Tuesday, 20 November 2018

V5 Chronicle - Faction Profiles - Aegis Acquisitions

During the course of the various stories of this chronicle the coterie has and will meet many characters so I'm therefore creating several profile pages for different groups within my version of kindred Los Angeles to help them keep track. I'll also amend these profiles as new information comes to light and old 'facts' turn out to be less factual than originally thought...
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Aegis Acquisitions
Roxanne Weaver
CEO Aegis Acquisitions
Marius has used this company and it's sister construction firm as a front for his activities in Los Angeles and other nearby cities for at least the last century as well as a way of laundering money for his criminal enterprises. It's also rumoured that several hoards of ill-gotten gains from over the years have also been legitimised in this manner. With his own foreknowledge of deaths, disasters and misfortunes caused by his own activities and by monitoring the schemes of others his organisation is always poised ready to take advantage of the consequences.

As far as the mortal managers employees and investors are concerned the company is an entirely legitimate business venture that has been in the hands of the Walker family for several generations though they leave the day to day running to a board of directors while holding the majority shareholding themselves.

The current CEO is Roxanne Weaver whose financial acumen has enabled the company to reach new heights though this expansion has been also driven by a considerable new investment of money from the Walker families own considerable personal wealth. As these constant infusions of new capital enable the company to continue it's aggressive expansion, Miss Weaver is more than willing to expedite the occasional unusual investment or purchase required by the somewhat eccentric Walker family via their personal accountant Victoria Ann.

As well as these entirely legitimate investments Marius Walkers own schemes enable properties to be bought when their values are at their lowest, those who can be blamed for illegal activities are blackmailed, construction contracts are ready the moment a mysterious explosion occurs and so on. Though he has minor interests in virtually every district of LA his main influences are in Downtown, Santa Monica and Hollywood and to a much lesser extent, Chinatown.

He is also in possession of a small scale cargo ship called the 'Elizabeth Dane' which he uses for a variety of legitimate transporting of goods and some smuggling activities when necessary.

Downtown
Amongst his interests in Downtown LA are the Hallowbrook Apartments a former hotel and high-rise complex that was the site of a horrendous massacre and whose top floors are used as his own haven, Club Confession whose Russian criminal owners were murdered freeing it for take-over, an abandoned hospital plagued by bad luck and still yet to be renovated, The office building Venture Tower acquired after requiring extensive re-building due to an explosion in the penthouse attributed to incorrectly stored gas bottles and the Nocturne Theatre, Skyeline Apartments and Empire Arms Hotel bought due to bankruptcy after the collapse of the LaCroix foundation who were the previous owners of Venture Tower.

Given the close proximity of the Hallowbrook and Venture buildings as well as several other Aegis businesses in that location the area is broadly considered by other kindred to be Marius's domain despite being in the centre of what is officially the barony of Louis Fortier and now covers an area of approximately twelve square blocks. He also considers the area beneath it to be his and defends it as vigorously as he does that above ground. This is beginning to become an issue as technically this is domain bestowed upon him by Baron Fortier and still belongs to him whereas most kindred treat it as entirely under Marius's control. It is now the general consensus that's it's only a matter of time before Marius Walker declares himself the Baron of Downtown in it's entirety.

Santa Monica
Amongst his holdings in Santa Monica are a pawn shop and the flats above it, Kilpatrick's Bail Bonds franchise bought cheaply after the manager lost several staff and clients to a serial killer, several beach apartments built on the site of a abandoned beach house whose drug dealer occupants were killed in a deal gone bad and Brothers Salvage allegedly the hideout of the Southland Slasher before his killing spree ended abruptly in 2004. He also has interests in several late night diners, SunCo gasoline which is rumoured to have once been the haven of the Nosferatu Bertrum Tung and at least one tattoo parlour acquired for unknown reasons, possibly it was simply going cheap. A percentage of the profits from these businesses is paid as tribute to the Baron of Santa Monica, Therese Voerman though he often pays these in the form of favours rather than financially. Marius has avoided the night-club business in Santa Monica as he has no wish to go into direct competition with the Voerman sisters main 'Asylum' club as they are much more valuable to him as clients and allies than as competitors.

