Commonly Known Information
Name: Cyneward the Mercian
Notable Traits: Aura of Command, Middle English accent, sometimes moody
Acknowledged within the Camarilla
Confirmed, Established, and Privileged as an Elder of the Camarilla
Authority, Commander, and Sovereign as Prince of Bloomington, Indiana
- Honorable by the word of the Prominent Madeleine Tonnerre
- Courteous by the word of Prominent Purissimma Giess, Prince of Switzerland
Clan: Ventrue (House Arundel)
Esteemed among the Ventrue
Knight of Blood
Cyneward, once a þegn in Mercia, was embraced in 1052 by Høk, childe of Gotsdam, childe of Tiamat, childe of Ventrue. As a neonate, he was fostered to Siegrid of the True North of Clan Brujah on the Baltic island of Gotland and later in Constantinople to Flavius Belisarius, childe of Antonius, childe of Ventrue. For this reason, his name is among those known by Kindred of the court of Constantinople during the 11th and 12th centuries.
From the mid-12th century, Cyneward returned to Arundel in Plantagenet England, the home of the Arunmōt, his coterie. There he served his coterie as martial protector of their persons and their interests, which extended into Aquitaine, especially Gascony near Bordeaux, by means of trade across the English Channel conducted by the Hanseatic League, which he also acted to protect. Mainly in Gascony but also farther afield in the Languedoc, he conducted a campaign to root out the Cainite Heresy as it hid behind the Cathar Heresy of the Catholic Church. In the early 13th century, his campaign benefited from the cover of the Albigensian Crusade, and he led other Kindred and ghouls, many of his own House, against the Lasombra embedded in the Church and even striking across the Pyrenees into Iberia. Once the Inquisition began in the 1230s, Cyneward was forced to develop covert tactics to continue this campaign beneath the notice of the Church's hunters. This campaign lasted until 1255, though he was still frequently in Gascony and Aquitaine in general after that.
The scourge of the Black Death in the mid-14th century forced Cyneward to turn his attention to searching out the the Arunmōt's progeny as many fell into torpor as the result of sudden starvation. By the end of the century, Cyneward found himself defending the lives of his coterie's progeny against the predation of the First Anarch Revolt, during which he destroyed many of the violent neonates who struck out against the elders and ancillae. After heavy losses of Kindred and loss of control of Continental estates as the Kingdom of France forced the English Crown across the Channel, the Arunmōt reorganized as the House of Arundel upon the foundation of the Camarilla, and Cyneward retired to Arundel in England.
Cyneward only resumed major activity on the Continent in the late 1650s, as he acted to prevent Sabbat influence upon affairs in Northern Europe during the Anglo-Spanish War in the Low Countries. For several decades, he also patrolled the English Channel and British and French coastlines defending various Camarilla-held ports from Sabbat attacks and pursuing Sabbat fugitives throughout the area.
The war against Napoleon brought Cyneward back to France under cover of Wellington's forces in 1814, where he resumed his actions against the Clan Lasombra and their Sabbat followers in Iberia The same year, Cyneward finalized plans for a new coterie, who together relocated to the islands of Malta, then a British possession. By 1842, Cyneward claimed praxis of the important Maltese archipelago as a safe Mediterranean port for the Camarilla and site for delegations from other clans of the region, including the Followers of Set, Giovanni, and Assamites. The court of Malta gained strategic importance upon the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869. Although an Axis aerial bombardment lasting 154 days forced Cyneward to disband the court and evacuate the Kindred of Malta in 1940, his prestigious tenure as the Prince of Malta garners respect in the Camarilla even in modern nights (Merit: Social Nobility).
Via a brief stay at the estate at Arundel, Cyneward relocated to the United States near Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Arundel and Kennebunk, Maine in 1941. He lived there as a subject of the Camarilla Domain of Boston until 1962, when he relocated to Bloomington, Indiana. He lives there still, where he speaks for the Ventrue Clan on the Primogen Council.
Associates (Historical & Present)
- Siegrid of the True North
- Gaius Cornelius Scipio
- Olivia Collins
- Madeleine Tonnerre
- Cecily Holgate
- Benjamin Harlow
- Róisín Fitzgerald
- Ludovic Pétion
- Övé Háskell
- Lucien Moreau
- Nalini Harlow
- Osvif Skorrisson
- Pau Lamarca
- Irma Kardoș
- Solomon Park
- He spent a lot of time in Constantinople, long before it was sacked.
- He's handy in a sailing vessel. Knows his way around them and the rigging.
- Ask him about claret. Seriously. He turns into a Toreador. Or Brujah. Or Nosferatu...
- Under most circumstances, it's best just not to bring up why he left Malta.
- They say he left Malta after losing a bet with an older Ventrue. Something about cock fighting.
- In many ways, it made sense for him to relocate to New Hampshire and Maine in the 1940s. But since the early 1960s he's been in a small city in southern Indiana. What's he doing there? Is it serious?
- After living in Bloomington, Indiana for 55 years content to be Ventrue Primogen, Cyneward has taken praxis of the city peacefully from the incumbent Henri Beaumont of Clan Tremere--it seems Beaumont's clan has summoned him to serve elsewhere.
- It's known that Cyneward a man named Edmund Woolsey on retainer, and that he has relied on the ghoul for assistance with correspondence and travel in recent decades. For more sensitive or personal messages, Cyneward still pens honest to goodness letters and seals them with wax. Many a neonate has been confused about the best medium to approach the old Ventrue warrior.
- Rumor here.
- "I find that most minstrels and poets misapprehend the truth of warfare. But as a standard and uniform can gird a common farmer against a field become blood, so too can poetry gird the soldier's soul and salve his conscience."
- "Some few among us recall how the nature of our existence was indelibly altered by the advent of the Inquisition, when mortal worship of the Lord God in Heaven empowered them to wage war upon the Kindred lords of the earth. Such transmogrification as the Kine achieved then provided the common ground that forged the Camarilla and compels our customs even now. These last five score nights, our beloved home has faced no less dire a threat from the Kine, who now harness the powers of the Olympian gods to hurl bolts of thunder and explosive conflagration upon us. On this, the one hundredth night of bombardment, I must draw upon the wisdom shown by my elders so long ago. For the preservation of the trust of the First Tradition, and by the authority I hold in the Second, I hereby command that all Kindred shall make preparations to quit these islands and dissolve our society of nigh a century. I cannot in good conscience permit this court to remain helpless amidst this bellicose destruction. A fortnight hence, there shall be no Kindred left in the Maltese archipelago." -- to the court of Malta, 1940 (Autumn)
- "Though a bit boorish at times, his military prowess is worthy of my respect. Gaius Cornelius Scipio."
- "When I met him, the amount of blood and ash on our hands was prodigious. Together, we washed all that away and built something bigger than ourselves, and it brought us both back from the brink. Not a night goes by that I do not think of him." - Madeleine Tonnerre
- "Hmm. Henry V. Act Three, Scene One." - Thomasine Cary
Player: John S., US2002023603
Player Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Storyteller: VST Masquerade IN-013-D
Storyteller Email: email@example.com
Location: Bloomington, IN
Compiled Playlist on YouTube (approx. 137 min)