The Ventrue

There is no shame to bending the knee to one such as myself,
so pay your fucking tribute before I lose my temper.
— Vincenzo “The Tiger” Marcone

Oh, they might not be the life of the party. And yes, I suppose Roosevelt does take himself rather seriously. But family is family, and there ain’t no family like the kind that sits the throne.
— Michael Knight, Keeper of Elysium

There’s no room for amateurs, even in crossing the streets.
— George Segal

Proud. Mighty. Regal.
Elitist. And Elite.

These are the words often used to describe the Blue Bloods of New York. The “reluctant” aristocracy of the Undead. Though outnumbered slightly by the Toreador in the city, the Ventrue are clearly at least as powerful as the Rose Clan. Leaving aside that until recently the Prince himself was of their Clan, it is the Ventrue, by and large, who have transformed New York into the economic superpower that it is today. It was the Ventrue who built Wall Street, the Ventrue who capitalized on the opportunities of the Urban Playground, the Ventrue who have baked the Big Apple into a pie and cut themselves the biggest slice.

Bradley rarely overtly favored his Clan. In fact, it’s been speculated that he supported Hans Kilgore’s rise as Primogen because Kilgore kept the Ventrue in line… and away from Bradley’s throne.

Still, the Ventrue have done very well for themselves. Vincenzo “the Tiger” Marcone and his Childe Tom Delaney have worked tirelessly for over a century to make the Five Families of the city their puppets… and they have largely succeeded, giving the Ventrue a practical monopoly on the city’s organized crime.

And of course, the Ventrue have their fair share of “nobility,” even in the modern nights. Most notably, this includes the torpid Nicholas Roosevelt, patriarch of the famous family, and his only surviving Childe, Theodore Roosevelt Sr.

The Clan is represented by Hans Kilgore, a bombastic Elder who made his fortune in life as a slaver. Though he hasn’t directly commented on the matter, it is thought that he is the reason there is only one non-European Ventrue in the city. A longtime ally of Bradley’s, there are whispers that Kilgore’s conduct is…less than gentle, even towards others of his Clan. And certainly, Kilgore has demonstrated himself capable of vindictive pleasures, particularly where Neonates are concerned, but it can’t really be true that that woman is his slave, can it? Surely not. Surely the Blue Bloods would not suffer such tyranny without raising a furor.

…would they?

But the Ventrue refuse to comment on their proud leader, and simply change the subject, smiling all the while.

It is rare to find a Ventrue whose date of death is not public knowledge, or at least publicly available knowledge. The Ventrue, more than any other Clan, place a great deal of stock in lineage and history. Thus, the detailed information below.

