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Leona "Leo" Marciano -- Ventrue Art Dealer


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Yeah Rob Marciano was my father.

He was just my father you understand?

And this is just an art gallery, ya wanna buy a painting?

General Description:

A neonate Ventrue from Newark Leona Marciano, or "Leo" to friends, made her money in the art world. Proving you can put an Art History major to good use if you can find the right kind of financial backing. She is the proud owner of a shiny new art gallery a few blocks away from the SCAD Museum of Art hosting both parts of her own collection and quickly filling up with works by local artists. Of course that is only part of the story. Leo’s other stock and trade is information. Her network in Newark was one of the best this side of a Nosferatu, something she hopes to reestablish.

Personality:

Coming with a clan with a reputation for arrogance, snobbery, and otherwise putting on airs Leona takes great pains project a more down to earth image. Friendly without being fawning, confident without being brash, like everyone's cool big sister. This is of course an intentional posture but also not entirely feigned. Leo really does prefer to be on good terms with people, but knows from experience you cannot really trust anyone.

Likewise Leo's presentation as a patron and appreciator of the fine arts is both broad-based and genuine, if not all she is after. You would not be the first to comment she should have been a Toreador, but Leo makes a point of taking that as a compliment generally before proceeding to give an explanation in the finer points of impressionism or trends in modern sculpture.

While she can get her hands dirty when she has to Leo prefers to be less direct. She prefers to collecting rumor, researching records, or passing a little cash around to get what she wants done. All of which is much easier when she can look someone in the eye, but better as the scalpel then the hammer.

Appearance:

Embraced in the prime of her life Leo appears to be a young woman of slightly above average height with a slim athletic build, golden hair and grey eyes. In dress she always dresses smartly in well tailored outfits, though unlike certain Ventrue she had more then suits and fancy dresses in her wardrobe and outside formal or purely in-clan affairs affects more casual styles. Next to her fellow Kindred Leona wears the Curse but lightly, with no deathly pallor or icy touch to be found and she is often seen snacking on regular food or sipping a glass of wine.

 

Character Sheet:

Basics:

Name: Leona Marciano | Nature: Judge | Demeanor: Capitalist

Clan: Ventrue | Generation: 8th | Sire: Diego de Cortez

Age: 50 (20) | Origin: Newark, NJ | Concept: The "Art Dealer"

 

Attributes:

Strength: ●●○○○ | Charisma: ●●●○○ | Perception: ●●●○○

Dexterity: ●●●○○ | ManipulationSpecialty: Persuasive: ●●●●○ | Intelligence: ●●○○○

StaminaSpecialty: Tough as Nails: ●●●●○ | Appearance: ●●●○○ | Wits ●●○○○

 

Abilities:

Talents: 

Alertness ●○○○○ | Athletics ●●○○○| Awareness ○○○○○

Brawl ○○○○○ | Empathy ●●○○○ | Expression ●●○○○

Intimidation: ●●○○○ | LeadershipFriendly ●●●●○ | Streetwise ●●●○○

Subterfuge ●●○○○

 

Skills:

Animal Ken ○○○○○ | Crafts ●○○○○ | Drive ●○○○○

Etiquette ●●○○○ | Firearms ●●●○○ | Larceny ○○○○○

Melee ○○○○○ | Performance ○○○○○ | Stealth ●○○○○

Survival ○○○○○

 

Knowledges:

AcademicsSpecialty: Fine Art ●●●●○ | Computer ●○○○○ | Finance ●●○○○

Investigation ●●●○○ | Law ●○○○○ | Medicine ○○○○○

Occult ○○○○○ | Politics ●○○○○| Science ○○○○○

Technology ○○○○○

 

Virtues:

Conscience ●●●○○ | Self-Control ●●●○○ | Courage ●●●●○

Humanity: ●●●●● ●○○○○| Willpower: ●●●●● ●●○○○

Blood Pool: X / 15

Clan Flaw: Rarefied TasteOnly feeds on Beautiful Women

Backgrounds:

Generation ●●●●● | InfluenceThe Fine Arts ● | Resources ●●●● | Retainer ●● | Status ●

Disciplines:

Celerity ●○○○○ | Dominate ●●○○○ | Fortitude ●●●○○ | Presence ○○○○○

Merits/Flaws:

Merits: Blush of Health, Eat Food, Light Sleeper, Natural Leader, Prestigious Sire

Flaws: Cursed"The Devil takes those who break their oaths" (2 Pt Flaw)

An old Marciano family superstition, that misfortune follows those who break their promises, but with a strange way of coming true. Coincidence? Supernatural? Or perhaps some kind of self fulfilling prophecy?
, Lunacy(2 pt Flaw)
In the final conflict with the Gangrel that got her father killed Leo drank one of his childer dry. She was pulled off before she accidentally committed diablerie but ever since her Beast has been a bit more bestial
, PhobiaStakes (2 pt Flaw)

Most vampires are wary of stakes, Leo has actually been staked and left to rot for weeks wasting away helplessly. Now the sight alone is enough to make her tremble with unresolved trauma.
, TicTapping (1 pt Flaw)
Leo is always unconsciously keeping time with a tapping foot or finger on the desk.

