Marc deBrabant is a Gangrel merchant prince, who acts as a shadow prince of sorts for various domains in the United States .


Marc deBrabant was born in the age of the crusades in France and grew up in a Benedictine priory. He ran away when he turned 16, slogging through his life with various agricultural jobs. His life changed when he joined the Children's Crusade and came to Marseilles. There, the naïve and idealistic young vagabonds were offered free passage to the Holy Land by unscrupulous merchants who shackled them and sold them as a lot in the slave markets of North Africa. He ended up as the servant to an Algerian merchant who discovered that Marc had a remarkable memory. When his master tried to cheat the Kindred who would become Marc's sire, Megan of Bristol, she promptly offered the Algerian a choice between an ignominious death or signing over his wealth and property to Marc. Next, Megan offered Marc a choice: life as an independent merchant, or the Embrace as her lieutenant. True loyalty, she told him, could not be demanded, only offered freely. She wanted his loyalty; she could be sure that she had it only if she gave him a genuine say in the matter. Marc accepted her deal and joined the ranks of the undead. He, and his sire and grandsire, spent the High Middle Ages roaming Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, laying the foundations of a trading and banking empire that would one night extend into India and the New World as well.

By the late 14th century, Marc had developed some sympathy for the nascent Anarch cause in its early stages, but that withered away as the Revolt gave way to the rabid Sabbat. He still believed that everyone, Cainite and kine, should have a chance to choose his own destiny and the Sabbat Vaulderie, in his view, eroded that choice in the name of a brutally wielded doctrine that merely replaced God with Caine. Over the next two centuries, Marc became an advocate for the Camarilla at Gangrel Gathers throughout Europe, building a (somewhat undeserved) reputation as one of the sect's greatest supporters. During the Renaissance, Marc's had amassed a fortune, practicing the virtues of the age. In the same time, Marc found himself alienated from other, more primal Gangrel at the same time he found himself at odds with the more urbane Kindred of Renaissance cities. With unprecedented clarity of thought, Marc turned his outsider status and uncommon perspective from a liability into an asset. As his relationship with his fellow Gangrel grew remote, he engaged in Jyhad where the more "refined" Kindred usually plied their schemes: in the city. He was especially popular in the salons of Brussels, where he ultimately decided to establish a haven. For Marc, the proximity to power but the distance from the serpentine courts of Rome and Venice was a great boon. Here, he could propose his systems of Kindred governance with the pomp of the Camarilla but the modern outlook of the Anarchs. The tragic end of the Children's Crusade destroyed Marc's certainty that he was doing God's work. His distrust of the Church's moral vision widened to encompass grand visions or ideologies of any kind (which remains his main quarrel with the Anarchs and their ill-defined notions of "freedom").

Eventually, Marc left for the New World, his fortune invested into Brabant, and vanished. Kindred knowledgeable in the politics of the New World sects believe that Marc de Brabant took his patrons' money and used it to establish a network of petty domains, each of which fell under the sway of one faction or another while ultimately funneling their tribute back to a "Prince" who ruled from the far-reaching dark of the North American forests. As Dutch interests favored free trade, a shadow market emerged in which mortal chattels and Kindred assets found safe passage to the New World, where they were quietly delivered to their masters. Gangrel trappers, guides, and couriers crisscrossed the region, tithing some of their earnings to the unseen lord of the region, who then ensured that some amount of it made its way back to the Netherlands and into the coffers of the company. And so it has been for the centuries between the Dutch Trading Company period and now. Even as the Sabbat and Camarilla clashed, as domains burned, praxis shifted, and territories passed from the clutches of one night fiend to another, the money kept flowing. Those who tried to withhold their tribute from the invisible prince of the petty domains surrounding the prestigious ones felt not the ruinous claws of a berserk outlander, but the cold vengeance of a remote master.

Marc de Brabant has not succumbed to torpor or met Final Death at the claws and fangs of some [[Garou}Lupine]] horror, however. He learned of Golconda from the methuselah Menele during that Brujah's ancient vendetta with Helena, when the two crossed paths after the Dutch seized Spanish holdings in the West Indies. Marc sought personal redemption after making his fortune profiteering with the slave trade, and set out on the difficult path of Golconda to achieve it. Ultimately, the way of Golconda proved too arduous, and the Gangrel plunged into a period of self-exile, during which, despite fits of fugue, he reigned as the power behind the minor fiefdoms he had helped establish in the name of the company. Like a medieval reeve collecting the taxes, Marc prowls among his tenant domains, taking blood and money at every stop of the territory that stretches for hundreds of miles. He is no stranger to the more populous domains, and he nurses a penchant for travel that is well-served by his Gangrel lineage. Marc still clings, albeit weakly, to the idea that converting an enemy is better than destroying one. After eight centuries in the darkness, he uses violence with a casualness that would have horrified his younger self, and his belief in the efficacy of love and redemption has long since withered away, but he will always prefer a peaceful resolution to a violent one.


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