Hollywood
His most notable current enterprise in Hollywood is the Asp Hole, the club of the former actor Ash Rivers bought from Isaac Abrams the Baron of Hollywood after the disappearance of the aforementioned actor. He also owns the Cavoletti Cafe, the Ground Zero internet cafe, the Luckee Star Motel and a sex shop and strip club collectively called the Sin Bin. All the latter are take-overs resulting from murders or other unfortunate events on the premises resulting in their values plummeting. Many of the Sin Bin's entertainers also make a living as prostitutes and Marius occasionally uses them as blood dolls for those kindred in need of an easy feeding. His latest investment is a move into the film industry via the entertainment empire of the starlet Karen Anatos but currently it's merely a financial arrangement without any actual personal involvement by him or his ghouls due to certain complications with Mrs Anatos's status with certain interested kindred. He has also recently acquired a newspaper made bankrupt after it came out on the wrong side of a messy law-suit, though what he wants it for is a subject for debate.

Chinatown
Marius's business interests in Chinatown are to the casual observer minimal, encompassing only the Glaze nightclub, a fish market, several slaughterhouses and the import/export warehouse Zhao's. When the Eastern vampires known as the Kuei-jin left Los Angeles several other businesses became available for take-over though it's unknown how many of these he managed to take control of. It is however presumed that he now holds significant sway over the local economy. For those kindred capable of surviving on animal blood, Marius's slaughterhouses are a popular destination for those vampires not too proud to except a 'free meal' as the Gangrel is surprisingly generous with it's distribution asking only the most trivial of boons in return. He has an arrangement with the Ventrue Lyko Wu, Leader of the Blood Dragons, Triad gang who has a significant presence in Chinatown though the exact terms are unknown.

Marius 'The Fixer' Walker
Clan - Autarkis Gangrel
Haven: Hallowbrook Apartments (Haven 5: Cell 3, Hidden Armoury 5, Occult Library 5, Laboratory 1, Luxury 1, Postern 4, Resources 5, Security System 6, Surgery 1, Watchmen 7)
Backgrounds: 
Allies 5 (Multiple), Contacts 5 (Multiple), Domain (Chasse 4, Lien 3, Portillon 4), Fame 3 (Kindred Only), Influence 4, Herd 2 (Kindred), Herd 5 (Kine), Infamy 3, Mawla 4 (Jeanette Voerman: Anarch, Malkavian), Mawla 3 (Therese Voerman), Retainers (Alice 5, Clara 4, Daedra 4, Heather 2, Leanna 5, Melissa 3, Sylvia 4, Venus 3, Victoria 5, Yukio 5), Status 4 (5 with Gangrel)
Merits: Bloodhound, Iron Gullet, Linguist 4, Unbondable
Flaws: Black Vein Permanency (The evidence of diablerie never leaves Marius's aura)
Lore: Carmelita Neillson (3: Neillson Library), Descendent of Xavier (1: Martyred Ancestor, 2 Where the Bodies Are Buried, 4: Monstrous Bat, 5: Experienced the Antediluvian), Fiorenza Savona (1: On Fiorenza's List, 2: Breakfast with Fiorenza, 3: Friendly Benefits), FIRSTLIGHT (1: Evasion Tactics, 2: Branch Office, 3: What Do They Know, 4: No Records Found, 5: Friends On The Inside), Jeanette/Therese Voerman (1: Asylum Membership, 2: Performing Monkey, 3: Jeanette’s Favorite, 4: Therese’s Favorite), Lupine Expert (1: Huntsman, 2: Tactician, 3: Soldier, 4: Trophy), Sect War Veteran (1: Survivor, 2: Active Participant, 3: Trophy Kill, 4: No Vampire’s Land), The Bahari (1: Dangerous Reputation, 2: Ritual Scarification, 3: Sacrifice the Children, 4: The Womb’s Blood, 5: First-Cursed), The Book of Nod (3: Scholar).
Derangement's: Claustrophobia, Diablerie Addiction, Paranoia (Mild)
Animal Features (Physical): Enhanced Senses (Sight, Hearing, Touch), Pheromone Glands (Only active when kindred uses Blush of Life)

A resident of LA for around five decades the Autarkis Gangrel Marius has quickly gained a reputation as a Kindred willing to solve problems with few questions asked, an adequate amount of discretion and a guarantee of results. Though open to accusations of occasionally lacking subtlety vampire culture is fairly flexible in the areas of 'the ends justifying the means' and the ends he provides usually broadly match the results required of him.

