Dreams at the Crossroads
The Baron's Gangrel
(modified from Constantinople by Night, pp. 77-78)
A storm gathers about Constantinople. The Gangrel family, led by Baron Thomas Feroux has sworn to protect the city, and to ensure the safety and prosperity of the family’s patrons, the Obertus Tzimisce. Since the Baron’s arrival over a century ago, the Gangrel have become indispensable to the security of the Dream. Their contacts among the clan, both in the East and the West, allow them to transport Cainites from one end of the Byzantine Empire to the other, while simultaneously ensuring the safety of Constantinople.
Recognized as Scions of the Obertus during the Fifth Council of AD 890, the Baron’s Gangrel make up one of the largest families. many of them, however, do not reside in Constantinople. Instead, they travel across Eastern Europe and the Near East on various missions. The Baron grants his people freedom, yet upon the Embrace each shares blood with Symeon in a baptismal ceremony. The Baron’s network of Cainites keeps him informed of developments inside and outside the Byzantine Empire.
The family’s primary responsibility, however, is the protection of Gesu and the Obertus monasteries, a task it fulfills with almost religious fervour. Indeed, it is known among the families that if one absolutely has to find one of the Baron’s Gangrel, all they need do is approach the Monastery of St. John Studius or the Church of Christ Pantokrator, and the Gangrel will find them. Contrary to their barbaric reputation elsewhere, the Gangrel look with awe upon the wealth of knowledge they guard. The Baron also enforces the Codex of Legacies throughout the city, and are particularly assiduous in patrolling the limits of the Latin Quarter, hoping to punish the arrogant Latins for their transgressions.
In keeping with the Baron’s Norman background, his family is feudal in organisation. Thomas is the ruler of his clan, and he grants titles to his subordinates, assigning them places within the family’s hierarchy. Baron Thomas is Knight Commander, and he is served directly by three Knight Captains, Verpus Sauzezh, Urbien and Justinian. These in turn are served by a number of senior knights and junior squires. Once every three years, the Baron’s Gangrel journey from all over the empire to Constantinople to share news and stories and renew their oaths of fealty. Thomas is the only Gangrel normally allowed to sire in Michael’s city. However, numerous members of the Greek Gangrel bloodline serve him, and he has been known to grant permission to them to take a prospective childe outside the Domain, Embrace them there, and return with them, where he will then formally adopt them as his own. This privilege is granted as a reward on very rare occasions. So far, the feudal order that the Baron applies to his family has served him well, mainly for its ritualized traditions and oaths of fealty.
A PARTIAL ROSTER OF THE BARON’S GANGREL COMMONLY FOUND IN THE CITY
- Baron Thomas Feroux, Knight Commander (Childe of Marie Feroux [d], e. early 10th century CE)
- Verpus Sauzezh, Knight (Childe of Hectorus [d], e. mid 10th century CE)
- Mother Agnes, Knight (Childe of Thomas Feroux, e. early 11th century CE)
- Anna Konstephanos, Knight (Childe of Mother Agnes, e. late 11th century CE)
- At least 6 more ghoul squires can be found moving about the Greek districts of the city, and at least a dozen more knights and squires can be called to the assistance of the Baron from surrounding cities within a few nights time.
RELATIONS WITH OTHER FAMILIES
The situation in the Latin Quarter naturally puts the Baron’s Gangrel at odds with the insidious Children of Judas, who support and often utilize the region’s criminal elements. Despite such opposition, both families have proven remarkably adept at refraining from imposing too grievously upon the other. The conflict is played out indirectly, through mortal agents and proxies, and both houses seem to recognize how thin the line between rivalry and enmity can be.
The Antonian red tape surrounding the Latin merchants angers Thomas because it is an insult to the hard work that his Gangrel have performed for a century and places a great deal of pressure on mortal population’s health and the Legacy of Shadows. Baron Thomas has not publicly blamed the Antonian Ventrue for this development, but relations between the two families are growing colder by the night. Instead, he has acclaimed Autokrator Natalya of the Lexor Brujah for her vigorous defense of the Gangrel portfolio, and he and his knights also appear to be working closely with Malachite and his childe Theodosius on some private matter.
Since the loss of southern Italy and the devastating Turkish onslaught in Anatolia, Byzantine economic control over the Mediterranean has waned, and with its attentions on the Saracen and Norman hordes poised to meet at the walls of the Crossroads itself, the Empire has been forced to lean heavily on the Latin trade cities. The growing Latin pressure among the Venetian, Genoese, and Amalfitan districts has caused no end of trouble for native Kin and Kine alike. As a result, resentment between the native Byzantines and the Italian merchants has resulted in several small riots and a galley-load of new trade regulations.
The Baron’s Gangrel are lucky enough to be in the position of enforcing these new laws and regulations, many of which are contradictory and all of which erode their ability to effectively police the Latin districts. Now a hotbed for illicit activities, haven for many illegal Cainite immigrants, and home to the infamous Children of Judas, these districts are becoming a thorn in the Gangrel’s side.
RELATIONS WITH OUTSIDERS
The Baron’s Gangrel have always attracted those Canites with a sense of honour and bravery. The family’s feudal nature promotes a strong sense of belonging, and its duty to protect the Cainite monks only furthers this sense of community. Outsiders are welcome among the Baron’s Gangrel, so long as they are prepared to take Baron Thomas and Lord Symeon as their feudal superiors, prove their dedication to upholding the Codex of Legacies, and swear to defend the Obertus Order and their magnificent library unto the Final Death. That being said, a number of the Baron’s Gangrel, led by Verpus are particularly distrustful of Gangrel of the Frankish and Latin persuasion, and will make their lives difficult until they have proven their loyalty.
Much of the work on this page was written by Haligaunt for his chronicle The Concord of Ashes . I have made some minor changes to ensure the wiki’s are suitable for my setting and game. Many thanks to Haligaunt chronicle for all his hard work and allowing me to use his work.