Archive for December, 2010

The Seneschal: Lord Raymond Pryce

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Background
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Lord Raymond Pryce: Invictus Ventrue

The sole Invictus member in Prince Marsh’s Court, Lord Pryce (an inherited title from his family in England, or so he says) is as much of a typical Invictus Ventrue as you can imagine; ambitious, power-hungry, and ruthless. More than a few Kindred wonder why Marsh put an Invictus so close to her seat of power – perhaps simply following the age-old adage “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”? Some wonder if Prince Marsh has installed Lord Pryce to serve as a visible rallying point for the Invictus after the coup, someone easily kept track of and therefore able to be controlled somewhat.

Lord Pryce himself is silent on the matter.

If Pryce is to be believed (and many do not) he comes from a long line of English Lords, and he moved to the United States somewhere around World War I. He was embraced quite early in his mortal life, perhaps in his late 20’s or early 30’s, but he has certainly been around Kindred circles long enough – 70 years or so by most reckonings – that he is more than capable and mature in his dealings.

Dealing with Pryce is somewhat of a two-edged sword; he is extremely well connected in the higher echelons of Los Angeles’ elite society, and he is able to perform tasks most others would not even begin to know how to attempt (for example he is credited with being a major player in creating the McCarthy “Red Scare” trials of the 1940’s and 50’s, even though he would have been a very young Vampire at the time). However his help always comes with a price tag, and sometimes the price is much, much worse than the help given.


The Master of Elysium: Jason Young

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Background
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Jason Young: Carthian Ventrue

The position of Master of Elysium is at once one of the most powerful, and one of the most undesirable posts in the Court. The holder must be – or at least must be perceived to be – neutral in their dealings with every covenant and clan. They must ensure that no Kindred is unfairly disadvantaged by the location and peculiarities of each meeting place. This is of course impossible in practice, as simply being within a particular domain ensures that Kindred of a certain type have easier access to a secure meeting ground. However, it is a job at which Jason Young excels. Seen as neutral, unambitious, and unbiased, Young has managed to achieve what most Kindred what consider impossible – the majority of Vampires in Los Angeles actually like him.

Which is not to say that he is not also respected; within Elysium grounds his word is Law, and any who openly flount those laws are dealt with as swiftly and harshly as any transgression against the Prince. More than one Kindred has been hunted down and left for the sun on Young’s order for repeated and unrepentant violations of his code. What that code is varies from location to location and he has a number of assistants who record all that goes on in Elysium and report back to him. The rules of any given Elysium ground are held by these Keepers, and Kindred are expected to know them. A typical Elysium ground (as if there were such a thing) would have the following laws:

  • There shall be no acts of physical violence enacted by any Kindred
  • Mortals are not welcome while a gathering of Kindred is taking place
  • If practical, the Keeper must welcome all Kindred personally to the Elysium, and ensure any new arrivals report to the Primogen or other ruling person as soon as possible

In addition, some Elysium venues have other rules; some examples follow.

  • No weapons are to be brought to Elysium
  • No Disciplines can be used
  • No religious symbols can be displayed
  • Ghouls are not permitted
  • The venue opens (or closes) at a certain time
  • Electronic devices are not permitted
  • A certain colour must be worn somewhere on your clothing

Or a myriad of other, even stranger, conditions. If a gathering is being held in a place where the conditions of entry or conduct are particularly strange, it is the responsibility of the Keeper (or Master, if Jason is there personally) to ensure those conditions are well known before the gathering takes place.

Young has not been a Vampire for very long; some estimate it may be that his is still a neonate, having been embraced sometime in the last 50 years. His sire – a member of the Invictus – left Los Angeles in the 1960’s, and Young left the Invictus and joined the Carthians soon after. He was appointed Master of Elysium nearly 10 years ago, after the previous occupant met the sun in suspicious circumstances. (It is rumoured that she annoyed one too many powerful city elders with somewhat arbitrary rules; there is still one – mostly unused – site in the city which has a “no clothes” rule…). So far Jason Young has proven to be less provocative, more reasonable, but certainly no less efficient at holding the position.

Michelle Dawson: Carthian Daeva

Michelle Dawson is possibly the most well-connected Kindred in the entire city. Being Harpy of a city as diverse and bizarre as Los Angeles is no easy task, but Dawson handles it with an aplomb and flair that none can hope to equal.

Although she holds a very public position, Dawson does not grant meetings to just anyone. She is able to be contacted via email, Facebook, and cell phone, but almost never face to face. She also has lesser Harpies – at least one per Primogen, sometimes more – who report directly to her.

It’s not known for sure, but it’s estimated that Dawson is a child of the 1920’s and was embraced somewhere around World War II. Despite this (or perhaps because of the freedom of spirt of those born in that generation) she has embraced new technologies – hence the Facebook page, amongst other innovations.

One thing is for certain though; it is very hard to hide from Michelle when she decides she wants to find you. For this reason she sometimes works with the Hound when a particularly recalcitrant Vampire needs to be found. Dawson can be a very useful ally, and an extremely dangerous foe.

Matthias Donaldson, Carthian Daeva

“Herald” is a relatively new position, having been created about 80 years ago by Prince Hunt. The Herald acts as the mouth of the Prince, and anything decreed by Donaldson is to be obeyed as if the Prince herself had spoken.

Matthias is  as approachable as the Prince is not; he is open, gregarious, and charming where the Prince is aloof, frightening and unnerving. In fact many proposals that should by right be brought to the Prince are often taken to the Herald instead, prompting many to ask (in private, among those they trust) who is actually in charge in the city.

Donaldson’s history is reasonably well know for anyone who wishes to discover it; he was born into an upper-class family in England, fought in the First World War (as an officer) where the horrors of war opened his eyes. He has been the champion of the common man ever since, and this has extended into his Requiem where he is often the only voice on the council of elders in support of, or even considering the opinion of, neonates in the city.

Jocelyn Marsh, Nosferatu Carthian

Prince Marsh is at the same time approachable and terrifying. Since the coup in 1976, she has ruled Los Angeles fairly but firmly. Once she decides on a course of action, it is quickly carried out by her Sheriff and Hound, or Harpy and Herald.

It’s an open secret in the city that Prince Marsh got the position because she was the only candidate everyone in the Carthians could agree on in the nights after the coup; she has since proven to be more than capable in the role.

Not much is known publicly about Prince Marsh’s embrace or her history as a mortal; all that is known is that she doesn’t talk about it.

By far the most radical tradition instituted by Prince Marsh is what is now popularly called “the Rant” – a gathering held at the Greek Theatre at Griffith Park on the last Wednesday of every month. All Kindred in the city are invited, and can attend or not as they wish. What makes the Rant special is that anyone can say anything about the city, or the way the city is being run, without fear of retribution. The Prince herself always attends these gatherings, to get a feel for the mood of the Kindred in the city.

There have been a MINDBLOWING zero emails with character concepts literally not flooding in to the email… If you want to discuss something, or have a bare-bones concept, or need more info, shoot me a line!

A reminder of the sort of thing I’m after: The Previous Post