Dead of Night: Tales from the Big Easy
Apparent Age: Indeterminate
Masquerade: Guru Requiem: Horror
Many people mistake Baron Cimitiere for a costumed mummer upon first meeting him. He appears to be a walking corpse, his flesh gray and sunken, his teeth and eyes yellowed, his hair falling to his shoulders in stringy clumps. He dresses in the traditional fashion of Baron Samedi himself — an old black suit, cane, top hat and sunglasses. Baron Cimitiere naturally smells of rot, but he takes great pains and uses a variety of cleansers and scents to hide that fact. He claims his corpse-like appearance came about when Baron Samedi raised him from Final Death.
This strange Kindred arrived in the city in 1799, having left Haiti during the revolt against French colonial occupation. Of his time before, he speaks little, even to his most trusted followers. No one knows if he was native to Haiti or he travelled there at some point from elsewhere. He says only that he faced Final Death in Haiti and was restored to his current incarnation through the aid of the great loa Baron Samedi.
Cimitiere believes that all vampires pass briefly through Samedi’s realm, and that it is only by his graces that they return to the living world. He views those who fail to honor Samedi and the other loa as disrespectful at best and dangerously ignorant at worst. Neither Cimitiere nor his followers see much point in forcing others to accept the truth.
For many years after arriving in New Orleans, he was content to be left alone to participate in the growth of vodoun culture. It was at this time that he gained his small but devoted group of Kindred followers in the city, as well as his far more substantial mortal congregations. The Baron became slowly aware of another vodoun Kindred in the city, Papa Iblis. Although his followers were small and there had been no encounters, Cimitiere learned that Iblis was a powerful Bokor and threatened his community with black magic and evil practices. Cimitiere turned his influence against the bokor, isolating his followers and turning mortal authorities attention on his dark arts. With his power base weakened Cimitiere confronted Papa Iblis in the bokor’s mansion in [[Bayou St. John]] . It is believed that the Baron caused the bokor’s Final Death.
After dealing with the threat to the vodoun community, Cimitiere began to realize that both New Orleans’ Kindred authorities posed a threat to his people — Prince Vidal because of his intolerant religious beliefs and his growing fear of Baron Cimitiere’s power and influence; and Antoine Savoy through his manipulation of vodoun and its practitioners for purely political ends. Baron Cimitiere uses his considerable influence among the kine and his small but influential group of Kindred supporters in order to oppose both threats. On occasion, necessity has forced him to cooperate with Savoy against Vidal — as much as Baron Cimitiere despises Savoy’s misuse of vodoun, it’s better than Vidal’s overt hostility toward it — but these alliances have always been short-lived arrangements.