Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
This Brujah ancilla rules the Amalfitan Quarter of Constantinople at the pleasure of Bishop Alfonzo of Venice. Alfredo chafes at the arrangement, but is powerless to change it.
A haggard looking man, careworn and pale, approaching his middle years. His dun coloured hair is cut short and functional, and his dark eyes have a shrewd, calculating aspect. He dresses as thousands of other merchants of the Latin Quarter, in sober brown and off-white. A dagger is belted at his waist.
When Cainites new to the Latin Quarter ask around about the ‘Master of the Amlafitans’, they are often told that he is a “decent enough fellow, when he isn’t licking the shit off of the Bishop’s boots”. Of course, never would they say such a thing within earshot of Alfredo d’Atrano, a Prodigal of Clan Brujah renowned for taking bloody revenge for the slightest of insults. Unfortunately for Alfredo, the insult is also true. He does owe Bishop Alfonzo of Venice for his position, and the Venetians never let him forget it.
His sire, Sergius, was a greedy, treacherous ancilla of Amalfi who ruled the quarter with an iron fist. Sergius and his reluctant second arrived in the city in the wake of the Latin Riots and the Eighth Council of 1185. Eager to achieve his ambitions quickly, and seeing powerful, independent elders and hungry rivals in every shadow, Sergius quickly reached an accommodation with Alfonzo, who had at that time only just arrived in the city himself. Together the Brujah and Lasombra ancillae swept to power, and established an alliance between the Cainites of their two quarters against the predatory Pisanos and contrary Genoese. Alfredo was uncomfortable with his sire’s grasping nature and unwholesome alliances, but his loyalty to Sergius never flagged. In addition to serving as muscle, he was placed in control of his sire’s considerable mercantile assets, so that the Master of the Amalfitans might concentrate on the intrigue that was his meat and drink.
By the mid-1190’s however, it was clear that Sergius was now playing second fiddle to his supposed ally, and the Brujah began moving to establish greater links with Bishop Gabriella of Genoa. Her murder in January of AD 1198, followed by his a scant week later (supposedly at the fangs of Assamite assassins) drew sage looks from the political pundits. None would dare say that Bishop Alfonzo arranged the murders, but most Cainites in the Latin Quarter believed it.
Reluctant to abandon his sire’s holdings (which he rightfully determined were now his inheritance), but clearly understanding that he had no chance of matching wits or power with the elders in his own quarter, or either the Narsene Lasombra or the belligerent Pisanos in the next, Alfredo swallowed his pride and approached the Bishop for a new partnership. The Venetian welcomed the alliance, but mercilessly dictated the uneven terms which have defined Alfredo’s existence ever since.
Alfredo is “Master of the Amalfitan Quarter”. However, he must recognise Alfonzo as his overlord. Further, he has no power to award Domain (the Second Tradition) in his own quarter; that privilege belongs to the Bishop alone. He must pay a tribute of 15% of all gross earnings to his overlord each month — expenses come out of Alfredo’s end, not the Bishop’s. In return for this, Alfredo enjoys the right to enforce the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Traditions. In short, of all the Cainites who exist in the Amalfitan Quarter, technically only Alfredo enjoys the right to create progeny, or grant it to others. If he grants that right to another, obviously a boon will result. He can also hold a vampire responsible for the acts of their progeny, providing they have not been formally released. In addition to these benefit, Alfredo can police the Silence of the Blood. Finally, he enjoys the Right of Destruction, should anyone transgress on these other rights. In actuality however, he enjoys no power to actually punish one of the Narsene family for transgressing on his rights, nor would he dare gainsay one of the independent elders that live in his quarter.
In light of this, it is understandable that Alfredo d’Atrano is a frustrated and vengeful individual. His power is fragile at best, and easily removed at the pleasure of Venice. He has enemies among his own quarter; foes who need never seek him out in a fair fight (which he would likely win). These rivals need only show Alfonzo that they are more capable, and more profitable, agents of the Bishop’s designs. No less than 3 older Cainites dwell in the quarter also, each quite able to resist his best attempts at bringing them to his side.
His case is not completely hopeless, however, for he does have capable allies of his own. These include the Malkavian merchant-savant Adolf Marburg, Rodolphio di Salerno, a cut-throat Nosferatu information merchant and fence, Riccardo Pollomba, a shy Carrion mercantile genius, and Erminia, the youngest of his childer. In addition, Aflredo has created three more Cainites who have been assigned to tasks far from the city. His coterie are known to meet every evening at the Golden Galley, a large inn (which Alfredo is reputed to own) not a stone’s throw from the southern sweep of the Venetian Quarter.
Lineage: Childe of Sergius d’Amalfi(d), Childe of Lupercio, former prince of Atrano (d)