Ruled by an Invictus Triumvirate (Charles Kress, Donald Klatt, and Raymond Brown). Power within Detroit, and thus standing within the Invictus, has become directly likend to what businesses one controlss. For example: Kress, Klatt, and Brown control Ford, Chrysler, and GM respectively. The Sanctified have risen to second in power through the metropolitan area's heavy catholic influence. Additionally, it is not uncommon to have Kindred with ties to both covenants. The Invictus have detested the Carthinians, lead by Justin Engleheart, for their ties with the labor movement. As a result, the Carthinians only have control of the neighboring city of Pontiac. Currently it looks as open conflict may develop between the Carthinians and the Invictus. The Ordo Dracul, under the direction of Richard Gooding, only recently made a showing in the area. The Ordo Dracul secured respect from the Invictus by taking Ann Arbor, a western neighbor of Detroit, from the Carthinians. Currently the Ordo Dracul has been subtly trying to gain more power, and has been coming to a head with the Sanctified. It seems the Sanctified hold many sites where the Dragons would like to conduct their research. As a side note, there is NO kindred presence in Lansing, MI. The elders tend to pretend the city doesn't exist. The neonates on the other hand, well ...
Author: Lost Shadow
City History Edit
The Rise of the Board Edit
At the turn of the century, the Prince Cardell like many conservative thinkers of the time considered cars nothing more than a trivial trinket. Charles Kress a decently respected ancillia, on the other hand, decided to take a gamble. He began consolidating his power base around Ford during its early years. Two of his rivals, Donald Klatt and Sherman Brank, took notice and followed suit acquiring Maxwell-Briscoe (later to become Chrysler) and General Motors. Following Cardell’s lead, the upper echelon of kindred society ignored the fledgling industry and laughed about Kress and company’s waste of effort.
As the auto industry began to build momentum, kindred society finally began to notice. At first Prince Cardell and the Primogen acted nonchalantly, each acquiring their own small automobile company. Realizing the future potential of the industry, Kress and company began working together to maintain control over the industry. Whenever another kindred attempted to move into the industry, either Kress, Klatt, or Brank would have their respective company buyout the new competitor.
Anticipating that the Prince’s efforts would turn more proactive, Kress and company began conspiring to fend off direct attacks by the Prince. Their basic strategy focused around rattling the upper echelon’s cages with visitors arriving at their haven’s. But when the Prince’s next moved threatened their unlives, Kress and company burned the Prince and Primogen’s havens to the ground. At the next Elysium, Kress, Klatt and Brank overtly took control of the city and purged many of the kindred still supportive of Prince Cardell. Since neither Kress, Klatt, or Brank had the power to hold off the other two, the three agreed to rule the city collectively as a three person board.
The Fall of Brank and the Rise of Brown Edit
It all started as joke, at least in the minds of most of the kindred. Sherman Brank, in a fit of drunken neonate intelligence, embraced a black man, Raymond Brown, to see if their species could handle the change. Realizing his fate once Cardell found out, Brank decided to try a new line of defense. Upon arriving at Elysium, Brank proudly walked into court and presented his new childe, “The court Jester.” Over the next twenty years, Brank paraded Brown around as a showpiece.
Brank hadn’t counted on or realized the fact that Brown had been educated during his mortal life. Slowly he began to accept that Ray could do more than simple tricks. By the turn of the century, Brank had Raymond acting as a handler and feeder of his ghouls. This put Raymond in an interesting position, for Brank trusted the viniculm and thus entrusted most of his ghoul operation to Raymond. And with the fall of Prince Cardell, Raymond began to see an opportunity develop.
With the onset of the great depression, Raymond decided it was time to spice things up. First, acting in Brank’s name, Raymond had a few neonates embrace a small coterie. To repay the boon Brank now owed the neonates, Raymond drove a stake through their hearts and hid their corpses. He then spent the next few years taking more control of General Motors and secretly training his new coterie. Raymond waited until the industrial upturn for World War Two was in full swing. As Kress and Klatt worried about controlling the city and managed their respective companies, Raymond’s coterie moved in and removed not only Sherman Brank, but the Sheriff and two hounds as well. During the ensuing chaos, Raymond showed up in Brank’s place for the Board meetings. When asked, Raymond told the board that Brank had decided to take a more covert personal position until the city settled down. While insulted, the Board accepted this explanation. It wasn’t until the end of the war that the board realized that Raymond had replaced Brank, and by that point in time Brown had solidified his power base enough to deter direct power grabs by Kress and Klatt.
