Bartleby Crane

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Lineage

  • Caine
    • Enoch, the Wise
      • Verdath, the Antediluvian


Timeline

  • 21 October 2017 - Crane arrives in New York City and sets up residency; is named Whip under Ventrue Primogen Elder Iliana.
  • 18 November 2017 - Crane s named Primogen of Clan Ventrue upon Iliana's abdication of the position.
  • 03 December 2017 - Crane joins House Kardos; swears direct fealty to Elder Prince Irma Kardos of Houston, TX.
  • 20 January 2018 - Elder Prince Cerik Maraslav bequeaths the domain of Governor's Island and his haven, Fort Jay, to Crane.
  • 11 March 2018 - Elder Iliana grants the title of Manager of Staten Island to Crane.
  • 17 March 2018 - Crane is accused of a criminal negligence, allegedly leading to the death Nosferatu Primogen Aram Al-Seen.
  • 21 April 2018 - Crane is officially exonerated in the matter of Primogen AL-Seen's murder and is found Courteous by Elder Prince Rider for his cooperation during the preceding questioning.
  • 19 May 2018 - Crane participates in the raid of the North Brother Island Pentex facility and is dubbed a Courageous Defender of New York.
  • 1 October 2018 - The Executive Board decides to return New York City into a single-praetor city; three weeks later, Crane will lose his position and Dottie Youngblood will be named Manager of New York City by unanimous consent.
  • 21 October 2018 - Crane joins the Primogen Council in declaring Elijah Zacheaus Vulgar five times over for the kidnapping of Advocate Dottie Youngblood in violation of the Justicariate's stay, giving Master Harpy Leon Astorio the opportunity to Disgrace Zacheaus.
  • '17 November 2018 - Elijah Zacheaus is Forsaken and, in retaliation for plotting to have him renounced from the sect and killed, forces several Camarilla elders of the city to murder Crane through the powers of mass manipulation.


Inspirations

  • Hans Landa
  • Egbert Ealhmunding
  • Basil Rathbone
  • Wintson Wolf
  • Daniel Plainview
  • Boris "the Blade" Yurinov
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Simon Cassio
  • Light Yagami
  • Hernan "Shades" Alvarez
  • Felix the Cat
  • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

Out of Character Info

Player: Kevin L.

Storyteller: Buck C.

Coordinator: Ilan N.

Location: New York City, NY


Aliases: Volodya Krasnov
Clan: Ventrue
Sect: Camarilla
Domain: New York, NY
Current Titles & Positions: none
Former Titles & Positions: Lord Steward of Governor's Island, Primogen (NYC), Manager of Staten Island, Whip (NYC)

Abiding Status

  • Elder - Confirmed, Established, Privileged
  • Primogen - Noble
  • Ventrue - Esteemed

Fleeting Status

  • Courteous by Elder Prince Jack Rider of New York City
  • Courageous by Elder Prince Jack Rider of New York City
  • Defender by Elder Prince Jack Rider of New York City
  • Honorable by Elder Prince Jack Rider of New York City
  • Loyal by Elder Prince Jack Rider of New York City

Description

He is a lean, tall gentleman with a resting strength within him. He wears a shallow beard grown round a goatee and parted mustache; his hair is slicked and sprayed into even rows, rigid as steel. His public dress is executive-casual, but ostentation emanates from the gallery of jewelry from the wrists down, boasting sometimes two wristwatches and up to nine rings on his fingers. As of late, a Cossack shashka of immaculate sheen rests on his left hip. He smells of cologne, but you can never quite place the scent...or scents. He often holds a bull's head carved wooden pipe between his teeth, but he's never seen to smoke from it. Thanks to a recent encounter with an infernalist warbeast, a lambda-shaped scar now adorns his right cheek from brow to lip. He carries his words with not a modicum more air than is necessary or was intended, and his dialect is like the Merchant Royal: lost somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.

Known History

Much more is spoken about the kindred who calls himself Bartleby Crane than is known about him, for the very air he passes through is a miasma of rumor and insubstance.

