|“||I have a message from God for you.||”|
At the tail end of the witch hunts in the early 1600s, French hunters targeted peasants in southwestern France. They claimed, at the behest of their political leader, that the villagers’ pagan gods and goddesses were, in fact, demons and creatures of the night that preyed upon them, preventing them from taking the Christian god into their hearts. These hunters scoured the countryside and engaged in a massive witch hunt traveling all along the Spanish-French border at the behest of hunter-and-judge Pierre de l’Ancre, before focusing their efforts on the townspeople in the French province of Labourd. De l’Ancre, who was charged by the King to eradicate witchcraft in Labourd, wrote many treaties on the subject of demons, werewolves, and witchcraft. To assist him in his duties, de l’Ancre recruited many hunters from all over France — including Father Raymond.
Father Raymond, as he was called prior to becoming a vampire, was plucked from a monastery in Normandy to fight by de l’Ancre’s side. A devout Catholic convert, Father Raymond was born in the West Indies to a family of traders, and became a ward of the Church shortly after his parents and two sisters died from smallpox complications. Like his fellow priests, Father Raymond was trained to become an Inquisitor to rout out heretics in the Church’s name.
To further his training, Father Raymond was assigned to help de l’Ancre along with dozens of other men — politicians, priests, and opportunists — to provide backup. In truth, Judge de l’Ancre had always expected that the local population would resist him and secretly wished to build an army of witch hunters to end the practice of witchcraft in the name of the King once and for all. Behind closed doors, de l’Ancre would whisper that there were several thousand witches, warlocks, werewolves, and demons scattered throughout the godless regions of France. While Father Raymond did not share the Judge’s fanaticism, he placed his faith in the belief that creatures of the night did exist, and that humans served them. This priest was a simple man who thought that the testimonies and confessions of the accused, many of which were extracted during intense torture sessions, were proof that he needed to look beyond the cries of innocence, to peer into the night and find out what truly hid in the shadows.
Not long afterward, Father Raymond did pierce the veil of darkness and glimpsed a horror unlike anything he had ever seen. That night, the priest searched for a missing young girl on the outskirts of Labourd. A midwife described her as having the appearance of an eight-year-old child, and her sweet face was the sign of the Devil Himself, for this girl poisoned her parents and managed to escape before attacking her. Father Raymond relied on his training and found the girl sleeping on a pile of rotting corpses in a forest clearing a few miles away. Believing her to be damned, Father Raymond drew his cross and reached for the girl. Before he touched her, however, one of the corpses moved. It glared at him with its filthy, wild eyes, and then threw Father Raymond across the room. Battered and bruised, the Inquisitor tried to get up, but the creature pinned him to the ground and forced him into servitude.
Following that fateful meeting, Father Raymond served his lunatic master as a ghoul for a number of cruel years, long after the witch trials faded away. The priest’s master, who was called Jardine by some, enjoyed toying with his blood slave, and was delighted to keep the Inquisitor as his pet. Raymond was stripped of his former identity and was provided with a surname — Narcisse — to better serve his master. As Raymond Narcisse, the former priest hid the truth of his master’s murders and was often forced to listen to the victim’s tormented screams. The combination of the blood bond and mental manipulation kept Raymond Narcisse frozen in place, powerless to fight back, unable to rescue his master’s victims.
Then, after many long years, Raymond Narcisse’s subconscious prayers for salvation were answered in an unusual way: he was saved by another vampire. As it turned out, Jardine had been meeting in secret with an Anathema named Erik Kuster. The Alastors had been tracking Kuster for decades all over Europe, but had yet to confront the Anathema face to face. Finally, the Alastors decided to ambush his ally, Jardine, believing that Kuster’s avenues of escape would be cut off. They were right. Luckily for the Alastors, Kuster was present during the night of their attack and sustained many wounds before escaping through the wine cellars that crisscrossed beneath Jardine’s lair. In the commotion, he Alastors destroyed Jardine but were unable to capture the elusive Kuster, who fled into the night.
