High Concept: Favourite Daughter of House Stefani
Oriana Stefani is White Court vampire of House Stefani, founded by Stefano di Treviso in Venice shortly after the city started gaining importance in the medieval world. The centre of trade and commerce, Venice was a perfect place for a family of vampires feeding on greed. While most of the House didn’t think twice about exploiting humans as much as they could, Oriana has always been an idealist, holding belief that vampires and humans can live in symbiosis rather than a parasitic relationship, a belief that made her one of the favoirute scions of the house after its fall and eventual rebirth.
Trouble: Femme Fatale
Oriana always seems to attract the wrong kind of people, who tend get the wrong idea about her. Be it a group of greed cultists thinking she’ll support their cause, ruthless businessmen seeking her patronage or even hapless men thinking they have her affection, she never seems to be rid of at least one person hovering around her with the wrong impressions. She’s not above using these wrong impressions to further her own goals but, being fundamentally idealistic in nature, the pain she causes to innocent hearts bothers her immensely.
Phase One: Background
Oriana was born and raised when Old House Stefani has been in full power and many of its members were exploiting the populace of Venice and beyond as much as they could to feed their ever hungry demon, even as the importance of the city was falling rapidly. She however saw beyond it and since she became a full member of the house after accidentally killing a banker of the Medici family, she developed idealistic views about how the House should live with humans in symbiosis rather than treat them like cattle. This made her very unpopular with the rest of the family very quickly and so she left Venice on a self-imposed exlie to seek someone who will share her views.
She soon found support in the figure of young Karl Marx as he was in the process of developing his ideas. Throughout the years, as he and his friend Engels were working on what eventually became the foundations of the communist movement, Oriana fed on his greed to keep his mind clear and solidified the foundations of her own ideals. She still remembers these years fondly and considers the signed first print of Das Kapital as her most prized posession.
Aspect: The Price of Kapital
Phase Two: Rising Conflict
Shortly after the events in The Red Brigades, the Red Court seeking revenge for House Stefani meddling in the Spanish Civil war pushed the White Court family beyond the brink. It was easy too, given that they had to deal with a group of vampires who live off greed and revel in it. The House turned on itself and imploded messily and bloodily. Only a handful of members survived, including Oriana who was delayed in Switzerland on her way home, and, unknown to their enemies, the House patriarch, Stefano, who was on a trip to Morocco. As far as anyone was concerned, House Stefani ended at that moment, their wealth and influence gone, their members few and far between. The name of the House has been crossed from the White Court books.
But the House was not dead. When the remaining members gathered by the rubble of their house estate, they agreed that to survive they have to change and cannot let greed run rampant again. Returning to the old habits would not work and would only make the circle repeat itself. A new approach was needed, one of sustainable feeding, of carefully maintaining resources and cover, of treating humans as equals. An approach that Oriana has been voicing since she became full of age.
It wasn’t easy to pick the House up from almost total annihilation, but slowly it started to work. House Stefani reared its head once again and Oriana was granted much favour and trust from the patriarch.
Aspect: Everyone Has a Price
Phase Three: The Story – ‘All That Shines is not Silver’
Guest Starring: Oliver Monfort, Richard Merovech Masson
Once the House found its feet again, Oriana has been given a very important mission from her patriarch – go to the heart of Skavis territory and carve a slice for House Stefani, both to bring resources and influence, and to show the rest of the White Court that the House is not dead. With his blessing she left for England and headed straight for Bristol. Once there, she beguiled the crown prince Skavis to gain a foothold in the city and get permission to start a business. Thus, with the blessing of the ruling house, Caprifoglio d’Argento was born, an elegant and posh casino catering only to those who can afford to lose.
Things were going increasingly well with the casino, but the same couldn’t be said about the relationship with the Skavis crown prince. She kept avoiding contact and he was getting more and more annoyed. However one night when Oriana was attending to the business, a peculiar old silver Roman coin was offered to her as an item of value to continue gambling. Just as she was about to take it, someone accidentally pushed her, the coin fell on the ground and rolled away, not to be seen again that night. Unbeknown to anyone, it was eventually to be picked up by an unsuspecting and unaware customer. An advertisement in the newspaper was put with a picture of the coin, asking whoever found it to return it to Oriana.
Few days later, Oliver Monfort visited her and told her about the danger she narrowly missed – the coin offered to her was holding a Denarian, who by now has probably completely possessed whoever picked it up. Hoping the person who has it would return to the establishment, and that the demon didn’t yet have the time to reach its full power, together they devised a plan of ambush to hopefully destroy it or at least drive it away. That same evening Oliver recognised the coin held by one of the customers and set the plan into motion. Predictably, the demon revealed itself, though what came as a surprise was the amount of people in the establishment willing to help it – members of a greed cult, as it later turned out. The fight was long and messy and in the end, though the demon was driven out and Oriana and Oliver were victorious, the casino stood in ruins.
On those ruins came the prince of Skavis with his retinue demanding from Oriana explanation, apology for brushing him off and general repentance. When he got none, in fury he threatened to end her and Oliver there and then, and probably would have if not for the sudden appearance of Richard, who proclaimed to stand on Oriana’s side should hostilities start. The wizard, as later turned out, was there from the beginning and saw everything that happened. With this shift of power, the prince Skavis decided not to risk it, declared that Oriana will never run a business in this city again and stormed off.
Aspect: The Silver Capricorn Will Triumph
Phase Four: Guest Star – ‘The Red Brigades’
Starring: Faris al-Farik Guest Starring: Oriana Stefani, Oliver Monfort
When the Spanish Civil War erupted, Oriana, who resided in Valencia at the time, took the Republicans’ side, offering her resources and powers to their cause. Shortly after, when it became clear that the Red Court is getting involved heavily into the war, she made contact with the Fellowship of St Giles to offer her services to them as well. Making sure there’s never a connection between the revolutionary efforts and her, she expended her resources and contacts to keep the revolutionaries informed about any windows of opportunity for a strike. That’s where she met Faris al-Farik, who sought the death of the Red Knight at the head of the Red Court activities in the area. A plan was devised and when at an opportune moment Faris and his guerilla band went after the Red Knight, Oriana at the same time had the Red Knight’s daughter for tea, to make sure she won’t interfere with Faris’ attack. The attack was successfull and the White Court involvement couldn’t have been proven – of course – but Tamsin swore vengance upon Oriana and her House nonetheless.
Aspect: Viva la Revolution!
Phase Five: Guest Star Redux – ‘Express Train to the Nevernever’
Starring: J.B. Clarke Guest Starring: Oriana Stefani, Faris al-Farik
After another closing of Caprifoglio d’Argente (this time because of ‘gang related hostilities’ as the Daily Mail put it) Oriana decided her security is in dire need of someone who actually knows what he’s doing. Her extensive research for the right person led her to J. B. Clarke, a human said to be one of the best in the field of personal protection. When she tried to contact her however, only the machine answered. She left a message asking for a meeting and thought nothing of it.
The person who answered her call and came to the meeting was almost a different person altogether. Infused with the power of the Earth spirit, J. B. was now beyond mortal constrains and could protect Oriana’s establishment not only from mundane threats but those supernatural as well. J. B. had demands regarding her new job, of course, but Oriana was only all too happy to oblige. Clarke was not only one of the best now… she was the best.
Aspect: Only the Best