The Invictus Edit
The Current Board Edit
Raymond Brown – Most people talk about Raymond with an air of respect and fear. The legend of his rise to power has distinctly colored the views of most kindred. Disregarding the legend, Raymond is a conservative yet bold man. He rarely acts rashly. In fact a few vampires even view Mr. Brown as indecisive, granted none of these vampires voice this opinion except in hushed voices to close allies. On the rare instances when Mr. Brown addresses Elysium, he always does so in a direct manner and tends to leave before discussion of the matters begin. Additionally, unlike Klatt and Kress, Mr. Brown doesn’t seem quite as concerned about the recent downturn General Motors has taken.
Donald Klatt – This man loves to be seen, and loves to talk. Honestly the question has been posed whether Klatt loved his children as much as he loved the sound of his voice. Whenever the board makes a decision, you can count on Klatt announcing it to the rest of the city. Often Klatt won’t even contain his voice long enough for the ghouled herald to announce his arrival. Around Elysium, murmurings abound with the recent buyout of Chrysler. Many kindred wonder just what type of position Klatt is really in.
Charles Kress – You’ve never heard Kress speak. He’s always just kind of there. When the board comes out to make an announcement he tends to let Klatt and Brown take the spotlight. That doesn’t mean that Kress won’t affect the proceedings. More than once, a kindred of the community has shut up with little more than a raised eyebrow from Kress. Anyone you’ve seen that’s had a meeting with Kress has always appeared quite flustered after the encounter. Like Mr. Brown, most kindred respect and fear Kress. But unlike Mr. Brown, they don’t fear Kress for the ace he might be hiding up his sleeve, but for the thug they know he has in his pocket.
The Trustees Edit
A number of the wealthier members of the kindred community have gained enough respect that they can directly approach the Board. When most members of the community wish to raise an issue, they must find a trustee to sponsor them and take their issue to the board.
Claire Stricklind – Claire’s position as a trustee initially baffled many in the kindred community. It’s a known fact that Claire owns little more than her house. However, Claire has put herself in a position of vital necessity to the kindred community. Claire owns the police, the fire department, the ambulances. If you need something to be covered up, Claire is the person you go to. Granted she’s a businesswoman, and she charges a fair penny for her services. Other than that, she sounds like a nice outgoing person. Wandering down a hallway you probably shouldn’t have been in, you overheard a bit of a conversation between Kress and Klatt about a new vampire in town. When talking about cleaning up the mess, they referred to Claire as Foster’s childe.
Dwight Moloney – Few kindred are as balanced as Dwight. Then again, Dwight is obsessive about balance. For every evening he’s seen in frustration, someone’s seen him taking an evening of pleasure. His sense of balance has extended into both his business and religious life. He’s a fanatic in both. Dwight controls a number of lodging establishments, primary of which are the local Marriott Hotels. Likewise Dwight has become one of the prominent members of the Lancea Sanctum. Due to his position, Dwight has become the primary liaison between the Invictus and Sanctified hierarchies. It’s also common knowledge that by asking for a room at a Marriott as an associate of Mr. Moloney, one will receive a suitable temporary haven for the night.
Jordan Riggenbach – Jordan loves games. Even more he loves games where he knows he’s got a good chance of winning. But his love of games has led Jordan into a number of preposterous bets. It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of Mr. Riggenbach’s more noteworthy loses. Mr. Riggenbach has earned a great deal of respect from the kindred community for his absolute adherence to his word. If he enters into a deal, he never goes back on his word, even if it involves addressing the Board in less than appropriate garments.
Louisa Shewmake – Like Jordan, Louisa loves to play games. But she plays to win, always. If you get into a competition with her, watch your feet. She’ll likely try and take the rug out from under you. Take Marlin Achor for example. He didn’t watch his back after rattling Louisa’s cage. Now he finds himself among the lower ranks of the Invictus and Louisa the owner of Borders.
Marcela Krazwatski – Marcela is an unknown among the trustees. Four years ago, Bert Mcwatters presented his childe Marcela to the Board. He also announced that she would watch over his holdings while he slipped into torpor. Since then Marcela has refrained from becoming involved in kindred politics. If the matter doesn’t involve protecting her assets, Marcela tends to stay silent on the subject. Knowing Bert’s control of Comerica and push for the new stadium, many kindred speculate that Marcela has worked to bring the All-Star game to Detroit this year.
