Arrogant, Heedless, Thoughtless
• Baylor: Retired justicar. Crushed the Southern Lords in the Civil War.
• Evarchus: Former prince of Corinth. First Ventrue to build a financial empire in the ancient world.
• Gaius Fabricius: Founder of one of Clan Ventrue’s largest bloodlines and relentless foe to the despicable Demetrius.
• Lodin: Prince of Chicago. Wrested control of the Windy City from Clan Brujah.
• Mary Anne Blair: Former justicar. Perished bravely in defense of the Camarilla.
• Michaela: De facto prince of New York City. Established Invictus dominance in Wall Street.
• Mustafa bin Bayezid bin Mehmed bin Murad: Sultan (prince) of Istanbul for half a millennium.
Medonites in New Orleans
• Pierpont McGinn
• Reynaldo Gui
Shrouded in mystery and renowned for their power—both personal and political—members of this lineage, like the Medonites, are known for being extremely dedicated to the causes in which they believe. This dedication takes the form of a quiet sort of intensity, however, and these Ventrue are noted for being very diplomatic in their dealings with others. However, these dealings are often conducted from an arm’s length, and Veddharta’s scions are slow to trust others and quick to keep their own council. This often leads other Kindred to view these members of this line with suspicion, believing them to harbor secrets.
Diplomatic, Relentless, Subtle
Cold, Distant, Mistrustful, Secretive
• Anne Bowesley: Queen (prince) of London, de facto since WWII, de jure since 2000.
• Anushin-Rawan: Strategos of the Balkans. Owner of Yiaros, what may well be the world’s most prominent Elysium.
• Bindusara: Primogen of Alexandria and Clan Ventrue’s most prominent historian. Seeks to compile a genealogy of the entire Kindred race.
• Countess Saviarre: Propped up Alexander’s failing reign in Paris during the Middle Ages.
• Vannevar Thomas: prince of San Francisco.
• Valerius: Former Seneschal of London. De facto prince through most of the 19th century.
Veddhartites in New Orleans
• Rosa Bale
Members of this lineage are capable of making difficult decisions and succeeding where others fail or lack the will to try. These Ventrue tend to be very social individuals, enjoying the opportunity to “work a crowd,” and are particularly adept at calming others and inspiring other emotions of their choice. Although confident to the point they rarely seek external confirmation of their achievements, these Ventrue can be considered polarizing, or even vain, because of their behavior or their opinions—which they share freely. These blue bloods can easily consume themselves with the affairs of others, leaving little time for planning for the future, leading some to expect shortsightedness from members of this line.
Calm, Confident, Decisive, Sociable
Obsessive, Opinionated, Shortsighted, Vain
• Aken Hoten: Former Egyptian pharaoh. Said to be extremely close to his grandsire Ventrue.
• Arjan Voorhies: Prince of Amsterdam.
• Godefroy: Retired Ventrue justicar. Grand Master of the Order of the White Cross.
• Helena of Athens: Instrumental in the Athenian Brujah’s defeat during the Peloponnesian War.
• Julius Marius: Sanctified Cardinal of Egypt. One of the first Sanctified, renowned as the discoverer of Theban Sorcery.
• Nastasio the Galcian: Former Ventrue justicar. Leading general in the Shadow Reconquista.
Neferites in New Orleans
• None known
Members of this line are renowned as soldiers, generals, and warriors without peer. In truth, however, they have a natural aptitude for any field that requires nerve, patience, and self-discipline. Although known for maintaining a stiff upper lip and not letting emotions influence their decisions, detractors deride these blue bloods as unfeeling cynics who care nothing for others, and only seek to maintain a respectable facade to conceal their own inner emptiness.
Disciplined, Objective, Patient, Stoic
Arrogant, Cynical, Jaded, Selfish
• Mithras: Former monarch of the Baronies of Avalon and prince of London from the Roman Empire until World War II. By far the most active of Ventrue’s childer.
• Cretheus: Renowned Greek philosopher, scholar, priest, and magician for his sire’s religious cult.
• Edward Kinsley: Former sheriff of London and de facto sheriff of Ventrue interests throughout the entire British Empire in the 19th century.
• Marcus Verus: Prince of Colchester since the fall of Rome. Faultlessly loyal to his sire.
• Robert Pedder: Former night governor (prince) of Hong Kong.
• Sterling Hayden: Retired Ventrue justicar. Reputation for flawless excellence in all things.
