Aglaia

This Brujah ancilla reigned as the Prince of Corcyra, known to the West as Corfu, for over a century. She was deposed by the forces of the Fourth Crusade, and soon went to the Final Death for the crimes she committed in revenge for that affront.

Description:

Aglaia was perhaps five feet in height, but she radiated such personality that she seems much taller. A heavy-set woman with a prominent nose, long tangled black hair and very dark, intense brown eyes, she would more likely be described as handsome rather than comely. At the time of Final Death she wore blood and gore spattered robes of a simple, elegant and traditional cut, as well as bracelets and a couple of rings made of gold.

Bio:

The late former prince of Corcyra was a strong, driven and intelligent Cainite, who spent much of her existence pursuing the Brujah ideal of entelechy. She was also, for many years, the lover of the Cappadocian elder, Drenis. Alas, Aglaia’s refusal to give in to the political vicissitudes of Cainite and kine politics, as well as her obsessive, uncompromising pursuit of the power to maintain her Domain, eventually brought her undone. She lost her position due to the presence of the Fourth Crusade and her resulting slide into madness and despair led to her crimes against the Traditions that resulted in her Final Death.

Embraced in the middle of the tenth century A.D., Aglaia and her twin sister sister Adonia were beloved of the Corinthian Brujah Periander and Phyllida. The sisters spent the best of a century training in the libraries and gymnasiums of their sires, seeking to perfect their potential in accordance with the ancient doctrine of entelechy. Eventually, they took to wandering first as a pair, and then later on their own. While Phyllida eventually elected to settle among the Ancients of Greece, Aglaia was determined to shape her own domain, with no interference from the tired and static philosophies of her elders.

At the turn of the twelfth century, Aglaia came to the island and port of Corcyra, and decided to make it her own. The only other Cainite in residence was the Cappadocian elder, Drenis, who had recently emerged from a long torpor. While they initially had little in common, the two Cainites were inspired to enter into an intellectual discourse. Aglaia imparted to Drenis the philosophy of entelechy, and trained her in the physical disciplines. In return, the Cappadocian shared what she knew of her interest in the pursuit of Golconda, and secretly trained the Brujah in the arts of Mortis. Eventually they became lovers and entered into a mutual blood bond.

The charnel-maid had little interest in mortal affairs, being more deeply concerned with the state of her own soul and those of the dead that lay in the acropolis. Even so, Aglaia’s passion for the well-being of the mortals of the port (perhaps amplified by the power of the Blood Bond) eventually captured the interest of the elder, and the two watched over the resurgent port for nearly eighty years. Aglaia recognised the value of cornering not just legitimate sea-borne trade, but also the rough-and-tumble smuggling community that worked the Dalmatian coast. She chose to exercise her power to influence Corcyran society through its under-belly and before long, many of Corcyra’s citizens were frequent nocturnal visitors to Aglaia’s villa at the southern end of the port. One of these captains, a widower by the name of Petros Anthes, took deathly ill and left his son Aristaeos in the care of his patrons. Aglaia raised the boy as her own, and under her patronage he became a powerful merchant in hos own right.

Sadly, the time of plenty was not to last. The unpredictable political tide of the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean seas eventually brought hardship to the successful port. By AD 1170, the city-states of Venice and Genoa took an unwholesome interest in the strategic position of Corcyra (or Corfu as they knew it). The interdiction of legitimate trade to the island by the former city caused Aglaia to ally more and more with illegitimate trade from the latter. By the 1170’s, Genoese privateers and smugglers were a common sight in the port town. With them came the potent, charismatic and notorious Lamia pirate known as Eustacia.

Eustacia walked the Road of Sin, and denied herself nothing in the pursuit of her pleasure. Her ships struck often along the coast of North Africa, Southern Iberia and the Levant, taking infidels for the secret slave markets of the West. That many of the captives actually failed to make it to market concerned their Lamia captor not at all, for to spare the world and her crews the “inconvenience” of the plague that came with her Kiss, Eustacia killed every time she fed. Charismatic and impulsive in a way that Drenis was not, Eustacia entranced Aglaia and the prince eventually took the pirate for a lover as well. By the 1190s she began to prefer the company of the Lamia over that of the Cappadocian, especially after Eustacia shared some of the more destructive and powerful applications of the Mortis discipline. Aglaia had become addicted to the power that the Lamia offered, and obsessed with protected her Domain against foreign interlopers.

Drenis was saddened by the schism between her and Aglaia, but took the break philosophically, believing that all things in life and death, even Cainites, must adhere to cycles. Her role was to minimise suffering, and so she withdrew once more to the ancient ruined Acropolis of Artemis. In the years to come she maintained her care for the necropolis south of the port, and removed herself from Corcycra’s affairs.

Under Eustacia’s tutelage, Aglaia became a powerful worker of the more malign aspects of Mortis, and {larely unknown to her former lover) she ensured her demesnes at the expense of the erosion of her humanitas. When the Fourth Crusade arrived on the island in April of AD 1203, Eustacia fled with the rest of the Genoese, but Aglaia elected to remain and resisted them. She was deposed for her stubbornness, and Sir Guy set up court in her villa. Aglaia retreated to Aghios Demetrios, Aristaeon’s private island off the coast of the port, and plotted her revenge.

With her incisive mind, Aglaia determined that the Fourth Crusade suffered from great internal divisions, and so decided to exacerbate these tensions. Using her command of the rituals of Mortis, the exiled prince inflicted plague on the host of the Crusade, and hired Norman mercenaries from Durazzo to slay agents of Marquis Boniface. She hoped to cause the dissolution of the pilgrimage, but instead attracted the notice of the Concord, who had thrown in their lot with the crusade. They stymied her efforts, resulting in further erosion of the Brujah’s tenuous grasp.

Aglaia was hunted by the Concord and the Cainite Crusade. Through their talents, as well as the assistance of the concerned Drenis, her hiding place on Aghios Demetrios was discovered. As were her crimes. On the island, signs of a great frenzy were found. The Brujah had slaughtered every mortal that she found on Aghios Demetrios: the family of her adopted son Aristaeon was no more, neither were their servants spared. Seemingly in denial, Aglaia had used the Black Arts to resurrect all of the dead as zombu. It would appear that the exiled prince had degenerated far more than anyone had previously thought.

Aglaia was apprehended at the cost of the unlife of Sir Arnaud le brave. She was subsequently found to be in breach of several Traditions by de-facto prince of Corcyra Sir Guy and sentenced to the Final Death. Aglaia was indignant to the last, until her executor appeared. Drenis called in further favours to do the deed herself, performing once more her duties as charnel-maid and seeking to minimise the harm to her lover. She said, “take heart, my love. It will soon be over,” then drained the manacled Brujah to the point of diablerie before tearing Aglaia’s throat out with her fangs. The former prince fell to Wassail during the act, breaking Drenis’ heart and chilling the souls of most of the Cainites present. Her last desperate, forlorn wail would echo in the daytime sleep of many, including the members of the Concord, for some time after.

Embrace: AD 969.

Final Death: May, AD 1203.

Lineage: Childe of Prince Periander of Corinth; further lineage is unknown but she placed herself among the 7th generation.

Aglaia

The Concord of Ashes Haligaunt