Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Lanzo von Sachsen
This prominent ancilla of the Holy Roman Ventrue is High Lord Hardestadt's diplomat. Lanzo served as Hardestadt's agent in the 4th Crusade.
A tall, brawny, aging German nobleman with a severe cut to his silvery blonde hair, lively blue eyes and strong features. He is dressed in russet velvet cut to show off his impressive frame, and a cloak of bear skin adorns his shoulders. He is armed with a long dagger.
Lanzo was born the youngest brother of Billung von Stubenskorn, who would go on to found the House of Billung that would eventually produce Bernhard von Billung over a century later. Billung von Stubenskorn and his family were charged with bringing both German law and Christianity to the pagans of the unruly eastern marches. While Billung earned most of the glory in this mission, it was Lanzo’s deep passion and commitment to the cause that earned the interest of the Ventrue elder Hardestadt. Then Lord of Bavaria, the famed elder was just one of several prominent Cainites vying for supremacy in the nascent empire that King Otto I was just beginning to build. Hardestadt required an instrument in the rising territory of Saxony, and found the right mix of piety and ruthlessness in Billung, Lanzo had more potential as a servant.
Lanzo was a perfect candidate for the Embrace, and Hardestadt sent one of his inner circle, Guntramus, to bring him across. At first repulsed by his new state, Lanzo learned in time to accept it as a blessing. Immortal, he could guarantee that the new Holy Roman Empire would assume its proper place in Christendom- with the Ventrue as its guardians. By the turn of the 11th century, he was ensconced in the Holy Roman Imperial court, where he acted for Saxony’s interests as well as that of all Christendom’s. His way has always been that of the gallant: passion, duty and religion are all to Lanzo, and he rarely thinks before following any of them.
Since then, he has protected his native land from afar, working hard to see that Ventrue occupied the thrones of every emerging city. In AD 1070, he learned to his disgust that a Gangrel elder, the miscreant known as Lucien the Roman, had had the temerity to Embrace one of his mortal brother’s own descendants, Bernhard. By then, however, his attachment to the House of Billung was little more than a memory, and Lanzo did not grieve when the house died out a generation later. Lanzo now dedicates himself to the idea of Saxony itself, inside the protective aegis of militant Holy Roman Christianity.
In addition to furthering the cause of Christianity, Lanzo von Sachsen considers the Crusades an important strike against the Assamites and Settites, both of whom he sees as insidious enemies of Western civilisation. To that end, he supports the Byzantines as a bulwark against Islam. He hopes that wrangling over matters of religious authority will not interfere with the goal of beating back common enemies.
Lanzo attended the Cainite council of the militi christi in Venice, where he argued for Egypt as the destination for the 4th Crusade. In this cause, he was aided by the knights Roland du Rochere and Aimery de Versey , both of whom had extensive experience with the Crusader Ventrue. Sir Roland had a skill at Socratic argument that Lanzo lacked, and the smooth Sir Aimery had an enviable skill at winning fence-sitters over in isolated discussions. Their just cause had all but succeeded when Sir Roland was foully murdered. Seeing his carefully laid plans destroyed, and never one to think before leaping into emotional displays, Lanzo immediately accused his Low Clan kinsman Bernhard von Billung and his companions Sister Muade and Veceslav Bararab on the scantiest of evidence. Whatever the outcome of the investigation that followed, Lanzo looked the fool- leaving his enemies well-pleased.
Once the investigation was concluded, Lanzo immediately apologised to the Concord, stating that his impulsive accusations were unworthy of his station. He offered the coterie a minor boon in compensation, and left the matter to stand rectified. The Holy Roman Ambassador has elected to travel with the Crusade to act in its best interests, and is accorded a place of honour on the small council. The damage to his reputation in Venice is such, however, that he is considered a spent force.
In the many months since the Crusade has become diverted first to Zara and Corfu, and then to Constantinople, Lanzo has grown increasingly uneasy with the course of the Crusade. In council he speaks frequently of the need to conclude the financial troubles of the pilgrimage and direct its energies where they belong- the safety and security of the Holy Land from the hordes of heathen Paynims.
Lineage: Childe of Guntramus, Childe of Prince Felix of Passau, Childe of High Lord Hardestadt, Childe of Erik Eigermann (d?), Childe of Veddartha
(d?)= probably destroyed.