• Vincent Day (antitribu): Former Knight Templar. Founder of the Path of Honorable Accord.
Mithridati in New Orleans
• None known
Regarded as commanding, stoic, and authoritarian, members of this line can appear to be all-business at first glance. These Ventrue are prone to oppressive and brutal styles of rulership, and prefer straight and clear language over the delicate verbal fencing practiced by many of their clanmates. Despite this, bonds between members of the line are as strong as iron, and family members are always expected to come to one another’s aid. Detractors, however, describe Ehrentraud’s scions as crude, unrefined, and brutish.
Domineering, Loyal, Stoic
Brutal, Tactless, Unsubtle
• Bulscu: Founder of the Arpad Ventrue. Centuries-long foe to the Tzimisce, Assamites, and mortal Ottomans.
• Gustav Breidenstein: Prince of East Berlin and strategos of Germany. Reigned over his city since the Middle Ages.
• Lucretia von Hardtz (antitribu): Backer of the Teutonic Knights’ crusades in Eastern Europe. Grand Master of the Order of the Black Cross.
• Nova Arpad: Founder of the Council of Ashes, a Ventrue effort to wrest Transylvania from the Tzimisce during the Middle Ages.
• Siegfried: Prince of Vancouver. His rule is so absolute he has abolished the primogen, banned the covenants, and declared the entire city Elysium.
• Vencel Rikard: Prince of Budapest. The so-called “Eternal prince” has claimed praxis over his city for more than a thousand years.
• Wilhelm Waldburg: Prince of West Berlin.
Ehrentraui in New Orleans
• None known
Antonius the Gaul—the second of Michael’s Constantinople Triumvirate, and stoic rock against which the Toreador tested his Dream—was a great thinker and tactician. Indomitable to a fault, he failed to react to his lover’s increasing mania, thinking only of the Dream’s architecture, and the survival of the city. Rather than bending with the flow of Michael’s ideas, he snapped, lashing out as his own plans went awry. His own childe staked him and left him to the sun’s mercy.
Antonian Cainites possess a predisposition towards tactical thinking and administration. They recognize how things work, and enjoy setting wheels in motion from a distance, only to see plans come to fruition in lands far away, or at times far in the future. Some of Antonius’ plans are supposedly still on course to see conclusion, despite his supposed final death over a thousand years ago.
Focused, Patient, Stoic
Inflexible, Obsessive, Stubborn
• Antonius the Younger: Deified lover to the Roman emperor Hadrian. Reigned as dux and sultan (prince) of Cairo for a millennium.
• Belisarius: The legendary general of the same name. Served Byzantium in life and death until the Fourth Crusade.
• Caius of Constantinople: Basileus (ruler) of the Antonian Ventrue for five centuries.
• Fabrizio Ulfila: Sanctified cardinal and Ventrue strategos of Italy, Black Saint, and the Gothic bishop Ulfilas in his mortal life. One of the first Sanctified and power player in the Catholic Church since the nights of Rome.
• Robert Kross: One of the Camarilla’s first archons. Owner of one of the largest Kindred financial empires in the United States.
Antonians in New Orleans
• None known
Members of this line are renowned for conducting themselves with impeccable poise and grace at all times. Gifted orators and charming socialites, these Ventrue often achieve fame for their honeyed words and skill at speech-craft. When put in stressful situations, however, those same blue bloods can be prone to emotional outbursts and irrational behavior, leading others to consider them arrogant or immature.
Deliberate, Graceful, Poised
Arrogant, Emotional, Irrational
• Gaius Marcellus: Veteran of the Punic Wars. Renowned philosopher.
• Geoffrey du Temple: Prince of Paris after his ancient sire’s overthrow.
• Demetrius: Former prince of Massila (Marseilles), founder of one of Clan Ventrue’s largest bloodlines, and relentless foe to the despicable Gaius Fabricius.
• Dominus: Lord of Lombardy during the Middle Ages. Backer of the Crusades.
• Lady Justania: Strategos of France. Founder of the Order of the Hawk Royale.
• Michaelis: Former Ventrue justicar. Fought the Toreador for hegemony of France after the fall of his sire Alexander.
• Philippe de Margaux: Prince of two cities and long-serving archon. Strong candidate for justicar.
• Pierre Emmanuel Pompignan: Ventrue primogen of Paris. Maintainer of the clan’s ancient legacy in the City of Lights.
• Sebastian LaCroix: Led the valiant attempt by the Camarilla to reclaim Los Angeles in 2004.