These descriptions are a collection of rumors and research from an in character source (at the bottom of the page). If youâ€™d like to know more or would like to be from or sired by someone in Syracuse, please consult the ST.
These are also simply the princeâ€™s power base, the ones you would encounter if you were looking for â€œSyracuseâ€™s courtâ€. There are other kindred and kine in Syracuse of varying power and influence.
- Nang Yai
- The Children
- Alice and Charles Carroll
Sitting at 418 Erie Blvd. W, there is an abandoned building. At least, it looks abandoned. The outside seems run down, with broken windows and graffiti. During the day, workers from nearby businesses park on the lawn, and don’t give a second thought at the building that spans the block in front of them.
The inside is different. The outside of the building is a carefully constructed facade, hiding a fully functional and labyrinthine interior. Parts are set aside for Elysium and for various kindred meeting areas. There are many hidden passages, subfloors and other ways for the Children to pop out of unannounced.
Other areas are off limits, carefully warded or defended by gargoyles or worse. Exploring the building is difficult, as it keeps its own secrets as much as the Circle of the Crone keeps their secrets within it.
Regardless, the areas defined as public meeting rooms are comfortable and well furnished. Sound does not carry between rooms, and calling out for most basic comforts will get that delivered to you by one of the myriad familiars.
Weapons and powers are permitted in Elysium, however any offensive use of such is punishable by death. Feeding is not permitted, although when such is provided, there are specific non-Elysium areas that feeding can occur. Violence in those areas is still punishable by death, by right of domain, not Elysium.
Forbidden areas are not Elysium, and forcing or even tricking a kindred into such areas for violence is, again, punishable by death. If two kindred both willingly enter an area, then what happens, happens. Still, it’s best to simply stay in the Elysium area.
Last, there is a small (and hidden) parking garage, with an entrance on the side of the building that faces Tracy street. If you wish to park there, please petition the prince and you’ll be given proper instruction on how to enter the garage undetected.
To see some decent pics of the building try here:
You can also see it in Google Maps
If you use street view at the marked address, it’s the large building to the south.
I suppose it’s unusual to start with a description of a city by naming a kindred who is no longer there, but in the case of Syracuse, the loss of a leader who’s unusual actions have shaped what the court has become. Now, by loss, I don’t mean that he was killed. Just that he left one day and has not returned.
LumiÃ©re’s rule was the stuff of legend. The old prince used CruÃ¡c rites and rituals liberally to enhance Elysium. As a Circle of the Crone, he was unusually outgoing, opening up parts of his personal haven to court for meetings and dealings. He freely gave rituals and rites to those who petitioned for such things, although it did take a bit of status in the city for such requests to be granted quickly or without price. Still, his actions laid a foundation of magic for the kindred of the city, rare in this day and age.
I believe that he gained power by currying such favors, and found that by continuing to offer them, he made most of the kindred in Syracuse dependent on such little comforts. It’s also possible that the servants and constructs he lent to his peers could have been used against them had anyone questioned his rule. Still, many kindred seek the path of least resistance, and a leader who is freely willing to share mystic power can be popular indeed.
While in Syracuse, he was often sad, and it is said that wanderlust consumed him. He had built a city that had been compared to New Orleans, or London, yet had never seen them.
So, on the 50th anniversary of his childer’s embrace, he left, leaving the young childer in charge.
LumiÃ©re writes often enough, often encoding his messages with rituals so that only his childer can read them. Still, even though I have not met this elder, court in Syracuse still feels like there is a hole that is not yet filled.
Nang Yai (The Shadow Play)
Nang Yai is not the princes real name. His name comes from his Thai heritage as well as his propensity for shadow theater. Nang, or Shadow as he is sometimes called, was raised in America a 4th generation immigrant. He delved into the ways of Nang Yai or shadow puppetry, (the art form, not the ritual magic…) to reconnect with his past. It is said that LumiÃ©re decided to embrace Nang at one of his shows.
Nang was trained from the moment of his embrace to be prince. He shared LumiÃ©re’s easygoing quality. The same level headed ability to look at situations and find solutions. The same love for the mystic and symbolic nature of blood magic. The same wanderlust that made princeship feel like a prison. To this, Nang added a love of music and art. Not only are rituals shared freely, but Elysium often reverberates with the sad requiems as the young prince laments his station.
That is not to say Nang does not want to be prince. Just that he is acutely aware of how much he has given up to hold the position.