Elders of note

  • William Bradley (f.d. 2015) (6th gen, e. Unknown, f.d. 2015) — The enigmatic and mighty Prince of New York since 1866. William Bradley (certainly not his true name) claimed to be an Ancient Elder, said to have whispered in Charlemagne’s ear, to have Embraced Christ on the Cross (most Kindred roll their eyes at the latter). Bradley appeared in New York in 1860, just before the turmoil of the Civil War. Unusually reticent for a Ventrue, he did not trumpet the date of his Embrace or of his lineage, which raised many eyebrows among Kindred elite. Most Kindred could never hope to hold a city like New York with such scant credibility, yet if there is one thing that is agreed among all the whispers and half-truths surrounding the Finally Dead Prince, it is that he was not most Kindred.
  • Ursula (6th gen, e. 1296, t. 1851) — An ancient Elder who traveled to New Amsterdam on one of the first ships from Spain. Her holdings and and influence had suffered greatly at the hands of the Anarch Revolt and the Sabbat’s birth, and she likely wished to rebuild herself as a Prince of the New World. To that end, she Embraced several Childer, including a slaver named Hans Kilgore. He was the only one who survived more than a few decades, and she highly valued him as an asset to her fortunes. Said to be as stern as she was regal, even tonight those who are old enough to remember her only tell their stories in hushed voices. After she succumbed to torpor, as most Elders do at that age, Kilgore took control of her holdings and pawns and established himself as a successor. There has been some speculation, very quiet speculation, as to what the Primogen might do should this fearsome Elder awaken.
  • Balthazar Stuyvesant (6th gen, e. 1598, f.d. 1863) — The old Prince of New York, Balthazar’s rule was turbulent and often contested, as several powerful Elders in his city were as strong or almost as strong as the Flailing Prince himself. He was destroyed by a violent and unruly mob during the Draft Riots of 1863.
  • The Melusine (7th gen, e. 1625, f.d. 1914) — Once a regal Elder supposedly Embraced by Cardinal Richelieu himself, the Melusine arrived in New York looking for opportunity and found only a confusing new world. Supposedly she spent her last decades increasingly withdrawn, bitter, and by all accounts highly unpleasant to be around. She retreated to her homeland at the turn of the century and is said to have been destroyed during the first World War. Indeed, the Melusine would likely have passed forgotten from these nights were she not survived by her Childer, Gideon Lowe and Sebastian Grey.
  • Madrigal von Habsburg (7th gen, e. 1662) — Said to be Bradley’s childe, and just as reticent on the subject of his Sire as Bradley was himself. Madrigal controlled his family’s empire from behind the throne for centuries, until he served several terms as an Archon under the feared Tremere Justicar Karl Schrekt. However, it is not Schrekt he serves tonight, but Christine, the Broken Mirror, Justicar of Clan Malkavian.
  • Nicholas Roosevelt (7th gen, e. 1732, t. 1900) — Once the Ventrue Primogen, Nicholas Roosevelt is thought to have been largely responsible for his family’s wealth and influence, or at least enabling them to achieve such wealth and influence as they hold tonight. He and his Childer, Embraced of his own ancestors, used the prominence and power of the family name to achieve yet greater great status and power, which they used to enrich the family, and on and on in a cycle of successes that has established the Roosevelts as aristocracy among both Kindred and Kine. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine why such an accomplished Kindred went into torpor at the turn of the last century. Perhaps the Final Death of his Childe James shocked him in some way. Regardless, his slumber has left his surviving Childe, Theodore, to stand on his own and protect the Roosevelt’s precious power base.
  • Hans Kilgore (7th gen, e. 1746) — New York was one of the first cities to abolish slavery, but there was a dark prologue to the happy ending. Hans Kilgore is a part of that prologue. At one time, nearly half of New York’s households owned slaves, and Kilgore certainly did his part to fill that demand. To this day, the only non-white Ventrue in the city is the neonate “Savannah”, who works as Kilgore’s assistant and never leaves his side. It’s a fact that sticks in the mind of the sizable number of Black Kindred in the Apple, but luckily for Kilgore, few of that particular demographic are old or influential enough to be a threat. Kilgore replaced Nicholas Roosevelt as Primogen in 1900, largely with Bradley’s support, and his autocratic policies (limiting Ventrue to no more than two Childer, demanding the disclosure and forfeit of any assets that his Clanmates possess) have done much to curtail the power of individuals within the Kingship Clan while keeping the Clan as a whole as powerful as it’s ever been. Despite his apparent tyrannies, the Ventrue are surprisingly hesitant to say anything against their Primogen, and this uneasy silence has done more to cement Kilgore’s intimidating reputation than any number of horror stories. Recently, though, some have wondered why he has waited this long to Sire, and how much longer he intends to wait. Some bolder Kindred have even suggested that the Primogen may in fact be incapable of Siring, which could have dire consequences for him in the long run.