Daniel Heinz – Many kindred joke that Heinz is little more than a well behaved and well rewarded puppet of the Board. Over the years he has acted to protect the Board’s interests a little too directly. Often when this theory is questioned, someone will point out two little tid-bits. First, Mr. Heinz has more than once set himself up as the fall guy after the Board slid into hot water. Secondly, after their rise to power the Board awarded Mr. Heinz the Mogul Metal Company (an automotive parts supplier), now the Federal Mogul Corporation.
Below the trustees are a number of prominent businessmen and city officials. Among them are:
Brandon Schaffner – A former trustee, Brandon let his ego affect his business decisions. Thus he laughed instead of taking WalMart as a serious threat to K-Mart. Rumor has it that Brandon doesn’t regret that decision. He has become furious about his loss of power however, and seeks to blame it on anyone he can. His fury has already driven his childe Kirsten Hullender from the city.
Aaron Hayashi – Unlike many businessmen, Aaron is a hands on kind of guy. Not a control freak, but someone who likes to personally make sure everything is in working order. A number of kindred in the community have complained about Aaron’s insistence on giving credit where credit is due. He’s made a few enemies in the community by pointing out when kindred have been riding on the shoulders of others. Additionally, you have been notified that you may encounter Aaron out in Troy. He takes great pride in running the Kyoto chain of restaurants and makes monthly visits to many of them.
Penelope Graeber – Like Miss. Stricklind, Mrs. Graber provides services to the community. First and foremost, she keeps kindred events out of the major newspapers. Secondly, she plants dummy stories in the local tabloids. Thirdly, she runs a gossip racket and even publishes a small newspaper for the kindred. Granted no copies of Dead to Detroit are allowed to leave the Elysium, but that hasn’t kept it from becoming widely read. If you ever have a secret you want to share, Graeber is the woman to talk to.
Tyrone Foster – Tyrone has the thankless job of being the Sheriff. Over the years, Tyrone has rubbed most every kindred the wrong way at least once. The Board put Tyrone into power when they took over, and thus the older trustees don’t trust him on principle. Many of the smaller fish in the pond have found themselves being questioned by Tyrone at least once during the course of his investigations. And while Tyrone’s meticulous nature is good for the chase, it’s horrible for his social skills. A number of kindred have voiced concerns over Tyrone’s ability to act as sheriff. Most kindred respect his ability to track someone down, but no one has yet seen him attempt to physically bring someone in. Whenever a subject has attempted to resist summons, one of the deputies always preformed the dirty work of dragging them home.
There used to exist two additional tiers in the hierarchy. The fourth tier consisted of those members who owned small business of some type. The fifth tier consisted of those members who owned a respectable house. As the suburbs began to appear and reduce the cost of housing, the upper echelon began to consider the fifth tier part of the masses. By the time Prince Cardell left power, the fifth tier had ceased to exist. With the rise of smaller businesses, the fourth tier has followed in the footsteps of the fifth tier. While elders no longer formally recognize the fourth and fifth tiers, among the “masses” strict divides still exist between those who own businesses, those who own respectable homes, and those without.
The Sanctified Edit
Smaller than Invictus by no more than half, and no less than one third, the Sanctified wield considerable power in the city. Additionally, many of the Invictus members come from a Christian background and thus are not adverse to the Sanctified message. Because of the Invictus’ tolerance and obsession with material power, the Sanctified has focused on the spiritual salvation of the kindred community. Thus many members of the Sanctified find themselves among the lower ranks of the Invictus power structure. Through their numbers and non-conflicting interests, the Sanctified have managed to secure Invictus support in the city. Where the Invictus goes, the Sanctified spreads. The Sanctified have cemented their relationship with Invictus by holding the traditions as part of the scriptures and offering their services when needed. Because of their relationship, the Invictus has given the Sanctified a loose hand when hunting down heretics. The Invictus have only restricted their hunt by placing the condition that the sheriff must be allowed to question any heretic hunted.
Stewart Tappin – As the leader of the Sanctified, Tappin became the eldest vampire in the city after the Board’s purge. In court, Tappin rarely makes a show of being interested in kindred politics. Currently he supports the Invictus, but only because they support the Sanctified cause. Tappin has however publicly shown concern over news that the Carthinians have been working with the Circle of Crone. In private, you have heard Tappin mention that he could care less who controls the city as long as the heretics never come to power.