 

Bookkeeping

Freebies:

8 Backgrounds: +8 Backgrounds

4 Abilities +1: Academics, Leadership

3 Willpower +3

 

XP: 50 Total

15 Fortitude 3

5 Dominate 2

4 Strength 2

4 Wits 2

6 Firearms 1 to 3

6 Investigation 1 to 3

10 Ability 2s x5

 

Edited by Mild Scribe (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Backstory:

Leona or "Leo" to her friends grew up in an upscale neighborhood on the edges of Newark. In an era of urban decay her street was a bulwark against the tide, a neat row of brownstones filled with mostly Italian families. Everyone knew everyone and many a weekend they blocked off the street with cars so the kids could play outside. The Marciano household was even better off then most, Leo remembers well her mother's seemingly endless array of glamour jewelry and dresses, easily the best dress woman on the street. Then there were the family vacations to Europe or California or other distant locales. Even as a small child Leo wondered just how her father afforded all this, its not like she knew what job he had just that he had "business" that often kept him out late.

She wouldn't learn until after her mother left. Leona was not yet ten, but since age seven she'd been carrying her baby sister upstairs to bed whenever mommy had too much wine and started screaming in Italian at their father. One night finally her mother left outright, gone back to her family in Turin never to be seen again by her two young daughters and soon to be ex-husband. Alice was too young to understand much but the blow was a sore and lasting one for Leona and her father. Ultimately it would draw father and daughters close together though, where many men would have fled or pawned them off on anyone he could get Rob Marciano made time for his girls. Which also meant that they spent substantial amounts of time around him. And that's how Leona came to realize her father was a gangster.

Not merely a criminal or member of the rising tide of street gang but a full Capo of the DeVita Crime Family of Newark and in his younger days one of their most feared "troubleshooters" Roberto Marciano was a man with real presence in Newark. Leo soon came to recognize the fearful looks neighbors sometimes gave her father. Then there was the time they were accosted in a deli, even today living in a much darker world Leo has still never seen another man's armed snapped more efficiently. Her father was all she had though, and with his daughters he was always gentle even if it was soon an open secret with them just what he did for a living.

"I swore an oath to my brothers as they have sworn one to me, for in a harsh and violent world we must stand together as one familia. And always remember the Devil takes those who break their oaths." that is what he told Leo and Alice many times. As young women though the sisters were spared any obligation to join their father's lifestyle and indeed their father hoped they would leave it all behind them one day. Go to college, get good jobs, marry nice young Italian boys, that was his dream for them. And for many years it seemed like that was what would be. For all their family had a darker secret then most Leo and Alice grew into normal, well-adjusted teens. Leo had a decent circle of friends, three successive boyfriends of varying seriousness, top marks in school, and a noted interest in art. First in her family to go to college she pursued an art history degree.

She never realized how short a time that bliss would be. It started with news reports, a spike in the murder rates believed to be gang related, one spectacular case saw a man shot across the river in Grand Central Station. Alice shared told her word on the street was a gang war was underway, but Leo's father told her not to worry and that he had someone looking out for Alice. He made her promise that no matter what happened she would stat at school. That's when Leona knew things must be serious but she gave her word she'd keep away. She kept away from the news and tried to do as her father asked, but when one night one of her father's associates called asking if she had heard from them her reserve broke. She called the house but it went right to machine and that sent Leona racing home. She'd hardly opened the door when she was pulled inside. It was one of her father's men and set to guard the Marciano house, he didn't know who had called Leo but he knew where to reach her father and the elder Marciano arrived a short time later to comfort his daughter. He was sad she had broken her promise but understood she was just worried, he said he would tell Leo everything. He would never get the chance.

Someone else had followed him home.

They tore through the front door like nothing a hail of bullets and violence followed as Leo's father screamed at her to get out, his man dragging Alice towards the backdoor. Leo froze though and watched as one bullet then another tore through her father and he fell. His assailant was a small man but Leo instantly knew something was desperately wrong. His eyes aglow and with a mouth of smiling teeth he stepped over the fallen Marciano and Leo put four rounds in his chest. Laughing he pinned her too the wall and started talking about how he loved a meal with spice. Leona's father wasn't quite dead though and at a cry from his oldest daughter he rouse in a rage, nor the fanged man off Leo and forced him to the ground, emptying an entire clip in the undying thing's skull. Then Leo's father breathed his last. Cradling his body Leo waited for the cops to arrive. At some point she noticed she had been wounded and bleeding out.

