Dead of Night: Tales from the Big Easy
“Its Like Any Other Business, Only Here The Blood Shows”
New Orleans, the ‘Big Easy’, in the bloated belly of the Deep South, the wine flows, the dice roll and the pleasures come slow and steady as molasses. Nothing is difficult here, unless it has to be, and yet nothing is free, either.
Nothing is ever free.
New Orleans is a city that perverts what is good and exalts what is perverted. New Orleans is, in a very real sense, a vampire itself. This sense of wild abandon, of old values corrupted of sheer desperation, permeates the Kindred community as well, and runs thick through any New Orleans street. Everything here is factionalized and rotting from the inside out in spite of a façade of beauty, grace or order.
A Requiem Has Ended
January, 2005. Philip Maldonato, the Seneschal of New Orleans has been murdered, a coterie of fast rising Kindred Ancillae are the only suspects; captured by the Kindred Court, they awake from Torpor to find themselves chained to steel chairs bolted to the floor of a dingy cell. Their memories are shot, they know who they are and what they are but they cannot remember anything else.
They are to be interrogated about their past, flashing back through key moments in history to search for clues that could prove their innocence… or confirm their guilt.
A Darker Shade of Noir
If Raymond Chandler did Vampire the Requiem:
“But down these mean streets Kindred must go who are not themselves mean, who are neither tarnished nor afraid. They must be complete Kindred and common Kindred and yet unusual Kindred. They must be, to use a weathered phrase, Kindred of honour, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. We do not care much about their private life, they are neither eunuchs nor satyrs; I think they might seduce a duchess but I am quite sure they would not spoil a virgin; if they are Kindred of honour in one thing, they are that in all things.
They are relatively poor Kindred or they would not do the things they do at all. They are common Kindred or they could not go among common people. They have a sense of character, or they would not know their job. They will take no one’s money dishonorably and no man’s insolence with a due and dispassionate revenge.
They are lonely Kindred and their pride is that you will treat them as proud Kindred or be very sorry you ever saw them. They talk as the men of their age talks, that is with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham and a contempt for pettiness. The story is their adventure in search for a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to Kindred not fit for adventure. They have a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to them by right, because it belongs to the world they live in.
If there were enough like them, I think the world would be a very dangerous place to live in, and yet not too dangerous to be worth living in."