Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
A diplomat in service to the Sea of Shadows, Tommaso was an obnoxious and disruptive influence on the Cainite Council of the 4th Crusade.
A good-looking Italian with sharp, angular features and a fashionable goatee, dressed in the fine apparel of a well-to-do merchant. His grey eyes are sharp and calculating, and he bears a slightly haughty expression. He is armed with a dagger.
(modified from Bitter Crusade, pp. 83-84)
Tommaso began his mortal existence in Venice, the son of a prominent merchant.He spent much of his youth travelling the Mediterranean with his father and uncles. Those travels took him to the Byzantine empire, the caliphate of Egypt ad the holy city of Jerusalem. He soon acquired fluency in Arabic and Greek, as well as a keen business sense. Despite the protests of churchmen, Tommaso saw nothing immoral about trading with the infidels. Although a Christian, he was never especially devoted to his faith. He found fulfillment in mercantile endeavours rather than matters of religion.
All that changed when Al-Hakim, the Fatimid caliph, ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre and all Christian sites in Jerusalem in AD 1009. Tommaso and his family had the misfortune of being in Jerusalem at that time. Caught by soldiers under orders from the mad Al-Hakim, Tommaso’s family were killed. The young man escaped- for a time. He hid in the streets of the Old City for days, avoiding the wave of anti-Christian zeal fostered by the caliph. For the first time since his childhood, Tommaso prayed for God to deliver him.
Unfortunately, his deliverance came in the form of a soldier’s sword. Discovered in his hiding place, Tommaso was run through and left for dead. As life fled his body, he heard an unfamiliar voice ask him if he wished to avenge his family. With his last gasp of breath, Tommaso agreed, accepting the Embrace of Jermanos, a Lebanese Christian Lasombra.
Jermanos tutored the neonate in the realities of Cainite existence, including the strife within Clan Lasombra. Jermanos suggested that Al-Hakim’s attack on the Christians in Jerusalem had been at the instigation of Muslim Lasombra. He then assured his charge that the time would come to strike back against those who destroyed his mortal existence. He need only learn, wait and hone his hatred of the infidels.
Since his Embrace, Brexiano has expanded his trade network, and has contacts from one end of the the Mediterranean to the other. Tommaso and Jermanos have aided each of the major Crusades to the east with logistical support, providing supplies of food, materials and slaves for the Cainites to feed upon. The loss of much of the Kingdom of Jerusalem after the Battle of Hattin left both of them without their bases of support. Jermanos went to ground soon after, leaving Tommaso without his guidance for the first time in nearly two centuries.
Casting about for a new base and a new patron, Tommaso eventually gained the support of Sylvester de Ruiz, architect of the Iberian Reconquista for the Sea of Shadows. He works now under the oversight of de Ruiz’ childe, a much younger but considerably more influential ancilla known as Ambrosio Luis Moncada. Tommaso bases himself in the Catalan port of Barcelona, but he finds the tolerant nature of Prince Myreia Subira not at all to his liking. Instead he chooses to travel between Barcelona and Madrid, carrying messages and supplies from the coast to the Castilian city where Moncada rules as de facto prince. Tommaso also spends much of his time aboard his ships, carrying important messages and serving as a representative of the Sea of Shadows in the distant reaches of the Mediterranean.
It was in this regard that Tommaso Brexiano came to represent the Sea of Shadows in the Cainite Council of the 4th Crusade. He was accompanied to Venice by Moncada’s childe, the neonate Lucita d’Aragon. Tommaso chose to use the tactics of the demagogue in council sessions, haranguing the Ventrue for their unwillingness to fight the Muslim threat head-on, and so relieve the Christians under threat in Palestine. An experienced diplomat, he smiled at Bernhard von Billung’s insults, but he was well and truly outdone by the acid tongue of Sister Maude and the skilled oratory of Sir Roland du Rochere.
In the wake of Roland’s murder, and with his momentum lost, Tommaso backed the accusations of his Ventrue rival, Lanzo von Sachsen, against the Concord. His deplorable tactics turned the stomach of even his subordinate.Lucita, unknown to Tommaso, knew the Concord from a previous adventure in Transylvania, and met with them to explain that he did this in order to provide enough distraction so that he could regroup. The ploy almost worked, but the Concord cleared their names and brought to justice the true murderer, the Assamite Ziyad al-Djahiz.
Unlike Lanzo, Tommaso lacked the courage of his convictions. He neither apologised for his groundless accusations nor sailed with the 4th Crusade when they left Venice. Instead, he returned to Iberia to report his failure to his masters.
Lineage: Childe of Jermanos, Childe of Aramachaeos (d), Childe of Zarathustra, Childe of Boukephos, Childe of Lasombra