Ancillae and older Neonates of note

  • Gideon Lowe (8th gen. e.1852)— A reclusive and slightly eccentric Ancilla, but one senior enough that he commands respect from most of his Clan. Known as “the Headmaster”, Lowe established St. Anthony’s Hall, which in addition to providing prestigious education to the Kine also prepares specialized and particularly exemplary Ghouls for those Kindred who are willing to pay for excellence. Of late he rarely bothers to make appearances at Elysium, preferring to communicate through courier ghouls.
  • Oswalt Sinclair ( 8th gen, e.1855)— An industrialist mogul in life, Oswalt Sinclair to this night has pawns and fingers all over New York’s manufacturing industries. Textiles, rebar, smartphones, dildos; if it’s made in a factory, odds are he knows about it and can get a word into it’s distribution. While he doesn’t have a monopoly on these industries (the field is far too broad for a single Kindred to dominate) it’s widely acknowledged that nobody knows more about factory business in the city than Sinclair, a distinction that brings many younger Kindred to him looking for advice, which he’s all too happy to provide—for the right price. His knowledge of the city’s economy and ability to manipulate supply and demand have meant that his collaboration with his Childe, Vincenzo Marcone, made both Sire and Childe a fortune during Prohibition.
  • Julia Ward (12th gen, e.1872)— Once a prominent Suffragette, Julia Ward Howe attracted the attention of her Sire through her shrewd and articulate arguments for a cause that tonight most think obvious, but was once scarcely conceivable. One would never think of Ms. Ward (“Mr Howe died decades ago, dear.”) as a firebrand or ideologue like one of those dreadful Brujah. She’s a warm, polite woman who rarely says much that would ruffle anybody’s feathers. And yet uncannily, it would be difficult to find a Kindred more responsible for New York’s historic tendency towards the left of the political spectrum. Whereas Roosevelt has some of the most influential politicians and figures in the city in his pocket, Ward’s fostered a small army of ghouls and entranced allies, none of them big by themselves—bloggers, journalists, radical and moderate pundits— but when she needs to, she can push an issue to the front of New York’s conversation. She can make hastactivists take to their keyboards in instants, jam the streets with protesters and picket lines at the drop of a hat. She’s never said anything about Kilgore in public, almost pointedly refusing to talk about the Primogen, but her Embrace of Vanessa Donaghy, a black woman, seems to have been a very pointed message. Of course, she doesn’t talk about her Childe anymore, either.
  • Sebastian Grey (8th gen, e. 1875)— Few know what to think about Sebastian Grey, but almost everybody knows to be weary of the Ancilla. Originally thought to be the afterthought Embrace of an unraveling Elder, Grey distinguished himself as an incredibly efficient agent of the Masquerade. At first simply loaning his services to inexperienced Kindred, Grey was eventually recruited by Bradley as the official Janus of New York, a position he’s excelled at. Though undeniably competent, and certainly well-spoken, Grey’s clammy pallor and the unfortunate chills that he carries with him make the Janus a rare presence at Elysium, which nobody seems to mind.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Sr (8th gen, e. 1878)— Perhaps the most famous Kindred in New York, the father of a former President and grandfather to the wife (and cousin) of another, a Blue Blood among the Blue Bloods, so rich that the Devil owes him his soul back— Theodore Roosevelt the First has been described in all of these ways, and all of them are true, save perhaps the last. A leonine man and the picture of success among both the living and the Dead, one would almost think that no misfortune could befall Roosevelt, though for more than a century he’s scrambled to maintain and expand his family’s influence, an increasingly difficult task without the aid of his Sire and brother-in-blood, both of whom were of his biological family. Having personally funded the campaigns of both Roosevelt presidents, and having used his family’s power both to propagate itself and to access all manner of catspaws, it’s said that something like a third of the political movers and shakers in NYC owe some sort of deference to Roosevelt, a massive amount when one considers the number of Kindred behind the scenes in politics. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful Kindred in New York, and yet, condemned to a Clan led by a Primogen who has no intention of sharing power.
  • Ezekiel Loeb ( 11th gen, e. 1905)— A Jewish Russian immigrant and textile magnate, Ezekiel Loeb truly is the epitome of an American success story. The most prominent of a sizable number of Jews amongst the Ventrue, Loeb is said to have long abandoned his religion but retain a soft spot for his people, and has, when he felt it necessary, made significant contributions to the Jewish communities of the Big Apple. Ezekiel himself is a soft-spoken but large man who keeps his bush of a beard exactly as it was when he was Embraced over a century ago. Tonight, he finds himself rather less wealthy than he was some decades ago as several of his longtime ventures have faded into obscurity. Loeb, by all accounts, isn’t too bothered by his lighter pockets and seems a tad more easygoing than most of his Clanmates.
  • Vincenzo “the Tiger” Marcone (9th gen, e. 1915)— Handsome features and fiery yellow hair; a big, toothy smile and cool, patient eyes. If he’s not the most accomplished Ancilla in the Clan, Vincenzo Marcone has certainly shown himself to be the hardest working and fastest moving. Though a century dead and just entering what most Kindred consider their prime, Marcone has already made his mark on the city. An early Boss of the Morello Crime Family, Marcone used his knowledge of the city’s underworld to squeeze every drop of opportunity out of New York’s Prohibition, and quickly showed himself to be a different kind of businessman than the Clan’s usual, rapidly and aggressively expanding his territory and influence. Though the number of Kindred involved in the Big Apple’s organized crime is large, Marcone’s worked tirelessly over the past century to bring the Cosa Nostra under his thumb, and largely succeeded. Tonight he controls the Genovese and most of the rest of the city’s mob Families, including the Irish Westies through his Childe Tom Delaney. Since Bradley’s Final Death, Marcone’s been moving even faster than usual, seizing domains of weaker Kindred and consolidating his own power. Most New Yorkers think the nights of the Mob are over, that the quieter streets and the lower crime rate are a death knell for the old criminal regime. They’re about to be shown how wrong they are; tigers never give their prey the chance to start running.
  • Sabine Duval (9th gen, e.1921)— At first snickered at because of the circumstances of her Embrace (circumstances nobody seems to remember), Sabine Duval quickly showed herself to be a practiced climber of the social ladder. Supposedly one catches more flies with honeyed words, but Sabine prefers vinegar, and has caused more than one Frenzy with an acidic remark. Tonight she’s a Harpy, and rarely seen away from Fiona Montefiore. She seems to enjoy lampooning her Sire, Gideon Lowe, most of all, which has led many to speculate that their relationship is troubled. Supposedly was in a relationship with Michael Knight, but she has hotly denied having anything to do with him after his disgrace.
  • Michael Knight (9th gen, e. 1931)— In life, Michael Knight tended bar. In Death, he does the same, but he says with a smile that his patrons are much better company. Feelings are mixed about the Keeper of Elysium; after the disaster at the Danse Macabre, and the Anarch siege of Elysium, many believe he’s incompetent and complacent in his role. Already, much of the Clan and his usual allies have cut ties with him. His Primogen is no gentler. Kilgore arranged for the Tremere to brand Knight’s forehead as punishment for his failure. The message was clear: Hans Kilgore does not stand with failures. Knight currently retains his post, but his usual easy smile has been replaced with a grimace, as rivals like Fiona Montefiore and Sabine Duval close in, smelling blood in the water.
  • Tristan and Trixie Ochs (10th gen, e. 1942)— Duval’s two Childer, twins both in life and death, lack her social graces but seem to make up for it in brains. Rarely do they have the time or inclination to put in an appearance at Kindred gatherings, and rarer still does one show up without the other. Though young in Kindred terms, the siblings serve an invaluable service to the city as manipulators of the city’s media. Between the efforts of the Ochs and the Janus, many Kindred rest easily. The appreciation of their efforts hasn’t stopped the unsavory rumors surrounding the exact nature of their relationship.
  • Orson Bulloch (Unknown gen, e. unknown)— A Sireless bastard of unknown age, the city’s Kindred only took notice of Bulloch over the last fifty years. As enigmatic as Bradley, and scorned as much as the Prince was revered. There’s even some debate as to whether Bulloch is even Ventrue, but the few times he’s demonstrated Kindred abilities has forced the Blue Bloods to concede his membership. At first some Kindred observed a few social graces among his skills, but more than once he’s shown up to Elysium inebriated on alcohol-soaked Vitae, ranting and jeering at the other “bloodsucking cocksucking skullfucking bastards.” Needless to say, this cost him what few allies he ever had. Rumors abound about Bulloch, almost all of them malignant; “He’s actually a Caitiff”; “His Sire’s too embarrassed to claim him;” “He can only feed on little girls, and that’s why he drinks.” Some have wondered why he’s managed to survive as long as he has, but common speculation is that the other Ventrue keep him heavily indebted, and use him as a go-to patsy or scapegoat when necessity demands it, which further destroys his status and increases his dependence upon his abusive Clanmates. It could also be nobody cares enough to destroy him.

