Etienne was Embraced at a young age and spent most of his unlife on adventure before he settled in the Courts of Love. His greatest talents lay in wordplay and poetry, and the majority of the Courts did not think him worthy of consideration.
This changed when Etienne uncovered dealings of Esclarmonde, Queen of Toulouse, with the Lasombra of Aragón. Specifically, Lucita de Aragón had been seen marshalling Cainites to claim domain on the Iberian peninsula in Esclarmonde's name, as a preparation for Toulouse's independence. While the accusation was spurious at best, Etienne presented it with such eloquence before Salianna that Prince Alexander sent for her. When Esclarmonde merely sent a messenger, it was seen as proof of her guilt.
While conflict erupted, several Cainites began to wonder what Etienne would gain from Esclarmonde's destruction, since his own fiefdom lay many miles away from hers. Some claim to have seen ambassadors from Bordeaux (which was under the control of Mithras) and asked themselves what Etienne's true plans might be.