Etienne de Vaillant—Tremere Pontifex, 600 years old. Having gone through many trials and experiences in his long life, Etienne has found a kind of happiness and balance between the demands of House and Clan and his own personal life (among other things, he’s secretly married and has ties with the Garou (werewolves) he’s not talking about). Now he is determined to build up his own little faction of Tremere Who Give A Damn about things—if they’re skilled in his rare area of expertise (Spirit Thaumaturgy), so much the better. He is still very much of a medieval mindset (he was once a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church), and thus takes his demon lore very literally—he also takes extremely seriously his role as leader for this group, and for his younger Tremere associates. He also has a long-standing rivalry/not-quite-enmity with Marius, based on events that occurred back in the Renaissance, and was once very close to Marius’ brother-in-blood, the saintly priest Francesco Dantini. Etienne got into this story from the first chapter, through his business connection to Dr. Charles Edward Hewitt, for whom he has since developed a deep affection, and strong mutual friendship. Etienne is one of the long-running characters in our chronicle and is thus protected by an iron-clad Clause Thirteen.
Dr. Charles Edward Hewitt—Ventrue, Victorian Era Archaeologist and Egyptologist. Undeniably the character with the gooiest marshmallow center, Charles is the image of the affable, prudish, perpetually distracted Victorian absent-minded professor. Until he happened to acquire a small collection of unusual Egyptian artifacts from an unknown tomb, his existence was defined by his part-time adjunct professor’s slot at University of Wisconsin-Madison (night classes only), his fascination with Kindred history, a handful of friends, and was mostly uneventful, dull, and to be honest, a bit lonely. This summer all of that is going to change… Charles has become one of the most beloved characters in the chronicle—it seems to know him is to love him—but he is not protected by a Clause Thirteen of any type and is one of the two or three prime candidates for a tragic (but heroic) final death.
Dr. Gabriel Roark— Ventrue scholar, sorcerer and demon-hunter, 800 years old. Behind the casual facade of Hawaiian shirts, a facile command of contemporary slang and pop-culture references, and a biting wit dripping with sarcasm, Gabriel is a vampire with a shadowed past, a heavy burden of guilt, and many dark and dangerous secrets. His friendship with Marius has endured for centuries; in fact, Gabriel is blood-bound to and deeply in love with his oldest friend. The blood-bond is also his strongest defense against the temptations of his dark past. Known in the Camarilla as an eccentric Ventrue scholar-philosopher and demon-hunter, he has often butted heads with the “modernists” who insist that little or nothing in the oral mythology of the vampire clans can possibly actually be TRUE—particularly when they insist on destroying any artifacts or relics that might support portions of that mythology as historical fact. Unfortunately, this particular storyline is sure to bring everyone’s dark secrets out in the open …. Gabriel is one of the oldest characters in the chronicle, and protected by a Clause Thirteen.
Marius dell’Aquila—Lasombra, Priscus of the Sabbat and Dominion of the Black Hand, 800 years old. Passionate, idealistic, charismatic and proud, Marius has been through his own dark trials and darker times in his past, and has to some extent regained something of his lost humanity (thanks to the harsh intervention of some very determined friends). Marius is a bit of a wild card among the Sabbat—his true identity as one of its founding elders and the former prince of renaissance-era Milan is not generally known, but he is old enough and tough enough to go his own way as he pleases. He generally finds the modern Sabbat too bloodthirsty and unsophisticated, if not downright barbaric, and prefers to avoid dealing with them unless his duties with the Hand make such interaction unavoidable. His friendship with Gabriel Roark goes back centuries; Gabriel’s haven on Cayman Brac is the closest thing he has to a home, and he is very protective of Gabriel’s darkest secrets. Marius is also one of the longest-running characters in the chronicle, and is (currently) protected by a Clause Thirteen.