Events rumoured to be his responsibility have ranged from acquisition of occult artefacts that may or may not have already had homes in the collections of other kindred or certain poorly guarded museums, warehouse explosions that coincidentally were also Sabbat staging points, information retrieval and an almost countless number of mysterious and less than mysterious disappearances.

Of course it's unlikely that every event attributed to him were actually ones in which he was involved but a number of Anarch Barons have found that having a convenient scapegoat on which to cast suspicion is always useful and as they add to his reputation anyway he rarely if ever issues denials. Lacking the support of any particular faction and less than popular with his own clan due to past misdemeanours including a less than positive reaction to the clans leaving of the Camarilla a fact made more controversial by the rumours that he is a descendent of the Gangrel Xavier. He is now too useful to remove, too powerful to move against without significant risk but not quite powerful enough to be a threat to those already in power due to the haphazard nature of his interests. This balance is of course a position that he's spent considerable effort to maintain the illusion of though his interests have now become considerable enough that certain kindred are beginning to look in his direction with no small amount of suspicion.

Victoria Anne - Ghoul
Senior Retainer of Marius Walker
Having amassed a considerable amount of allies, contacts, havens and resources by profiting from having advanced notice of business interests that are about to collapse, important people who may be suddenly disappearing and large buildings inexplicably about to explode his interests are widespread though somewhat unfocused due to the random nature of their acquisition. It's a running joke amongst the Nosferatu that Marius always seems to get paid twice and his ghoul Victoria's financial expertise always makes the most of both payments.

He has further spread his influence by being in a position to offer a variety of havens to caitiff and neonate kindred in need as well as provide jobs for the resource poor in suitable night-time work areas such as warehouses, retail and the increasing number of clubs and bars with which he has influence in return for future boons. This latter endeavour has provided him with a significant network of kindred willing to perform minor tasks in order to continue receiving the aid he provides and some of the more ambitious of these have moved up in power and position still owing him those boons. It is suspected that with many kindred the method of payment is to keep him informed of the goings on with their respective faction and clan, a fact somewhat confirmed by his ability to be one step ahead of his competition. Jenna Cross has been made aware that he has spies within her organisation though only has suspicions rather than any actual evidence about who they might be.

Marius has a significant network of ghouls mainly based at his large apartment building headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles as well as a number of kindred operatives in his direct employ. The fact that the majority of Marius's ghouls are attractive young women has led some to believe that they are selected on appearance first and merit second. An opinion soon changed should an overconfident kindred treat them as mere blood dolls...well...with perhaps one exception...

The Kindred
The Cabbie
Kindred Transporter
Clan - Malkavian
Haven - Hallowbrook Apartments Underground Garage (Haven 3: Hidden Armoury 3, Luxury, Postern 2, Security System 5, Watchmen 1)
Backgrounds:
Fame 3 (Kindred Only), Influence 3, Mask 3 (Zeroed), Retainer 3 (Ghoul Mechanic), Resources 3, Status 4
Merits: Iron Gullet
Lore: Pony Express (1: Access to the Network, 3: Driver, 5: Passenger Service)

Offering a unique service to the kindred of Los Angeles the kindred known currently as 'the Cabbie' (or sometimes 'The Transporter' by younger kindred) offers transport of any-one or anything from anywhere in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas with no questions asked anytime from nightfall to daybreak. Taking payment in blood, boon, money or valuables he guarantees prompt and guaranteed arrival times and can even be waiting at your chosen pick-up point at the moment you awake at your Haven. It's also been noted by several customers that they can't recall actually asking for a cab or telling him their destination despite the timing of both being perfect.

