Vitae Martini: Shaken Not Stirred
Father Giacomo Arivia
Lasombra Antitribu, Alastor, Catholic Priest and Enforcer for the Inner Circle
In nomine Patris
et Spiritus Sancti
You’re going straight to the Abyss
It is said that the converted are always the most loyal members of a cause. Father Giacomo Arivia is the personification of this. A former Sabbat member, he is now unconditionally devoted to the cause of the Camarilla and their Inner Circle. He has built his worldview around it. It’s what allows him to keep killing their enemies night after night. He needs it too – after all, he’s immune to blood bonds.
Partnered with a Tzimisce who walked away from the Sabbat with him, bound to watch over a Tremere Pontifex whose sorcery marks him as some sort of Infernalist and taking orders from a Malkavian who wears a cape in The Year of Our Lord 2015, Father Giacomo protects his team, finds the enemies of the Camarilla and takes their fucking heads with sword and shadow. Amen.
Father Giacomo Arivia was born in 1630 in Milan, at the height of the Great Plague. His entire family died not long after he was born and he was given to the Church as an orphan to raise, for reasons Giacomo never found out.
As far as he remembers, he led an uneventful life as a scholar and priest in the Church until one night in 1680, when he was attacked and Embraced into Clan Lasombra by a ruthless Black Hand member named Benedetto. Benedetto’s childer had recently been repelled by a holy man wielding a cross and they were worried that this may happen again. To prove a point, Benedetto Embraced a priest of the Church in front of them to show that God does not protect his own from the darkness. He intended to try and make the best of his new childer, but did not expect a pale Church scribe to survive long in the Sabbat.
There were two things Benedetto had not anticipated.
Giacomo’s faith in the Lord had not been sufficient to protect him from the predations of a vampire. He could not repel the creatures of darkness with a holy symbol, nor did his touch cause them pain. He did, however, have enough faith in God to protect his mind from the beguiling touch of vampiric blood – or at least that’s what he tells himself. Truly, he does not know why Vinculum and Vaulderie does not affect him, he is only grateful.
Second, Benedetto’s success worked against him. Benedetto was a highly skilled assassin and was riding high on a recent spate of successful missions – each of which ended with him diablerising his target. In his haste to prove his childer wrong about the nature of God, he had forgotten that his new childe would be of far more potent blood than the rest of his brood.
Giacomo learned quickly. While he presumes that somewhere the Camarilla have records of when exactly he joined their ranks, he did not keep track of his time in the Sabbat. It was at least a century, however, and a hundred years of surviving the sect had transformed the shy, pale Church scribe into a brash and highly dangerous swordsman with a profound understanding of Obtenebration. However, as much as he showed great skill as an occultist, his sire never trusted him enough to teach him Abyss Mysticism.
Giacomo’s separation from the Sabbat was both slow and sudden. Decades of performing the deeds of the Sect without the emotional shield of being subject to Vaulderie took its toll. Atrocity piled on atrocity and as much as Giacomo enjoyed the thrill of wielding blade and shadow, his passion for the work faded. Benedetto noticed, of course. One night, he finally had enough of his wayward childe and ordered the rest of his brood to kill him. They did not succeed. He asked another who he knew had doubts about the Sabbat, the Tzimisce Kepke, to accompany him and together they walked off into the night.
Their only chance of survival was to join the Camarilla. It was a tough sell, a Tzimisce and a Lasombra asking for protection with the Black Hand in pursuit, but they were fortunate that a Justicar saw their potential and took them under her wing.
A quarter of a milennium of doing the same thing for different masters has hardened Father Giacomo. What remains of his conscience does not trouble him as much as it did when he worked for the Sabbat, but the path of an Archon is not a clean one. He trained and fought and studied and, as of the third milennium, holds the honored rank of Alastor. He is empowered by the Inner Circle to hunt down and destroy the Anathema on the Red List, the worst enemies of the Sect. He has not changed his methods and is now a greater swordsman than any mortal man, with an occult knowledge and a mastery of Obtenebration that even amongst vampires is rare.
Clan Lasombra did not forget his defection and frequently make attempts to repay the betrayal. He does likewise. Centuries of enmity have earned him the ire of the entire Lasombra clan – they know his name and they want him dead. He knows that out there, Benedetto is still alive. Not once in 250 years has he had the opportunity to pay Benedetto back for betraying him. He is too loyal to the Inner Circle to shirk his duties and go looking. But some day. Some day his name will come up on the Red List.
Then Giacomo will find him. Then there will be a reckoning.