That was how Roberto and Leona Marciano died, but Leo's story would not end there.

She was 'saved' by Diego de Cortez the Ventrue Primogen of Newark and would soon learn she'd fallen much deeper into a world her father had tried so hard to keep her out of. The gang war was not simply a conflict of mortal criminals, but the result of Kindred machinations. Among his holding Diego silently controlled the container port which in turn had long ago brought him into contact with the DeVita family and Leo's father, who he had respect about as much as any vampire can respect a mortal. The man who'd led the invasion of Leo's home was another vampire looking to usurp that lucrative domain, though his final death seemed to have headed off those plans for the moment. Leona's new sire believed the vampire had not been working alone and felt any child would welcome the chance to finish the job their father had died doing. He wasn't wrong on that front, awash with grief and new to the Curse Leona found the need for bloody vengeance burning within her.

It would soon turn into a long quest for sire and child. Identifying the mastermind was not the hard part, collecting evidence to bring to the Prince to bring the esteemed Gangrel elder Lucas Black and his entire network down was the real task. Diego had many demands on his nights, hence why he made Leona his chief weapon. Leona meanwhile had to establish herself as a new flegling vampire, especially to Clan Ventrue. Her approach was rather non-traditional, for she had no outstanding talents but a great appreciation of fine art and it was to that she turned. She argued first to her sire and then the Board that art made an ideal investment platform. Like land or gold it held value well over the centuries, a higher bar to entry to keep out casual speculators, and could be admired by all in the mean time. Sire and Board both laughed at first but then began to see Leo's point, and by the early 90s were rather sick of hearing hotshot young Ventrue swearing how they'd become billionaires flipping stock and the like. That the arts scene was a haven for money laundering and excellent venue for gathering rumors among those with the money enough to play the game was also understood. With Ventrue backed loans and a few shrewd purchases Leona was able to set up a gallery and brokerage within just a few short years. The experience provided her with a valuable chance to hone her social and information gathering skills, which would become her true stock and trade.

As the new millennia dawned Leona turned her attentions to her true prey.

Lucas Black was several centuries old and cagey as any elder, his childer were considerably less so via her by now extensive network of contacts Leo put together a map of their activities. One night she was able to track two of them to a certain storage facility. A bribe to the resident security guard got the information needed. A grainy nightvision capture of him meeting with a Sabbat pack. When Diego identified the pack for Leo it was with a smile, for no sooner did Leo hand over the footage then he had it presented to the Prince. When the Sabbat attacked they met forewarned Camarilla forces while Lucas was staked the night before by Diego himself. 

Leona of course received no public credit, it would not do for one so young to be known to have been a key player. She would win more open glory during the Sabbat raid, when some of Lucas’ childer came in on the Sabbat side. Perhaps marked by their sire, one of them tried to kill Leo but when her claws and fangs sank into Leo she bit back harder and drank her opponent dry. Even after her wounds healed though Leo found the incident not as satisfying as she had hoped. 

She had avenged her father, yes, but now what was she supposed to do with the rest of eternity? 

Leona still hasn’t found the answer to that but has learned to put the question in the back of her mind. In the meantime there has been plenty to keep her occupied. There was building her gallery and network, dealing in both art and information provided ample filler for her nights. Diego was not done with his talented childer either and found other tasks for her. The last of Lucas’ Black childer had escaped to the Sabbat while other Gangrel held a grudge over the loss of an esteemed elder.

Still Leo never considered leaving Newark until recently. Investigating why a new Anarch cell had taken on cult aspects she underestimated their leader who seemed to see right through her lies of interest in joining the group. To punish her Leo was staked and left to rot in a box. Her sire came to her rescue and the Anarchs fled into the night but the harrowing experience soured her nights. When she heard of the unusual call for new residents to Savannah it seemed the perfect opportunity even if it meant leaving her carefully cultivated network behind. The ominous disappearance of so many Kindred was concerning but also enticing, if Leo could get to the bottom of it that would serve to redeem her previous failure. Or at least so she hoped.
 