How he himself manages to arrive at a time that can only be accomplished by travel during the hours of daylight has never been answered but he has yet to fail to keep an appointment. By mutual agreement his vehicle is considered to have the same status as an Elysium and this is honoured by all kindred and is perhaps the only recorded time of a vehicle being granted this status. It's rumoured that even the Sabbat and the Lupines honour his status as neutral ground though this may be just wishful thinking from his passengers. Several older kindred speak of a gentlemen in the past known as the coachman who offered a similar service in other cities.

He has recently been contacted by Paxton, the creator of a delivery service amongst the kindred known as the Pony Express, to enquire about whether he wishes to become part of their network. He has apparently accepted the offer with Marius's approval and has now added an international aspect to his unique delivery service.

Pisha
Occult Specialist
Clan - Nagaraja
Haven - Abandoned Downtown Hospital (Haven 4: Cell 5, Creepy, Laboratory 3, Occult Library 5, Postern 1, Security System 5, Surgery, Warding 5, Watchmen 1)
Backgrounds:
Allies (Bound Spirits: Effectiveness 5, Reliability 4), Infamy 3 (Kindred Only)
Merits: Bloodhound, Linguistics 6
Flaws: Obvious Predator, Organovore
Lore: Far too many to list...

Pisha is a vampire of the Nagaraja, a bloodline that is twice-cursed as they must consume not only the blood of their prey, but their flesh as well.

Pisha is by human standards a monster and is quite unapologetic about it but in truth Pisha is a survivor and when she eats humans she is in her opinion only doing what any other animal would do in her position to survive. Pisha is at heart a scholar and the majority of her ambitions and goals focus around gaining knowledge particularly in the field of Necromancy. She comes across as a very calm and collected individual who only cares about her intellectual pursuits but is a genuinely terrifying and powerful foe should she consider herself threatened.

Up until a few decades ago Pisha never spent much time in any location but is now more or less a permanent resident of Los Angeles. By arrangement with the few other kindred aware of her existence she is kept sealed within an abandoned downtown hospital by Marius who provides her with occult materials and enough flesh to maintain her existence in exchange for her making her occult knowledge available to him whenever necessary.

Once the threshold of the hospital entrance is passed however the hospitals halls, passageways and rooms are completely her domain and are riddled with traps both mundane and supernatural as well as been patrolled by undead creatures and wraiths under her control. Visitors to her domain are provided with a map of the complex and a specific route to follow in order to leave and (if she allows it) to return. It is the opinion of some of those who have sought her council that the precautions that keep her in place are more to inspire a feeling of security in the kindred of Los Angeles rather than an actually effective way of keeping her contained and that both her and Marius are well aware she could leave if she wished. However for now the arrangement seems to suit them both more than adequately whether it's a fallacy contrived by them both or not.

Leanna
'Shepherdess', Mistress of Blood Dolls
Clan - Thin-Blood
Haven - Hallowbrook Apartments (Haven 5: Cell 3, Laboratory, Library 5 - Blood Research, Surgery)
Backgrounds:
Contacts 5 (Marcelina Black, The Circulatory System), Contacts 3 (Police Lieutenant in Vice), Contacts 3 ('Sin-bin' manager), Contacts 2 (Drug Dealer), Contacts 1 (Weed Dealer), Fame 1 (Former Actress and Model), Herd 5 (Marius's Blood Dolls), Resources 3 (Kept Woman), Retainer 3 ('Transporter')
Merits - Day Drinker, Discipline Affinity (Dominate, Presence), Lifelike, Linguistics 1 (Spanish), Stunning, Thin-blood Alchemist (Athanor Corporis 3, Calcinato 2, Fixato 5)
Flaws - Bestial Temper, Clan Curse (Toreador), Vitae Dependency
Lore - The Blue Velvet (2: Who's Who), The Circulatory System (1: Tap into the System, 2: Little Black Book, 3: Farm Upstate, 4: Secure Transit, 5: Blood Sommelier)

A model and 'actress' drawn like many to Hollywood in the pursuit of fame who instead found the squalid underground of vice and degradation that so many others have fallen into.