Those that know him best confirm the birth of a Don Cossack boy named Volodya Krasnow in 1531. They say he was trained as a cavalry soldier, and when the Cossacks under the command of Ataman Susar Fedorov joined the armies of Ivan IV Vasilyevich in the Seige of Kazan, it is said that not only was Volodya there, but it was he who convinced Fedorov to join the tsar's forces. Most likely for his exemplary service in the siege and in recognition of his judgment, Krasnov earned a spot in Ivan's court amongst the boyars. I was at court in Moscow where the young Volodya first met Oleh Razin and Cerik Maraslav, and it was from them that he learned the true nature of power. They were furtive advisors, only granting counsel to the tsar in the late hours of the evening and would never attend the diurnal gathering. In an attempt to learn more about them, Volodya followed them on what would eventually be revealed as the feeding hunt of a pair of vampires. What followed, according to some, was a polite confrontation between the three some few days later; it was allegedly polite and to the point (some might say professionally courteous), but shortly after, Volodya was seen almost exclusively in their company...and again, only at night.

Oleh would embrace Volodya Krasnov into the ancient line of Ventrue, and with Maraslav, the three would play their games of power with the puppets of Moscow; a hobby of toying with humans who believe themselves to masters of their domain. They would gamble and they would dare each other in games of influence during their time at court, particularly at the expense of the boyar nobles, until a particularly-spirited night of carousing in 1560 (which neither of them fully remember). During that evening, Tsarina Anastasia Romanovna was killed under mysterious circumstances. It was suspected that she died of illness, but Ivan was convinced it was poisoning at the hands of the Boyars, for which he had many of them tortured and executed. Neither Cerik, Oleh or Volodya admitted to murdering the tsarina, but all three greatly benefitted from Ivan's dramatic and "Terrible" shift in personality and politics. Eventually, the three vampires found themselves amongst the Oprichnicki "under the command" of Malyuta Skuratov and lived unlives of power-abuse, luxury, and political sadism.

When Ivan disbanded the oprichnina and bequeathed the throne to his son Feodor upon his death, the three fell back and allowed the new ruler to establish himself. When Feodor died childless, Russia plunged into a Time of Troubles, and the three watched the nation descend into a chaotic writhe toward order until the Romanov dynasty established itself in 1613. Promising to return when a suitable foothold forms in the Romanov court, Krasnov left Maraslav and Razin to try his hand at independent endeavors. Shortly after Krasnov left Russia, a man called Bartleby Crane arrived from the east in London. He studied the western governments and the writings of Machiavelli while abroad; during his short time in London, the monarchy of Great Britain was toppled by Oliver Cromwell's Commonweath, then re-established all in the span of a mortal man's life. Crane recalls that time quite fondly, but after Charles II restored the crown, Bartleby was not in as opportune a position to impress his will on the rule of England, so he entered a centuries-long rest in the hopes to meet whatever new political unrest the future held for him.

Centuries later, Oleh Razin would meet Bartleby Crane in his quest to reunite with his childe and return him to Russia at the dawn of the 20th century. After Crane left London and Krasnov returned to Russia, the truth is lost to the wind and rumor reigns over. Whatever is true and what is false from that time, Maraslav did not remain in Russia long, traveling to New York to establish a praxis of his own. Meanwhile, Razin and Krasnov remained to witness the birth of the Soviet Union. They found an opportunity to reintroduce themselves into the power structure of Russia during the Great Terror of 1934 when the impoverished resorted to cannibalism to survive the famines and Stalin created the NKVD troikas to employ extrajudical punishment at a cruelly-efficient rate (a system suspiciously consisting of three presiding commissioners at each hearing).

Many decades later, after Oleh Razin entered a deep voluntary torpor, Maraslav reached out to Krasnov overseas about the state of his praxis and the lack of interest he has in maintaining it. In a peculiar change from the suspected norm, Maraslav asked Krasnov to travel to New York City, the seat of his praxis, observe how his power transitions, and do what he can to maintain the structure of the city for when he should return...if he should return.



