Dev Diary 5: Won’t you be my neighbor?

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Greetings Deadcitizens!

Below is a list of some major NPCs you’ll encounter in our upcoming chronicle. Please remember that this list is not exhaustive; there will be plenty more important folks you’ll learn about in upcoming months. As you’ll recall, you first learned about the Prince and other Prince-like characters in Dev Diary 2A, refer to that for more info.

Fernando Esteban Oreja de Sevilla
Clan: Nosferatu
Covenant: Invictus

Former Prince Oreja was one of the first vampires to arrive in the Los Angeles area in the early 19th century when the city was just a small mission. Some even say he was the first. He is a tall, genial man who prefers wearing waistcoats, muttonchops, and a devilish moustache to complete his image of a Victorian gentleman; though there is something fiendish about the way he twirls it. He reigned as Prince until 1934. During his praxis, the kindred community grew along with LA and he proved incapable of managing his dominion. His tenure was plagued with crisis after crisis and several corruption scandals, which ultimately led to his fall from power in the 1930s. His poor leadership left him with few friends and allies, even among his covenant. He spends modern nights painting in his haven and trying to find some way to get back into kindred society’s good graces. He currently opposes plans to drop the Masquerade and wants to rally the city against the initiative but few still heed his words.

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Hierophant Sterling Engelhart
Clan: Gangrel
Covenant: Circle of the Crone

Sterling Englehart settled in Los Angeles long ago, predating local canons of kindred history. In more recent decades, many citizens fondly recall Sterling’s splash onto the political scene during the 1918 plague epidemic. During the virulent blight, Sterling rose up to tame civil unrest, championing local recovery and stabilization campaigns arising out of a power vacuum in a city devoid of elders. Sterling continued to build up local sentiment and began voicing his ideas over the benefits of compartmentalization of government. During the first election, he capitalized on the mismanagement of former regimes and used his political theories as an action plan for change, ultimately winning popular favor. Since then, he painstakingly laid the groundwork for organized city government and many believe modern day Los Angeles finally reflects Sterling’s vision.

After passing the throne of Los Angeles on to his beloved wife Elizabeth, Sterling found a renewed enthusiasm for the teachings of the Crone. The Los Angeles Crone rallied support behind Sterling both during his campaigns and terms as Prince and continues to look to him as their natural leader. After stepping off of the political throne, Sterling quickly found himself called up to the spiritual throne as Hierophant of the covenant. In addition to the government, acolytes proclaim the wonders of Sterling’s accomplishments within the group. Stories range from bolstering recruitment, participation, and retention of acolytes to the otherworldly “Communion with the Crone” sessions the Hierophant hosts.

Engaging Sterling will greet any unsuspecting conversationalist as a tender-hearted and genuine steward, devoted to his wife, spiritual followers, and all kindred of Los Angeles. Although he will freely profess his doctrines over government, social policy, and Crone enlightenment, many heed his notoriously short temper and dislike for dissenting opinions.

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Prince Elizabeth Engelhart
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Circle of the Crone

Elected in 1974, Elizabeth has used her time as Prince to work towards her goals of harmony and safety within the city. On many occasions, she has spoken about what she believes to be the role of government: a nurturing guardian for its citizens. Although she built the rather complex kindred bureaucracy within the city, she appears to enjoy meeting citizens in person during her monthly Court sessions. At Court, she arbitrates difficult or unusual cases and is usually fair and unbiased in her decisions. Quite the pacifist, Elizabeth does not punish criminals to the final death or banishment, but rather prefers to rehabilitate them into friendly, productive members of society. Although she does call bloodhunts, she always declares targets to be wanted alive.

Elizabeth manages to remain calm in the most stressful public situations and is warm with all of her citizens, even repeat diablerists. She hosts many charitable events and awards grants for research into synthetic blood. Her personal love for “vegan” “granola” bars edible by vampires is well-known in the city. She supports the United Domains and accepts their decisions after careful consideration.

—–

Prince-Elect Mark Lucas, Bishop in Transition
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Lancea Sanctum

Mark Lucas has come a long way in the city since he first arrived in the early 1940s. Rushing in on the wave of nationalism that marked the United States’ first early steps into the Second World War, Lucas moved to LA to establish a new church in the growing city and came with a sermon of destiny for the American vampire. While at first enthused with the growing democracy of the rising city, the excitement has changed to growing distrust and finalized into a fiery vitriol as he watched the bureaucracy grow to monstrous proportions and wipe away the individual freedoms of the every-man vampire. His fervor moved him to run for election.

Even though the tide of public opinion has changed against him, he still stands firm on the sanctity of a vampire’s freedom to pursue anonymity in this modern era. After all, he says from his pulpit, if God wanted us to all stand open and in the light, he wouldn’t make that light burn so much.

Lucas’s passions run deep and it shows in his personality and his politics. He is like most of his clan — happy in the spotlight and not shy about espousing his opinion. He knows that this has earned him as many enemies as friends, but he believes that what he is doing is right and if doing the right thing burns some bridges, so be it. His passion has won him the title of Bishop in the city, and his supporters claim that was what won him his election. His opponents say that this “passion” is why he won it only barely.