Fed on at a 'speciality' party by a Toreador kindred attracted to her beauty and then again due to a particular sweetness of her blood she fell into the hands of a group of kindred known as 'The Circulatory System'. This group of kindred traded vessels of particular blood vintages between themselves and other interested individuals. After becoming a regular favourite of the self-same Toreador who first discovered her he purchased her for himself and after some time as his ghoul he embraced her.

However all did not go according to plan and she not only exhibited no particular disciplines of his clan but was in many ways barely a vampire at all. In his disappointment he abandoned her and having no place to go she returned to the only kindred she knew namely the very group that had been trading her for years, The Circulatory System itself. Having an intimate knowledge of the organisation from her days as one of it's vessels she became a valued member of the organisation despite her status as one of the duskborn. Unfortunately the loss of a valuable shipment to a powerful kindred in Los Angeles from Chicago threatened her status until an offer was made to her by a local 'Fixer'. In short he would compensate the organisation and the aforementioned kindred and in return she would serve him instead. Her choices being final death or an unlife of service to another she picked the latter.

She now manages Marius's herd of blood dolls, ensuring their health and well being as well as cataloguing any unique resonances for when the Gangrel has a particular preference. He also provides her the weekly infusion of vampiric vitae she needs in order to maintain her own disciplines. In addition to her usefulness as a personal manager of his herd she also left the Circulatory System with a number of other useful resources which she now utilises in Marius's service. She also is skilled at both brainwashing and deprogramming, skills gained during her time with the aforementioned Circulatory System and which she uses both in the service of Marius and on a freelance basis for certain special clients. The Circulatory System is ultimately a pragmatic organisation so with her debt to them cleared she can still interact with them and utilise their services, but at a price of course.

Bertrum Tung
Clan - Unknown Generation Nosferatu
Haven - Underground Bunker (Haven 3: Hidden Armoury 1, Library 3, Security System 5)
Backgrounds:
Contacts 1-4 (Various useful information brokers), Influence 1 (Santa Monica), Influence 2 (Downtown), Mask 3 (Cobbler), Mawla 4 (Jeanette Voerman: Anarch, Malkavian), Resources 2,  Retainer 4 (Knox Harrington - Ghoul), Status 2 (4 before the 'Voerman' incident)
Merits - Iron Gullet 3
Flaws - Repulsive 2
Lore - Ambrus Maropis (2: Clandestine Information), Jeanette/Therese Voerman (3: Jeanette’s Favourite)

Bertram Tung is a Nosferatu who was forced for some time to reside in an abandoned oil tank at the SunCo Gasoline facility, in Santa Monica in order to avoid the Baron of Santa Monica, Therese Voerman whom he feared and no doubt still does. Her close watch on the borders of her territory made escape impossible so he was effectively trapped within Santa Monica until an arrangement was made to lift the contract out on him in exchange for a service. This service put him in considerable debt to the kindred who made it possible, one Marius 'The Fixer' Walker.

Tung was one of the most influential vampires in Santa Monica and a fierce rival of Santa Monica's Baron, Therese Voerman so being forced out of his home barony was a considerable blow. He has however regained much of his influence and moved what of it he could to downtown Los Angeles where Marius has provided him with a spacious underground haven and access to the resources he needed to rebuild his information network. Though he now effectively works for Marius he has the same remit as many under the umbrella of the Gangrel's influence which allows him to pursue his own agenda's as long as these don't interfere with any schemes of Marius's own or compromise the operations of his other operatives.

Knox Harrington - Ghoul
He currently resides in the provided haven beneath Venture tower where he can tap into the power and computer lines he needs to run his extensive database in a secure haven that was many years ago a bomb shelter. Knox Harrington, his long serving ghoul has an apartment in the tower itself though spends much of his time with his sire in the underground haven. Having previously been a bounty hunter and now with the abilities of a ghoul, Knox is an expert tracker and locator of individuals who may wish to remain incognito.

He has also recently acquired a Nosferatu assistant named Eric Moore who has shown himself to be a useful if somewhat impulsive computer expert though he prefers the term 'vigilante hacker'.