Critics state that Nang is young for a prince, having been given the position when he was only 50 years dead. While that may have been true 70 years ago, in the past years Nang has learned much and come into his own. While he does not rule with an iron fist, many kindred of Syracuse understand that they would gain nothing from overthrowing Nang.
His rule is a benevolent one, and he shares the bounty of his domain with all in it. I, for one, enjoy the occasional play or performance that occurs when he entertains important guests. He continues to share the rites of the Crone with those who ask, as his sire did. Indeed, many are afraid that the very rituals of the city would be undone if Nang were deposed. Regardless if such a thing is possible, none have yet managed to test the theory.
As for Nang’s personal power, he has a fairly tight coterie of supporters, and good skill in a number of vampiric abilities. He has yet to display a mastery of any of them, but no one believes he has shown his full hand.
Bixbite (aka BB)
Bixbite is the head Valkyrja for the city and the sheriff. Also the Sheriff, although she’s the one who questions the prince the most. The two are good friends, compliment each others ruling style well. While Nang is introspective and brooding, BB is active, outgoing, and energetic.
When Nang makes up his mind, BB will back off. However, if Nang is undecided or she presents a strong enough argument, she has changed his mind. This has lead to a symbiosis, where those who disagree with Nang go to her. If you have an issue with one of Nang’s policies, it’s often safest to bring it to BB first. Still, Nang is rarely cruel or unreasonable, so this has only happened a few times.
One of the rare crone members focused more on physical combat then blood magic, BB coordinates defenses and the various homunculi and gargoyles in Elysium. No small task considering there are over two dozen of such beings in Elysium at any given time. She enjoys the sword, preferring a small and easy to conceal blade when she’s not in Elysium. She has been known to wear medieval armor to ceremonies and on formal occasions, and has a decent collection gained from proper craftsmen over the years.
BB was an athlete in life, and remains so in death. She can often be seen jogging before and after court, or when she needs to blow off a little steam. Likewise, she’s as likely to challenge an interloper to a foot race as a duel. She regularly spars the Elysium gargoyles, which may explain some of their increased cunning.
Lisa is perhaps in the wrong covenant. If Nang likes art, Lisa lives by it. If Bixbite is friendly, Lisa is gregarious. There are times when she does not even seem dead. She’s often painting, and her work cycles through Elysium regularly.
Her art reveals dark joys and sad moments of beauty. She has a Mehket’s insight, and the true darkness of her blood shows in her art although tempered by her strong humanity. Many who have observed them have noted that they speak of recent events, abstracted into obscurity. This is likely because of her prophetic rites, the one aspect of Cruac she excels at.
No one knows who Lisianthus’ sire is. She has never spoken of it, but images of him often grace her artwork. While none speculate in court, there is some who wonder where her origins, and perhaps true loyalties lie.
Lisa is often the conscience of the princes coterie. Her humanity shows, and at times, it has prevented the prince and therefore the Circle in the city from exploring lore best forgotten. Still, Cruac is Cruac, and her pleas only stop the most debased of rituals.
Names grant power. Bohnen used to shorten his name to Bone, tying into a melancholy implication of power. In modern times, “bone” has taken on a different meaning, and he has changed to a more colloquial “Bo”. If you want to be safe, “Bean” is what his name means in German, so, that’s always good.
Bo is a Ventrue. There are rumors about the eccentricities that Ventrue develop over time… Bo is very eccentric. He can be depressive and withdrawn, as well as obsessed with cleanliness. Normally he speaks very quietly, and has great trouble raising his voice. He’s not exactly timid, and in some ways can be easily spooked.
There are moments when he is manic, at those times he insists people call him by his full name, BohnenkÃ¶nig. He becomes outgoing, “helpful” and reckless. This occurs often in combat, and he is quite skilled in hand to hand combat when he is like that.
In the coterie, Bo handles lots of things behind the scenes. He acquires odd components, fixes breaches of the masquerade and does various types of clean-up. He’s good with Dominate and Animalism, and is as well connected in Syracuse as some Invictus. Because of this, he’s always in the background when the others are around.
Nang rarely gives out extreme punishments. However, he has been pushed into it a few times. Shortly after Nang became prince, during Buffalo’s civil war, one of the Kindred fleeing the battle took refuge in Syracuse. Not knowing the area, he took refuge in the domain of another. In defending himself, he killed a ghoul of one of the older circle members. That kindred dragged Mehsis to Nang and insisted on punishment.