Reputation

Rumors

  • Crane's long-term goals include taking Praxis of New York
  • A gifted jeweler in life, he was poached from the Toreador
  • He is fluent in five languages: Russian, English, French, Italian, and a fifth which he refuses to speak in public
  • He is an avid gambler and will never refuse a game of durak
  • It is suspected he may have been responsible for the death of Anastasia Romanovna, wife of Ivan III Vasilyevich
  • It is suspected he may have played a role in the deposition of the English monarchy in 1649
    • It is suspected he may have played a role in the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, having realized its deposition was a mistake
  • He wears a mix of multiple different colognes whenever he leaves his haven to throw werewolves off his scent
  • He started the Bolshevik Revolution because a Kindred rival had begun amassing influence with the Romanov family
  • He has a selfie on his phone of him and Prince Maraslav propping up the embalmed corpse of Lenin and forcing it to smile
  • He single-handedly kept a leader of the Baali at bay with nothing more than a glance
  • He refuses to heal his facial scar for political reasons
  • He only retains one human ghoul at a time at most, but his last ghoul was Grigori Rasputin
  • He is grooming a Peterbald kitten named Troika for ghouling, and is aiming for unbridled, youthful energy in the body of an adult predator.
  • He is bound by prestation to never refuse a drink offered by Luminary Elder Torsten.
  • The Harpy's Talons need a separate boon log dedicated exclusively to his debts.
  • He finds the concept of corn vodka utterly vulgar and an act of depraved distillation.

Quotes

  • "These are not stones! These are the cadavers of stones! If I had a wife, and you kidnapped her, but then you returned her arms and her legs to me, that's not my fucking wife!"
  • "If anyone here suspects me of being infernal, bring me the box containing the head of John the Baptist and I'll lick the damned thing."
  • "I think it's worth mentioning that I am an Elder of the Camarilla and I do not enjoy things being thrown at me."
  • "I believe your domo needs to be reminded of the viscosity of his blood."
  • "A man destined to get himself killed is a goldmine of utility."
  • "Four hundred and eighty-six years later, every night is still a learning experience. If you think you know everything, try falling asleep for a century or so and you'll be amazed at how much can change."

Impressions

  • "After hundreds of years under one Prince, it was inevitable that a change in Praxis would bring the curious, the opportunistic, and the concerned to New York to see about the future of the City. Elder Crane is certainly all three, but I can't be the only one shaking things up around here." - Dottie Youngblood
  • "I have served many ambitious and powerful kindred in my time, and I can say with confidence that my sire displays the greatest pure ambition of those I've known. As to power... I would assume he does not display all that he possesses, since wise kindred rarely do." - Leon Astorio
  • "Crane is an Elder with depth and complexity. He bides his time in the way that we have been taught by our sires - this makes him amongst the most dangerous of kindred, I am watching him." - Atticus
  • "Elder Primogen Crane has the grasp of politics inherent to his blood you would expect. I did not expect he also had such a tendency to do the right thing, no matter the political cost." - Elijah Zacheaus
  • "Crane is fucking terrifying, but like in a good way, in fact. I grant Elder Primogen Crane the Fleeting status of 'Dope AF' I wouldn't fuck with him if I were you." - Richard Holt
  • "He thinks he's tough, probably because he was a soldier in another life. I hear even then he did so from the back of a horse, looking down at the rest who slogged in the mud and mire. There'll likely come a time when we square off; on that night, I'll show him why those who fancy themselves 'kings' hid from us in their castles behind tall walls, and why war has always been a young man's game." - Luca Muscato, Constable of Brooklyn
  • "Crane is a man who plays the games of the Tower well. He knows how to be cruel and ruthless, how to play people off each other and to ruthlessly use his standing to fuck over any in his way. I don't think it comes to him naturally though. I don't think his first instinct is to be the monster the Tower forces him to be. But I can't deny he's good at playing his role as the villain. No wonder he's depressed." - Kyle Morgan
  • "He's not on my list. Maybe if he'd made it to New York City before the new millennium... but I doubt it." - Mara Nordahl
  • "My Grandsire is a master manipulator, letting everyone around see him exactly as he intends them to. Eighty years under his wing and I still will never claim to know his mind, but am glad our goals have (at least thus far) stay aligned." - Teri Raphael
  • "I remember the night he spouted that age-old adage about how he'd been around a lot longer than I, and would be around long after I was gone. Now he's dead, and I'm still here; proof positive of how utterly worthless it is to be only half-right." - Luca Muscato, Constable of Brooklyn
  • "Crane is a lesson to all who would jump into the political arena. Know your audience better than your audience knows you." -- Jack Rider
  • If your character has an opinion about mine, feel free write it here!