Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Gregor von Naumburg
The Prince of Pressburg; this ancilla is Bulscu's comparatively unambitious older brother-in-blood. He is also the mentor of Gunthar ritter's errant childe, Jana, and the sire of Prince Nova Arpad of Mediasch.
A handsome, pale German nobleman wearing the latest in Hungarian court fashions. He appears to be fit and able-bodied, only slightly diminished by the vicissitudes of middle-age. There is a little salt and pepper in his brown hair and carefully trimmed beard. His eyes have a bright, cheerful and intelligent light in them, and he carries an air of gentle amusement about him. He is armed with a simple dagger.
In his mortal years, Gregor ritter von Naumburg was a Saxon knight in the service of Duke Arnulf the Bad of Carinthia. While he was a capable warrior and leader, Gregor’s true talents lay in diplomacy, estate administration and politics. Indeed, it was he who suggested that Arnulf confiscate church land and property to finance the Duke’s military adventures against the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry the Fowler. Gregor ritter’s discerning mind, opportunism and moral flexibility earned him the patronage of the Ventrue methuselah known as Heinrich von Volstag, who also used the sly knight to broker a truce with the Magyars and ferret out the agents of the Brujah warlord, Dominic. Gregor finally earned the Embrace in AD 938, and thereafter further repaid his sire’s trust in first singling out Bulscu as Dominic’s chief agent in the Confederation and then helping to turn the treacherous ghoul’s loyalties to the Ventrue.
After Bulscu’s subsequent Embrace, Gregor and a number of other knights loyal to Heinrich accompanied him back to his people. While the rest of their coterie busied themselves establishing influence over the Confederation, Gregor was responsible for inducting his fellow neonate into the ways of the Children of Caine and the Clan Ventrue. However, he was from the outset Bulscu’s lieutenant, not his equal. The Man of Blood bent his knee to Heinrich von Volstag alone, and would accept no other superiors or equals in his quest for power. For his part, Gregor accepted his subordinate role with equanimity, claiming that he was only truly interested in Domain over a single city. With his brother-in-blood’s blessing, he initiated a lightning fast campaign in the autumn of AD 961 and snatched the Princedom of Pressburg (also known as Bratislava) from a Lasombra elder by the name of Burchard.
In the two centuries since he claimed his throne, Prince Gregor has established a prosperous demesne, but has drawn some criticism for being a lax and light-handed prince. He seems to have been true to his word to Bulscu and appears content to rest on his laurels, seemingly taking genuine pleasure in administrating his own city with a casual hand. Visitors are welcome, of High Clan and Low, and a number of those visitors have become loyal permanent residents that have aided him in destroying more than one would-be interloper. The most notable of these is his fearsome Scourge, the Gangrel Jana von Dorsten. Other members of his court include Edwina Arlen (Clan Cappadocian, his Lorekeeper), Charles Penesh (Clan Toreador, his Seneschal), and Klaus Badler (his own progeny, and Pressburg’s Sheriff). The former Prince of Schaasburg, Karol Borbás, lies in torpor under Gregor’s protection as well. A noted captain and warrior, as well as a founding member of the Council of Ashes, Karol was a friend and some-time vassal of the Prince of Pressburg. The Toreador Arianne is an infrequent visitor, as is the Tremere diplomat known as Locus.
It is said in some circles that Gregor has failed to live up to his promise. Indeed, in his many years the only truly significant contributions that he has made to the Arpad faction are the Embraces of Nova Arpad and Gisella von Merseburg in AD 1050 and 1102 respectively. He maintains contact with his over-achieving chider, both of whom have gone on to establish Princedom’s (of Mediasch and Eger), but has long since let them go their own way. Gregor also maintains a lively correspondence with many of the younger Arpads as well, offering free advice and his services as a mediator when necessary. He sits in his border city, taking the best that both Holy Roman and Hungarian civilisation and commerce have to offer, and he seems content. All in all, Prince Gregor has had a very easy time of it.
The only true unpleasantness in his idyllic existence was when the Man of Blood broke from Heinrich in the early decades of the 12th century. After considering his limited options, Gregor readily bent his knee to Bulscu in order to keep his Domain (and his head), thus forever breaking from his beloved sire. Heinrich rebuked both of his treacherous progeny, but in truth his power had been waning for decades by that point and their was little he could do about it. The weary methuselah soon ceded his power to the ambitious Jürgen von Verden before retiring to some hidden redoubt to undertake the Sleep of Ages.
Gunthar ritter met Prince Gregor when the Gangrel knight passed through Pressburg on the 2nd Crusade, with the army of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. While carousing in company with the Ventrue Sir Vicelin de Marseilles, the Saxon chanced upon his mortal enemy, the French Ventrue Sir Guy d’Arles, who was in company with István Arpad. Sir Vicelin was unwilling to defend Gunthar ritter from his clan-mates and after a vicious fight, the Gangrel was subdued. The violent quarrel broke the Traditions of the Domain and the Silence of the Blood, as well as threatening the Tradition of the Covenant.
Prince Gregor was incensed, and intended to sentence Gunthar ritter to the Final Death for his crimes. The surprise intervention of the Gangrel knight’s estranged childe, Jana von Dorsten (whom Gunthar did not even realise was in the city, let alone a valued member of the prince’s court) earned him a grant of clemency as a personal favour to Jana von Dorsten. Yet another shock. Why would his hateful childe, who wished him ill, show such willingness to intercede on his behalf as to enter into prestation with the prince? The answer was soon made clear. Instead of Final Death, Gunthar ritter was offered the alternative punishment of a single drink of the blood of both Gregor and Jana, and exile from the city. The Gangrel accepted the alternative punishment, and was cast out of the city without having the chance to speak to his estranged daughter-in-blood. He at least had the satisfaction of knowing that Sir Guy would be exiled as well.
More than fifty years later Gunthar ritter attempted to gain entry to the city once again, but was prevented from doing so by Sheriff Klaus Badler and Edwina Arlen. They told him, with all due respect for his hard-earned reputation, that Prince Gregor’s punishment still stood. Apparently the Prince of Pressburg is not as light-handed as his reputation would indicate.
Lineage: Childe of Heinrich of Volstag, Childe of Erik Eigermann (d?), Childe of Veddartha