Reluctantly, Nang sentenced Mehsis to be “drawn in manacles, suspended above the earth, and left for the sun tomorrow.” And so he was. Except the next night, when they went to check on him, Mehsis was still alive and unburned. He was released, and Nang insisted that Mehsis had paid his full punishment. Mehsis explained himself, and eventually, was accepted into the Prince’s coterie. The original kindred is still feeling slighted over the incident.
He is in the minority however. Mehsis is a Gangrel, and well versed in the art of urban warfare. His assistance was invaluable in keeping the infighting in Buffalo from spilling into Syracuse. Some look at Mehsis with reverence for being able to survive the sun, but most assume he used some variation of Haven of Soil, perhaps bonding with the chains that held him. All that has been confirmed publicly is that he did not use a Coil of the Dragon.
Mehsis is paranoid. He is convinced that one wrong move or word or misstep to either Nang or BB might mean his exile or execution. This is not true, as previously stated, Nang is not the cruel or vindictive. However, Mehsis is occasionally paralyzed with indecision over if one of his actions will offend anyone. Nang has tried to convince him otherwise, but has failed so far.
The head gargoyle of Elysium was crafted and brought to life before LumiÃ©re left. This gargoyle, nicknamed Tiny, was larger than his brethren, being 9 feet tall, and flawed in a very unusual way. Tiny was capable of learning.
Today he still is unable to speak, but he can read some words and can communicate in a broken form of ASL. His strength has been increased by his ability to learn more refined combat abilities. Still, overall, he’s little more then a child, who occasionally acts to the benefit of court without instruction.
Tiny likes to meet new visitors, although a 9 foot tall 1000 pound hunk of rock moving to say hello has unnerved more than one kindred. Tiny has managed to learn this is not always a good idea.
This “flaw” seems to have infected the other gargoyles at Elysium, although if that is by design or if BB truly has managed to teach them something is a matter of debate. None of the others can communicate yet, so it will likely be a century before we can find out.
One other note that has come up… When searching through old records recently it was noted that “Tiny” had a larger, older brother. Who or what that is, or if that gargoyle is still around, has yet to be seen.
As mentioned, there are between two and three dozen homunculi within Elysium. One common way to gain status in Syracuse is to birth and donate one to Elysium. They are a mixture of all shapes and sizes. It’s said that BB can tell all of them by sight and can tell if a new one is around.
Personally, they creep me out. Homunculus are not supposed to be able to communicate with anyone but their Master, yet they manage to talk to BB. In addition, at times, they can be seen drawing parts of arcane rites that are not being performed. Sometimes, if you sleep in Elysium, they’ll draw ritual circles around you while you slumber.
Anyhow, they’re probably nothing more then homunculi who have way to many standing and conflicting orders. Still, do yourself a favor, and avoid them. Also, whatever you do, don’t kill one of them. They’ll remember…
Alice and Charles Carroll
Cruac is full of dark magics. Sometimes, a sire will embrace based on those who would explore such, or at least, those who would not be put off by such things. Alice and Charles are a brother and sister who are not shocked by anything that Cruac can dish up.
What they are shocked by… (And I use the term they here as they are almost always together and often react the same…) is a lack of what is proper. A lack of ritual if you will. They like to be addressed properly, they like rituals to be done properly, they want traditions like domain and such to be enforced ruthlessly and absolutely. One could say they thought of themselves as king and queen of the universe with all the right and privileges thereof. Not surprising for invictus, although you didn’t hear that from me.
Both wear exquisite outfits, usually custom made for themselves, and more often then not, themed to be a pair. They rarely carry weapons, although Charles sometimes has a dress sword on his more formal attire.
Where they differ the most, is that while Alice tends to be more vocal and grandiose while Charles is quiet and brooding. It was Alice who called for Mehsis’ death for violating their domain, yet is is Charles who carries the grudge.
They are not ones to trifle with. Both have a keen understanding of dominate and both will not hesitate to squash someone being rude to them. Fortunately, with Mehsis joining the princes coterie, the Carrolls do not attend court regularly anymore.
I suppose it is time for me to talk about myself. I rather enjoy being mysterious, I find it keeps away the riffraff. Still, I also enjoy trading favors. The price for my information? Well, since your sire probably told you similar, I’d just ask that if I come to you with an offer, you hear me out. That’s all.
I make other kinds of bargains. at times, I have acted as the prince’s hound, yet I do not hold that position regularly. Recently, I’ve been completing my training, so, might look to taking on a childer.
“Training in what?” you ask? Well, so far, I am a Scholar of the Subtle Sublime and Sanguine Curse. I am well versed in several of the arts of combat and shadows, and if you want to know more, that will cost you extra.