Neonates of note

  • Tom Delaney (10th gen, e. 1976)— Marone’s only Childe is less bold than his Sire, keeping mostly to himself and his business, which luckily consists largely of nighttime operations. A foot soldier for the Irish mob in life, Delaney controls several neighborhoods through his hold over the Irish Westies. Though well into his unlife, Delaney is considered a Neonate because of his status as his Sire’s “lieutenant”, and because of his limited interactions with other Kindred. Delaney is competent, but largely overshadowed by his Sire. His name is mentioned only in recent nights because of the Baron’s takeover of Chinatown, a territory he held— and wants back.
  • Savannah” (13th gen, e. 1982)—
  • Richard Mcginn (13th gen, e. 1993)
  • Sarah Strauss (12th gen, e. 2001)
  • Victor Delacroix (13th gen, e. 2011)

Family Trees

  • William Bradley (6th gen, e. Unknown, f.d. 2015)
    • Madrigal von Habsburg (7th gen, e. 1662)
  • Balthazar Stuyvesant (6th gen, e. 1598, f.d. 1866)
    • Nicholas Roosevelt (7th gen, e. 1732, t. 1900)
      • James Roosevelt (8th gen, e. 1878, f.d. 1900)
      • Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (8th gen, e. 1878)
  • Ursula (6th gen, e. 1296, t. 1873)
  • Oswalt Sinclair ( 8th gen, e.1855)
    • Vincenzo “The Tiger” Marcone (9th gen, e. 1915)
      • Tom Delaney (10th gen, e. 1976)
    • Michael Knight (9th gen, e. 1931)
  • Julia Ward (12th gen, e.1872)
    • “Savannah” (13th gen, e. 1982)
    • Victor Delacroix (13th gen, e. 2011)
  • Ezekiel Loeb ( 11th gen, e. 1905)
    • Sarah Strauss (12th gen, e. 2001)
    • Veronica Malveaux (12th gen, e. 2005)

The Ventrue

The Good, the Bad, and the Dead Jollyginger