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What is Donovan Gage’s dark secret in New Orleans: City of the Damned?

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  • What is Donovan Gage’s dark secret in New Orleans: City of the Damned?

    I literally read the book cover to cover and can’t figure this out.

    My head canon is that he made a pact with the Strix similar to the one the Julii made, but I’d really like to know the real secret.

    Thanks


    “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
    I literally read the book cover to cover and can’t figure this out.

    My head canon is that he made a pact with the Strix similar to the one the Julii made, but I’d really like to know the real secret.

    Thanks

    I think it was extensively discussed in the old White Wolf forums. Don't trust my memory on the subject since it has been years and it wasn't ever a big deal to me, but i think it related to him supposedly John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, or something similar.... Definitely not something related to the Strix, because the book came many years before Requiem for Rome & Fall of the Camarilla.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post


      I think it was extensively discussed in the old White Wolf forums. Don't trust my memory on the subject since it has been years and it wasn't ever a big deal to me, but i think it related to him supposedly John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, or something similar.... Definitely not something related to the Strix, because the book came many years before Requiem for Rome & Fall of the Camarilla.
      Thank you.

      So he was literally John Wilkes Booth?

      Or maybe he was a Mithraist. Like from Mythologies?


      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Penelope View Post

        Thank you.

        So he was literally John Wilkes Booth?
        That's what i remember at least.

        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
        Or maybe he was a Mithraist. Like from Mythologies?
        See no reason he could not be both.

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        • #5
          That’s a great idea. Better than making him a pawn of the Strix.


          “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
            That’s a great idea. Better than making him a pawn of the Strix.

            The Strix are fun, but all things require moderation in use, many other things can be done when it comes to secret origins or strange nemeses for the kindred.

            So, for example, what if instead of a creation of the Strix, Donovan came to be through another being associated with ill-omens & witchcraft - like the Serpent (Sons of the Serpent, mythologies pgs. 23-30), for example? That would take the affirmative on Donovan in the book "his darkest secret: The fact that, while he presents the seeming of a faithful and influential Sanctified, he is truly no more devout or loyal to the covenant than is his sire" to whole new levels. And could there be more delicious irony than for a Daeva be a childe of the Serpent?

            And about the Cult of Mithras - wasn't it a cult of soldiers, legionnaries in Rome? Would we be speaking of a legion of dead worshipping in caves, then?
            How many levels/orders/animals did it have? Seven perhaps, maybe more, maybe less? Must admit i forget right now....
            Last edited by Baaldam; 10-30-2020, 05:35 PM.

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            • #7
              These are all really cool ideas. Thanks 😊.


              “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

              Comment


              • #8
                His big dark secret _according_ to the book is the fact that he's faking his faith to Lancea et Sanctum. Definitely suggest making up something bigger behind it, to bothexplain why he doesn't believe AND be horrific.

                Is he secretl'y Belial's brood? or VII?


                My Bloodline conversions
                My House rules

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                • #9
                  Quick question as I'm running the same setting although in another city: how could him ever hide his secret to anyone who possess Auspex 2 - 4?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                    His big dark secret _according_ to the book is the fact that he's faking his faith to Lancea et Sanctum. Definitely suggest making up something bigger behind it, to bothexplain why he doesn't believe AND be horrific.
                    Actually, it is, to be more precise, that the revelation of his true identity would make it clear to all involved that falsehood - or at least he believes so.


                    Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                    Is he secretl'y Belial's brood? or VII?
                    Definitely could be. That said one issue i see with that option - or making a member of the Mithraic Mysteries as i suggested or belonging to any other such secret group, for that matter - is that then his true identity or lack of faith would be the least of the problems, no?

                    So i would guess it might relate more to origins, something he can't really choose to belong to or not, than allegiance. Being a vampire spawned by the Strix or the Serpent, or maybe an Akhud, that yeah, ties in back on VII but again, is not a matter of choice as much as lineage, might work from such a perspective i guess.

                    All of that said, actually being John Wilkes Booth, the master actor that used his role to approach and assassinate a head of state (supposedly while screaming "Sic semper tyrannis" to boot), could throw his history and role as the prince's right hand man and incumbent heir in quite a different light.