Bertram is a specialist in infiltration and is also intimately knowledgeable in the Kindred sects and clans. He is uninterested in politics, stating quite clearly that he never wanted to become the Baron of Santa Monica nor of any other barony for that matter. He is also very intelligent, planning from the shadows, like the majority of the Nosferatu. Tung is possessed of a some-what self deprecating sense of humour and isn't afraid to mock the miserable world he lives in, and the various people in it.

He has great loyalty towards his clan though pays only lip service to whatever passes for authority having the same scorn for the brief Camarilla leaders of Los Angeles that the other major Nosferatu player 'Gary' did. Tung has considerable respect for Nines because of his charisma and thinks that because of him, many Kindred turn Anarch every day. Though the specifics of his disagreement with Therese Voerman are unknown to any but themselves it is rumoured by many that he undermined a business deal of hers with information obtained from her sister Jeanette Voerman with whom it is implied he once had a sexual relationship.

The Ghouls
All of Marius's ghouls have apartments in the upper floors of Hallowbrook Apartments and benefit from access to it's significant resources and security.
Haven: Hallowbrook Apartments (Haven 5: Cell 3, Hidden Armoury 5, Occult Library 5, Laboratory 1, Luxury 1, Postern 4, Resources 5, Security System 6, Surgery 1, Watchmen 7)

Victoria Anne
Personal Assistant and Financial Adviser
Backgrounds:
In theory Victoria has access to any of Marius's own allies, contacts and resources as he has made it clear that a request from her is a request from him. A fact that rankles with many elder kindred used to ghouls being seen and not heard rather than dictating terms.
Merits - Stunning
Flaws - Obvious Predator
Derangements Antisocial Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder (Marius), Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychopathy.

It's rumoured that Victoria was once the ghoul of a particularly sadistic Tzimisce who had taken her to use as a personal project to make himself a servant who was perfect on the outside and a monster within and had used his mastery of the discipline known as Vicissitude to accomplish it. There's significant confusion over when this event was to have taken place as the Tzimisce believed to be her previous domitor mysteriously disappeared about half an hour after Marius went to discuss the possibility of him leaving town and taking some of his more interesting masquerade breaking creations with him. This version of events is directly contradicted by kindred who are certain that Victoria was with him when he arrived in LA some twenty years before the Sabbat's attempted invasion though Marius was indeed responsible for the final deaths of many Sabbat during their assault.

Regardless of the circumstances of her recruitment she has served loyally in his service mainly fulfilling the role of what in a normal business arrangement would be a personal assistant. Efficient, aloof and on occasion exhibiting a sadistic streak she manages her masters business interests and is by many considered responsible for some of the cleverer opportunities created by his activities. For many she is the first point of contact and also manages the day to day activities of Marius's considerable quantity of ghoul operatives. When engaged in activities that may be more dangerous than usual she is invariably accompanied by Yukio though when called upon to extract information from unwilling subjects she prefers to work alone, though sometimes Marius likes to watch...

She is also an utterly amoral, sadistic, psychopath who even some of the worst monsters in Los Angeles avoid if they can help it. Her loyalty to Marius however borders on the obsessive and any who question that loyalty rarely live to regret their mistake.

Yukio Hayashi
Assassin and Enforcer
Backgrounds:
Allies (Hallowbrook Security Teams: Effectiveness 5, Reliability 3), Hidden Armoury 5, Resources 4, Retainer 3 (Head of Security)

A former hunter of the supernatural who met her match when sent to dispatch the shapechanger who had killed the rest of her team of demon hunters. The creature had amassed several enemies killing seemingly at random as it moved through Kindred territory and continued it's masquerade threatening rampage in a Chinatown controlled by unusual vampires from the east.

The Autarkis Marius had apparently sought permission from these unusual kindred to enter their territory to destroy it and arrived just in time to dispatch the unfamiliar monstrosity as it stood over the hunters body. Curious about how she had stood for even a brief time against it he used his blood to bring her back from the brink of death and she has served him as enforcer and assassin ever since. As with Victoria there is some confusion as to when this occurred as despite a similar event being reported in Los Angeles Chinatown district the hunter in question was said to have survived and then left town immediately.