Despite his loud and aggressive demeanor, the Lance know of his softer side. He is an expert in art and an accomplished artist. His well known works offer up version of the traditional martyr paintings but redone with a vampiric bent; some kindred art critics offer them up as a sort of commentary about sainthood and damnation, how kindred have to sacrifice aspects of their personality in order to be what kindred are supposed to be. Lucas simply lets the paintings talk for themselves and makes no direct comment on their meaning.

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Xin Fields, Grand Wyrm
Clan: Ventrue
Covenant: Ordo Dracul

Xin Fields has been in Los Angeles for quite a while, but until several years ago has been virtually unseen on the political stage. In 1919, Fields took the reigns of the Ordo Dracul when his predecessor was destroyed by the Plague and has since led his covenant with reason and measured practicality. He was sometimes seen as more of a figurehead as he delegated nearly all of the managerial duties of running a covenant so he could pursue his true passion: understanding the supernatural practices of the (now gone) pre-European kindred of the New World.

Xin Fields has always been a long-time supporter of the Engleharts and their policies, even if he has criticized at times the efficiency of their implementation. When Mark Lucas announced his bid for praxis, there was concern among those who supported the Englehart administration about the lack of a strong opposing candidate. Unexpectedly, Fields stepped up to that role. His platform was simple: he would continue the policies and ideals of the previous administrations while also pursuing a simplification and streamlining of the bureaucracy. He approached his campaign with a surprising amount of professionalism considering that this was his first political pursuit and quickly rallied many of the strong Englehart supporters. Some saw this lack of political experience as a strength while others saw it as a crippling weakness and even say it was what cost him the election.

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Lady Grey, Keeper of Elysium, Libertine Social Club
Clan: Nosferatu
Covenant: Unaligned

The mysterious Lady Grey does not often make appearances at her own Elysium, but do not take that to mean that she is not there. She is always watching, and her staff makes that known. As a newly instated Keeper to a popular Elysium, she is well aware that she has to prove her worth, and she takes that very seriously. Many a kindred has tested the waters only to have her suddenly appear with a rage that belies her more meek appearance.

She has built up a reputation as a presence rather than a person — communicating through letters that suddenly appear in your pocket, appearing as a sudden whisper in your ear before disappearing again into the shadows. She is practically a ghost, and this quirk within her nature is why she is known as Lady Grey. Her true name is unknown to most people in the city.

She’s worked hard to earn the rights of this Elysium, and sees it as the Nos finally winning true acceptance within the city. Too long, she has whispered, have the Daeva stood in the limelight. Accusations have been thrown against her for the downfall of some prominent Daeva, but she remains silent on the issue — which is not unusual.

Under her care, the Libertine Social Club has taken a dark turn. While once a temple to excess, its parlours no longer contain the happy, eternally-young-looking party goers that it once did. There is grey in their temples now, a twitch of decay in the patrons — the mortals that attend show their abuses more, no longer having the patina of glamour that infused the Elysium as run by the Daeva. Under Nosferatu management the club has a dark vibe — these are the patrons that know that they are self destructing but can’t stop. It is a slow death.

The Doll Room is Lady Grey’s special suite where she may do business with kindred should the need arise. It is covered from floor to ceiling with all sorts of dolls. Every single one of them is marred with a single imperfection that prevented their sale. Lady Grey dotes on them like real children.

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Sebastian Ainsworth, Seneschal of Administration
Clan: Mekhet
Covenant: Carthian

Sebastian Ainsworth has been the Seneschal of Administration since the position’s creation. He came to L.A. shortly before the plague hit, so few people remember what he was like before then; he is better known as the stoic, calculating man he has become. He is a strong proponent of the United Domains and the organization and communication resources it provides, although every time he is asked about the dropping of the Masquerade, he insists that he would prefer not to discuss it. Among the less politically-inclined, he is well known for always having pens and paper on hand. Some daring kindred once tried to see how long it would take before the Seneschal ran out of pens and had to return to his office for more. They gave up after pocketing seventy eight pens and a pad of Form 872A-3 (Requisition of Supplementary Writing Utensil, Ink: Black, Permanent, Ballpoint).

—–

Harpy Liza Slander
Clan: Unknown
Covenant: Unknown

The kindred newspaper of Los Angeles, The Chronicle, has featured a daily column entitled “Damned Lies” by Liza Slander for nearly 80 years. Miss Slander began her career as a gossip columnist and, over time, her opinions on public figures became rather well-respected. Her accusations are (nearly) always found to be correct and she always manages to have insider information about the best political and covenant drama. Because her judgements about citizens are held in such high esteem, she is recognized as an independent Harpy in Los Angeles. Liza Slander makes a point of keeping her real identity secret, having said that this allows her to collect secret information, keeps her safe, and sells more newspapers.

This summer, you’ll get an exclusive sneak preview of The Chronicle and Liza’s column, “Damned Lies.”

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