                    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                    Quick question as I'm running the same setting although in another city: how could him ever hide his secret to anyone who possess Auspex 2 - 4?
                    Well, the basic issue of knowing what to look for i would say. Reading one's aura may show an individual is possessed of a great degree of faith, it's absence, not so much. People change emotional states all the time, so observing one's aura can be somewhat situational in its value as evidence of anything. That power in itself wouldn't expose Donovan. Psychometry would be of equally debatable use if one does not know what secret to look for - or just as important, have an object or place strongly "marked" by the sheriff's psyche to examine.

                    Telepathy is definitely the most straightforward tool here and has the greatest chances of hitting upon the truth without someone knowing what truth to look for. That said the matter of Donovan's true identity and lack of faith is one he sees as the greatest marks against him and has taken considerable efforts to hide, so it should be reasonably buried, what could mean a -3 penalty beside opposing his Willpower and BP to glean such a bit of info. It might also require 3-5 successes exactly because of the same issue.

                    Possible, but not exactly a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination.

                    On the matter of specific supernatural powers or merits to block/counter Auspex powers, don't remember anything specific right now, but i would guess a number of Auspex + Obfuscate devotions might fit the bill, with varying degrees of specifity or efficiency.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 11-03-2020, 08:08 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                      Well, the basic issue of knowing what to look for i would say. Reading one's aura may show an individual is possessed of a great degree of faith, it's absence, not so much. People change emotional states all the time, so observing one's aura can be somewhat situational in its value as evidence of anything. That power in itself wouldn't expose Donovan. Psychometry would be of equally debatable use if one does not know what secret to look for - or just as important, have an object or place strongly "marked" by the sheriff's psyche to examine.

                      Telepathy is definitely the most straightforward tool here and has the greatest chances of hitting upon the truth without someone knowing what truth to look for. That said the matter of Donovan's true identity and lack of faith is one he sees as the greatest marks against him and has taken considerable efforts to hide, so it should be reasonably buried, what could mean a -3 penalty beside opposing his Willpower and BP to glean such a bit of info. It might also require 3-5 successes exactly because of the same issue.

                      Possible, but not exactly a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination.

                      On the matter of specific supernatural powers or merits to block/counter Auspex powers, don't remember anything specific right now, but i would guess a number of Auspex + Obfuscate devotions might fit the bill, with varying degrees of specifity or efficiency.
                      Not sure if with reading the aura you are referring to 1st ed. Auspex. In 2nd edition a legit question already with Auspex 2 could be: "What's the darkest secret of him" which I agree sounds pretty generic but it's as per the standard example: "what's the psychological vulnerability?" and Auspex 2 focus on personal secrets.

                      In any case I agree some homebrew devotion could help, I was wondering how developers meant to deal with any secret in any setting of theirs though since I'm really struggling to keep important secrets in my campaign hidden to any PC with Auspex (mostly I try to avoid them to meet outside any Elysium although it's quite limiting).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marcus View Post

                        Not sure if with reading the aura you are referring to 1st ed. Auspex. In 2nd edition a legit question already with Auspex 2 could be: "What's the darkest secret of him" which I agree sounds pretty generic but it's as per the standard example: "what's the psychological vulnerability?" and Auspex 2 focus on personal secrets.
                        True, i'm definitely a 1st ed. animal when it comes to Requiem stuff. Nothing against 2nd actually, just no luck with getting a new group to play or ST and help engaging with the "new" rules.

                        Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                        In any case I agree some homebrew devotion could help, I was wondering how developers meant to deal with any secret in any setting of theirs though since I'm really struggling to keep important secrets in my campaign hidden to any PC with Auspex (mostly I try to avoid them to meet outside any Elysium although it's quite limiting).
                        I can see the difficulty, but imagine that part of the time BP+Willpower+any appropriate penalties - how buried is the secret, how aware of this power is the target vampire, how (dis)trusting of the PC is it and so on - should mitigate it somewhat at least part of the time if the players do not have uber-min-maxed 10-15 dice pools.

                        And if they do - well, too much success can turn into a problem on itself. Do things too well and people may notice. Do it repeatedly and they catch on. Last Requiem game i played (and sometimes STed) the PCs would at times find themselves into the unenviable situation of having to use less competent neonates as cat's paws, just to avoid showing their hand by sheer insane smoothness.

                        Things can be quite weird when your character is among the top 6 or 3 of something - and the other power players of the domain know it.
                        Last edited by Baaldam; 11-03-2020, 03:01 PM.

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