Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Sir Gauthier de Dampiere
A fanatical vampire hunter, knight and crusader, Gauthier is aware of and battling the dark forces that surround the 4th Crusade. He has organised a cadre of like-minded knights, priests and soldiers to assist him in purifying God's army.
A Frankish knight in his middle age, of medium height and a strong, athletic build. He is farily plain looking, with a high forehead, a strong jaw, and dark hair that is swiftly succumbing to grey. He keeps his hair very short; cut in a functional, military style to interfere less with his helmet. The knight’s eyes are likewise dark, but they possess a lively, darting quality that draws the eye and belies a deeply fanatical nature. He dresses simply in the garb of a poor knight in the service of Christ, and his drab surcoat displays no device other than a large russet cross on the chest. Strangely, in addition to a plain, functional dagger he favours the weapon of the enemy: a curved Damascene sword, clearly of great craftsmanship, rests at his belt.
Sir Gauthier represents what the more cautious Cainites truly fear: a resourceful mortal, driven by True Faith, with a knowledge of the Children of Cain, the will to fight, and a capacity to draw others to his cause. It is certainly true that he is a fanatic (and likely more than a little mad), and seemingly unconcerned with the repercussions of his actions so long as he follows the plan that God has set for him.
Little is known of his background or motivations, although Bernhard mentioned that the Dampiere’s are a prominent (and wealthy) noble family of Champagne. They are direct vassals to the French king rather than the count, and it is more than passing strange that one of them would throw it all away to become a simple penitent knight.
Sir Gauthier was first observed by the Concord in Venice, preaching on a street corner to a mass of natives and pilgrims. He exhorted them in broken Itlian to “recognise the evil in their midst”, to seek out those monsters and to smite them “as Judas Machabeus did to the Greeks.” Amongst the crowd was none other than Roderigue de Navarre, although the nobleman made no move to approach the knight. Gauthier’s rant ended with a passionate plea for those gathered to “go forth and destroy evil wherever you find it!”
Naturally, the crowd turned into an ugly mob that attacked anything and everything that they felt threatened them. Jews, foreigners, vagrants and even some of their own number fell prey to the mob that night.
Sir Gauthier was seen again at Zara, this time in company with a number of other knights, priests, monks and sergeants. During the sack of the city, this company attacked the Obertus Monastery, slaying all the Cainites and their servants within and putting the abbey to the torch. At least four Tzimisce were destroyed in the attack, including Farkas Toth, which directly caused the attacks by his sister Bodor that in turn almost completely derailed the Fourth Crusade altogether.
During the second Venetian sack of the city months later, it would appear that Sir Gauthier and his cohorts were also responsible for the destruction of Gari, the mad prince Zara. Several among the Concord have speculated that the mortals may have been manipulated by the Narsene Lasombra in that matter.