Surprisingly cheerful given her trade she is known to dress to accentuate her youth when working as an assassin in order to lure her targets into a false sense of security and is never without a small armoury of weapons about her person. Victoria and Yukio in particular have on more than one occasion exhibited the use of disciplines far beyond that normally used by the ghouls of neonates and ancillae leaving some to speculate that their master may actually be far older than any-one suspects. Of course this also may be just another rumour he allows to persist in order to keep both his allies and enemies guessing...

Recently it was discovered in conversation with Yukio by an inquisitive Toreador that she had been offered the role as ghoul and warrior in the service of Marius at a period in Japanese history that marked a significant transformation in the social acceptance of women. It is the Toreadors opinion that this would be somewhere in the Edo period which started in the 17th century (1600-1868 to be exact) which would put Yukio at at one hundred and fifty years old at the very least and possibly much older. It would also make the story of her more recent origin as a demon hunter extremely unlikely to be true unless the event happened a significant time ago before her arrival in LA.

Clara and Sylvia Drake
Mages and Occult Consultants
Backgrounds:
Occult Library 5, Resources 4

The sisters are of the Verbena tradition dedicated to preserving the ancient crafts and wisdom passed down over the ages by witches and warlocks, druids and druidesses, shamans, mystics, and priests and priestesses of the Old Gods. Both sisters are the unfortunate inheritors of a rare blood disorder that can emerge at any time and despite extensive research could find no magical method that permanently removed it's potential for emergence.

Becoming increasingly desperate their research moved from their own traditions into the magic of other supernatural creatures particularly vampires due to the obvious connection to blood. Learning of the kindred servants known as ghouls they came to the conclusion that if they couldn't cure the condition then never reaching the age at which it effected them would be the next best thing. Taking the dangerous path of approaching such creatures directly they used their contacts within the occult community where they eventually encountered a ghoul called Victoria and through her the Gangrel Marius. Though the event is discussed as if it was only recent, they have in fact been in his service for nearly ninety years.

The arrangement has suited both parties with Clara and Sylvia gaining both unlimited time in which to find a cure and access to financial and occult resources that would have been extremely difficult to obtain through their own machinations. They also have a base of operations where even their most unusual experiments can be carried out unobserved and without judgement. Also as their particular tradition highly values blood as an ingredient they have ready access to significant quantities of raw materials due to the ease with which their host can acquire such things.

Marius for his part now has two extremely capable and knowledgeable practitioners of magic to serve as consultants on occult matters and with abilities that kindred blood magicians would find difficult to counter. He uses them against other kindred on only the rarest of occasions however in order to reduce the chances of a reprisal removing this valuable resource from his arsenal.

There are rumours of a  third sister who uses Marius's resources to travel the world seeking knowledge to help both him and her own sisters, returning periodically to collect the preserved blood she needs to maintain her immortality.

Venus Dare
Club Confession Manager and Dominatrix 
Backgrounds:
Allies (Door Crew: Effectiveness 3, Reliability 3), Contacts 3 (Various Club Patrons), Contacts 3 (Various Submissives including 'Fat' Larry) Resources 3, Retainer 3 (Head Doorman), Retainer 3 (Doorman 'Heavy')

Formally Club Confession was under the thumb of a particularly unpleasant and violent Russian mobster whose demands for protection money had steadily increased to the point that as each month went by she became further and further in debt to him.

Desperately looking for a solution one of the customers of her sideline as a dominatrix let slip that he'd been selling a lot of hardware to a dangerous and skilled individual. After some 'prompting' he admitted that this man had successfully performed several near impossible jobs for him seemingly without significant effort and that he'd be happy to arrange an introduction between him and his mistress. The meeting would however have to be at night as he always seemed to be busy during the day.

A simple deal was arranged. Venus would make him a partner and split all the profits with him straight down the middle if he could make her problem go away. The three Russian enforcers who came to collect that months protection money found their way barred by a slightly built oriental girl who promptly executed all three while Marius personally paid a visit to the home of their boss.

The next day the club was in a new partnership and the news was full of stories about the gruesome massacre of three dozen mobsters, their leader and his family presumably at the hands of a rival criminal gang.

