Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Sir Guy d'Arles
This ancilla of the Eastern Lord Ventrue serves as the envoy of his influential sire, Prince Kuritz of Lüneburg, a prominent vassal of Lord Jürgen von Verden. Sir Guy is the mortal enemy of Bernhard von Billung.
A young, handsome, clean-shaven knight with short brown hair and glittering blue eyes. He is dressed in the fashion of a courtier rather than a warrior, though his broadsword and dagger look to have seen plenty of use.
Guy d’Arles is a knight from a long line of knights, and he can claim King Hugh d’Arles as an ancestor (through Hugh’s legitimate daughter, Alda). Alas, in spite of his ancient pedigree, his ancestors suffered reversals of fortune down through the generations to such a degree that Sir Guy found himself an impoverished freelance. He had breeding and manners to burn, but no land nor any fortune beyond his horse, his arms and whatever silver he could get for his service. It transpired that he eventually came into the service of Lothair of Supplinberg, the first inheritor of the mantle of Duke of Saxony after the Billung line ended.
Sir Guy fought well but without distinction, nor much reward, in the wars between Lothair and Otto von Ballenstedt, a rival claimant to the Duchy. He was soon forgotten by his victorious master as Lothair advanced to become first the King of Germany and then Holy Roman Emperor. Sir Guy swiftly fell on hard times, disillusioned with his already fading glory and honour. He lost himself in the bawdy houses and taverns of Lüneburg and Brunswick, sinking into depravity and alcoholism as the years passed. He reached the ebb of his fortune when he was forced to sell his sword, a family heirloom, just to pay for a room. He decided at this point that his only remaining options were either suicide or rank thuggery.
It was here that he was found by his sire, the merchant Kuritz, who gave him a third option. Kuritz had declared himself Prince of Lüneburg, and had ample muscle in the swords-woman Lucretia von Hartz, but he needed another childe:- one who could navigate the pitfalls of the high nobility with grace and poise. Kuritz would return Sir Guy’s sword, and give him access to the fortune and the halls of power that had always been denied him. All he need do was swear eternal service and become a blood-drinking monster of the night. Sir Guy accepted, even before Kuritz’ finished outlining the terms.
For Kuritz to successfully claim praxis over Lüneburg, he needed to eject the ancient Gangrel Lucien and his fledgeling, Bernhard von Billung, from the city. With Lucien dwelling in the city as a free agent, no one would ever accept Kuritz’ claim as genuine. Sir Guy’s unenviable task was to discern whether Lucien would come to Bernhard’s defence, and he chose to prey upon the Gangrel’s grand daughter, Jana, in order to do so. The fact that the girl was ‘just his type’ was just a happy coincidence. He creatively slew the girl’s parents and was attacked by Bernhard. The resulting fight nearly cost the fledgeling his Unlife, but the danger to Kuritz’ Domain was enough to force his liege, Lord Jürgen, to intervene on their behalf. Von Billung refused to swear fealty to Prince Kuritz and Lord Jürgen, and accepted von Verden’s demand that he leave the city.
Successful in his sire’s eyes, Sir Guy would go on to become Kuritz’ envoy to the court of Lord Jürgen. Although eclipsed in almost every way by his elder sister in blood, Lucretia, Sir Guy has continued in this role for a century. He has travelled constantly around the Duchy but remains based in Lüneburg.
Some ten years later, Sir Guy encountered the now nearly fully grown Jana in Brunswick. He followed her home and, heedless of the danger, attacked the girl that so tormented his senses and memories. He tortured and exsanguinated her, and was in the process of watching her bleed out when Bernhard again came upon the scene. Bernhard soundly beat the French knight once again, humiliating d’Arles with his greater skill. If not for his loyal squire, Sir Guy would have been destroyed that night. He managed to flee once more, as von Billung rushed to the aid of his dying ward. Many decades later, it still brings a grin to his face to know that Jana was Embraced that night, and that she never forgave Bernhard for doing so.
A number of years later, Sir Guy and Bernhard (in his adopted guise of Gunthar Ritter von Wolfgang) crossed blades once more. As the 2nd Crusade moved through Pressburg, they encountered each other in a brothel. This time Sir Guy, with the aid of his ally, István Arpad, got the upper hand and von Billung was incapacitated. Both Cainites were punished harshly by Prince Gregor. The reception in Pressburg is still hostile towards Sir Guy, perhaps because Jana von Dorsten is now Prince Gregor’s Scourge.
Sir Guy continues in his appointed role. Prestige and riches are his, and yet he has grown bored. Lucretia wrote to him recently to tell him that Gunthar ritter von Wolfgang has staked a Domain in the Siebenburgen. He looks forward eagerly to the eastward expansion of Lord Jürgen’s demesnes, and wonders if perhaps the Eastern Lords need to look rather further east in the near future?
Lineage: Childe of Prince Kuritz of Lüneburg, Childe of Baron Hredel, Childe of Prince Felix of Passau, Childe of Hardestaadt, Childe of Erik Eigermann (d?), Childe of Veddartha