Edited by Mild Scribe (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

NPCs:

Associates:

  • Alice Marciano: Leo's younger sister Alice was ghouled in the aftermath of their father's death. No one is more important to Leo and she is deeply protective of Alice. While Leo did not want to make her sister a servant under the affects of the blood bond and trauma of their father's death Alice came to cling to Leo deeply and has an obsessive need to be of use to her older sister. Consequently Alice serves as Leo's public face for the mortal world, looking after the money and business. (Retainer)
  • Gilbert Silvestri: A former soldier of the DeVita crime family Gilbert was one of Rob Marciano's most trusted subordinates, who was tasked with guarding the younger Marciano sibling when things fell apart. Like Alice he was taken and ghouled in the aftermath and come to serve Leo much as he did her father. A loyal guard dog he provides security services for the Marciano household. (Retainer)
  • Diego de Cortez: Leona's sire, an esteemed Ventrue elder. Embraced in the early years of colonization Diego is one of the most puissant and gallant warriors of the clan who made a name for himself terrorizing Sabbat and Lasombra shipping in he Golden Age of Piracy. Was long based in Saint Augustine when it was a Spanish city from its founding but left the city a few decades before the Civil War, turning up in the Tri-State Area a little before WWI. An old acquaintance of Prince Thomas though he has not deigned to tell his childe any meaningful details. Regarding Leo sire and childe have enjoyed a strong relationship and he supported her move to Savanah claiming she needed to step out of his shadow if she was to grow further. (Prestigious Sire)

Adversaries:

  • Rebecca Martin: A Brujah Anarch who's become an hero of the sect over the last two decades, causing trouble for the Camarilla up and down the Atlantic coast. What that reputation doesn't include but Leona discovered is how Rebecca operates her cell as a religious cult calling themselves the Covenant and seemingly worshiping Rebecca as a god figure. Leona didn't learn much more though before being captured and staked. Rebecca fled Newark when Leo's sire came to her aid but she is still out there somewhere.
  • The Black Children: Lucas Black was a Gangrel elder, prolific sire, and the man who ruin Leo's life in his attempt to muscle in on the Newark underworld. He is long dead after being caught making a deal with the Sabbat pack but he had many allies among his clan and at least one of his childer is known to remain at large. There might be others too and the Marciano family has already been responsible for two of their deaths.

Alice Statblock

Attributes:

Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4

Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 3

Perception 2, Intelligence 3, Wits 2

Abilities:

Talents: Athletics 1, Empathy 2, Expression 1, Intimidation 1, Leadership 2, Subterfuge 2

Skills: Drive 1 Etiquette 2, Performance 1

Knowledges: Academics 1, Computer 3, Finance 3, Investigation 1, Law 3, Politics 2

Backgrounds: Allies 1, Alternate Identity 2, Resources 2

Disciplines: Fortitude 1, Potence 1

Virtues: Conscience 3, Self Control 4, Courage 3

Humanity: 7

Willpower: 6

Freebies:

-- 10 Stamina +2

-- 3 Willpower +3

-- 8 Abilities +4 ( Computer +2, Leadership +1, Subterfuge +1)

 

Gilbert Statblock

Attributes:

Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3

Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2

Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 2

Abilities:

Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 1, Brawl 3, Intimidation 2, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 1

Skills: Crafts 2, Drive 1, Firearms 3, Larceny 2, Stealth 2, Survival 1

Knowledges: Academics 1, Computer 2, Law 1, Science 1, Technology 3

Backgrounds: Allies 1, Alternate Identity 2, Resources 2,

Disciplines: Fortitude 1, Potence 1

Virtues: Conscience 2, Self Control 3, Courage 5

Humanity: 5

Willpower: 5

Freebies:

-- 5 Perception +1

-- 16 Abilities +8 (Alertness +1, Brawl +3, Computer +1, Technology +3)

 

...

Edited by Mild Scribe (see edit history)
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  • The title was changed to Leona "Leo" Marciano -- Ventrue Art Dealer
Posted (edited)

@coreal

While I have some minor details to work out like researching property in Savanah and statting ghouls but Leo should be ready for a once over at least.

And to be clear the 2 angered factions would be Anarchs and Gangrel (or Sabbat if you feel they wouldn't give a ****)

Edited by Mild Scribe (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

@coreal

For growth goals Leo is most interested in Backgrounds over anything strictly XP related. Contacts, Allies, and Herd in particular. Less direct influence (which makes you a target) and more being in the know. For particular abilities:

  1. Social abilities would be the things she probably uses most. Empathy, Subterfuge, Intimidate, Expression, in no particular order outside Dominate use. Leadership being high probably has to wait awhile. Should things get violent she tends to lean on Fortitude and defense. 
  2. For training in the background that would be combat useful stuff. Firearms practice at the gun range, running or whatever else vampires can do to justify Athletics. At some point she wants to start training with her Retainer Gilbert in Brawl but something always came up in Newark. She also at one point would likely look into finding a dance instructor to pick up Perform. 
  3. For not so regular training Presence would be a major goal for Leona. In universe it represents her sire’s being a martial sort (literally an old pirate) and one who looked down on the Discipline for all it is in-clan, but Leo doesn’t share those biases. Auspex is something she hasn’t considered or knows about IC but would also be right up her alley. Or basically she’d has reason to hang around some Torries
     
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