Marius promptly ghouled Venus and then had some of the clubs upstairs converted to private rooms where he could conduct business or grant feeding rights to those willing to pay the price. A special membership card is given to those who are to be taken care of in a particular manner so Venus recognises them and the doorman don't get in their way and certain 'vintage' wines are also available to clients with the correct palate. She is also broadly responsible for the running of Marius's other clubs 'The Asp Hole' in Hollywood and 'Glaze' in Chinatown.

Outside of these requirements Venus is left to run the business as she pleases and without the extortion she suffered previously is now beginning to enjoy the financial results of the clubs success. The majority of her doormen and women are former military or law enforcement personnel for which she pays a premium in order to ensure that the club is trouble free for it's more discerning clients. Of all of the organisations ghouls she is the closest thing Victoria has to a friend though what interests they have in common might not be the healthiest of things to look into.

Heather Taylor
Blood Doll
Backgrounds:
Contacts 2 (Interior Designers), Contacts 3 (Fashion Industry),  Resources 1 (Galerie Sanguine), Resources 4 (Kept Woman)
Merits - Beautiful

Why Marius took on a student with no connections, trade-able skills or discernible talents is a mystery to every-one who knows of him, yet his ghoul she is. Some have theorised that he did so as a way of keeping in touch with his dwindling humanity and to keep a connection to a constantly changing modern world. Though quite knowledgeable in the fields of interior design, fashion and with a newfound interest in art prompted by a conversation with the Toreador Michael she is primarily left to her own devices unless Victoria gets involved.

If involved in actual company business she is mainly seen transporting unimportant messages between minor contacts or performing trivial tasks for Victoria and is considered to be one of the few weak points in his organisation. When not accompanying Victoria or performing her own duties Yukio has been given the tertiary task of keeping Heather out of trouble and on the one occasion that an impulsive group of licks attempted to use her against her domitor this was reacted to with such overwhelming and brutal levels of violence and collateral damage that no-one has been yet willing to make a second attempt. Her superficial resemblance to Victoria has also raised a few eyebrows.

In a recent attempt to get her out from under her feet Victoria has suggested to her that she's wasting her creative talents and that perhaps she should seek suitable employment giving the 'Galerie Sanguine' of Michael Tomassio and his coterie as a likely candidate. Michael has indeed offered her a position which she has accepted and has surpassed expectations of all by actually excelling in the role. Though Michael is well aware that she is certainly reporting on their activities to Marius and Victoria her employment has other advantages than her creative abilities. Most importantly those kindred aware of the soft spot that the Gangrel 'Fixer' has for Heather are far less likely to act directly against the Gallery knowing that should she become collateral damage then Marius would no doubt overreact considerably.

Dr Melissa Russell
House Surgeon
Backgrounds: Allies (Surgical Team/Staff: Effectiveness 3, Reliability 3), Laboratory, Resources 3, Surgery, Watchmen 2 (Private Security Firm)
Merits: Beautiful 2, Linguistics 3 (German, Latin, Spanish)

With the kindred Dr Daniel Matthews now effectively a full time member of the coterie of Michael Tomassio the 'Fixer' Marius has decided he needs some-one with medical training to fulfil the medical aspect of that role. Melissa Russell was a well regarded surgeon who worked at several hospitals in Los Angeles and came to Marius's attention while his operatives were observing Daniel Matthews at work during the early part of his stay in LA.

Whether she was selected to make some kind of point to Daniel or whether it was mere coincidence there's no doubt that she's a highly skilled doctor, surgeon and administrator. She has been given a state of the art laboratory and surgical suite, highly trained staff and access to a considerable budget and her department is now effectively the in-house medical team for the Aegis group's various companies.

Immortality and enhances senses were of course interesting but unforeseen bonuses.

The Unknown
The coterie have also heard rumours of another ghoul called 'Alice' in his service and apparently a former ghoul of the deceased prince LaCroix who is also now part of his organisation. Of course these vague rumours might turn out to be completely false as many of the truths surrounding 'The Fixer' are mutable at best.

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