Ironically, it was Kuster who saved Narcisse from the Alastors, for the Anathema’s escape prompted his hunters to quickly chase after him, leaving the ghoul behind. A few nights later, the cloudy haze that infected his mind cleared, and Narcisse realized what he had been doing for the last few years. A terrifying guilt infected him, and Narcisse vowed to use the knowledge he gained to destroy vampires. For a few months, the reinvigorated Inquisitor managed to set fire to a few abandoned havens, not knowing that they belonged to the Anathema. In retaliation, Kuster turned Narcisse and damned him for all eternity, believing it was a just punishment for the former ghoul’s failure to protect Jardine from the Alastors.
Shortly afterward, the Alastors caught up with them in Paris, Kuster fled once more. The Alastors captured the neonate and brought Narcisse to the local Prince for judgment. For a time, Raymond Narcisse was slowly indoctrinated into Kindred society at the behest of the Alastors who captured him, believing that the former Inquisitor would become one of them. A careful and quiet student, Narcisse was instructed in the Traditions and ways of Kindred society, before secretly becoming obsessed with Noddist lore.
Lost and without purpose, Narcisse interpreted the ancient passages differently than his fellow Kindred, and believed that God had reforged him into a dark weapon, so that he might wipe Caine and all his children from the face of the earth. A capable hunter and skilled investigator, Narcisse eventually tired of Europe and stowed away on the belly of a prison ship that was bound for the Americas. There, Narcisse traveled West across the great plains, killing as many vampires as he could find.
Then, after a nasty fight with the Lupines, Raymond Narcisse disappeared from the historical record for a hundred years or more, and emerged from torpor in the 1980s, only to resume the hunt in Nevada and New Mexico. Eventually, the Justicars felt that his vigilante justice could no longer be tolerated, and was recently named to the Red List to show that every Tradition — including Tradition of Destruction — was to be equally enforced. Thus, Narcisse’s addition to the Red List counteracted the popular and misguided belief that the Justicars only named Anathema if they were a risk to the Masquerade.
Neither the Alastors nor the Justicars care why Raymond Narcisse is slaughtering Camarilla and Sabbat members alike. Should it be revealed that Narcisse believes himself to be the one Kindred who has been tasked with redeeming Caine’s terrible sin all those years ago, they would certainly sit up and take notice. After all, a vampire who hunts other vampires is certainly a threat to the Camarilla, but a self-righteous vampire who believes he’s an agent of God is even more dangerous, for he has the one thing many Kindred desire: a purpose for being.
Raymond Narcisse wears a silver cross around his neck. He has shoulder-length hair he keeps in a ponytail. He finds comfort in dressing all in black like other priests — minus the collar, of course. Raymond is rarely seen without his clothes and his gloves on, for he’s self-conscious about the deep scars that riddle his body, marks he has yet to heal from. The scars remind him of the time he spent as a ghoul, and anger him to this day.
Raymond Narcisse, the Anathema
Sire: Erik Kuster
Apparent Age: Early 30s
Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
Social: Charisma 3, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Talents: Alertness 4, Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Brawl 3, Empathy 2, Expression 2, Intimidation 3, Leadership 3, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Crafts 3, Drive 1, Etiquette 3, Firearms 3, Larceny 2, Melee 4, Performance 2, Stealth 4, Survival 3
Knowledges: Academics 4, Computer 1, Finance 2, Investigation 4, Law 3, Medicine 2, Occult 3, Politics 3, Science 2, Technology 2
Disciplines: Auspex 4, Celerity 4, Dominate 2, Fortitude 3, Potence 2, Presence 4
Backgrounds: Allies 2, Contacts 3, Resources 1
Virtues: Conscience 2, Self-Control 4, Courage 4
Morality: Humanity 7
- Dread Names, Red List, p. 32-35