Conrad Fress – Many kindred know of Conrad as one of the Sanctified’s Inquisitors. Additionally Sheriff Foster has named Conrad as one of his deputies. While few are sure of Fress’ actual abilities, rumor has it that if Fress can’t break you no-one can. Before she left, Julia let you in on a little secret. Conrad is actually Tappin’s childe. She’s not sure who actually knows this tidbit, but is quite sure that most of the trustees are in the dark and potentially even the Board.
The Ordo Dracul Edit
Publicly, the Ordo Dracul don’t want to extend their power. Instead they want to expand their research. The Invictus honestly don’t care if Ordo Dracul members are poking their noses in books and places around the city. The Sanctified, on the other hand, have taken offense at the teachings in Rites of the Dragon. However since Rites of the Dragon does not push Dracula as the first vampire and recognizes Dracula as being punished by god, the Sanctified have not declared his teachings heretical.
Privately, the leadership feels that the Ordo Dracul’s research could benefit from increased political power. To that end, the Richard has been asking lower ranking members of the covenant to partake on missions to increase the standing of the Ordo Dracul with the Invictus. Richard also fears letting the Carthinians come to power, for then the ability for Ordo Dracul members to conduct research will be left up to the whims of the majority.
Richard Gooding – Richard is an ambitious leader of the Ordo Dracul. While quite knowledgeable, Richard is also quite excitable. Many of the members underneath Richard joke about seeing Richard drop work and light up at the merest suggestion of his research. They also mention that the excitement can get to Richard’s head. One coterie occasionally tells stories of being chased off a research site that the Sanctified had claimed after Richard had decided to break in. Being a professor before his embrace, Richard has shown a tolerance rarely seen in kindred. Most any mistake that doesn’t threaten the covenant or the unlives of its members will be forgiven if the appropriate actions are taken. And those actions often entail solely cleaning up the mess that was created.
The Current Situation with the Carthinians Edit
As it currently stands, the Invictus are losing power to the Carthinians. Over the years the Carthinians have been supporting the various unions. Initially this had little effect on the Invictus, but as unions became standardized the Carthinians came to power. The Invictus’ early heavy handed efforts to quash the unions didn’t help. In fact they drove more of the workers to the unions. In 1937 the Carthinians gained enough power with the sit-down-strike in Flint to claim Flint as their territory. Ever since then they have been trying to expand their power into the city. The Board’s spectacular misjudgement in the mid-1970s only propelled the Carthinians when they stalled. The Board thought that closing plant in Carthinian controlled territory would weaken the unions resolve and reduce the Carthinian power base. The number of unemployed workers only boosted the numbers from which the Carthinians could draw. As of early 2005, the Carthinians have claimed control in Flint, Pontiac, and Rochester Hills. A buffer area stretching from Troy past Royal Oak has become a figurative nomans land. Both sides are trying to control the area but Evan Anderson has been doing an excellent job of keeping the area in the hands of the local unaligned.
Justin Engleheart – Not much is known about the Carthinian Prefect. The few rumors about him label him as an excellent motivator. People talk of him in mythic proportions as a man whom can take the most callous of crowds and rile them up to action. What little fact that has come down proves one thing. Justin knows how to play off of a crowd’s fears and turn those fears to his own ends. There’s little other way that the closing of plants could have invigorated the Carthinians so aggressively.
Condensed Kindred List Edit
- Charles Kress
- Donald Klatt
- Raymond Brown
- Claire Stricklind
- Daniel Heinz
- Dwight Moloney (S)
- Jordan Riggenbach (N)
- Louisa Shewmake
- Marcela Krazwatski
- Aaron Hayashi
- Brandon Schaffner
- Penelope Graeber
- Stewart Tappin (S)
- Tyrone Foster (Sheriff)
- Conrad Fress (Inquisitor)
- Nicholas Gauntt
- Alexander Bardell (V)
- Brian Mcmaster (N)
- Cassie Marcovitz
- Earnest “Lance” Lampi (D)
- Emily Wong (G)
- Evan Anderson (N)
- Julia Schnabel
- Marie Ashcroft (V)
- Marissa “Tabatha” Fronk
- Merak (V)
- Shaun Moura
- Thomas Rodriguez (M)
- Victoria Norfolk (D) (G)
- Abigail “Abby” Thomson (M)
- Duthorian Raddcliffe (M)
- Hannah Flynn (V)
- Lisa Anderson (D)
- Richard Gooding
- Thomas Masterfield