Radu Bistri, born Radu Szantovich, is a seventh generation Tzimisce, sire of Marelle. He is a wandering Cardinal of the Sabbat and the former Prince of Bistritz. Radu holds considerable influence within the Sabbat and was vital for the formalization of sect documents like the Purchase Pact. Originally, he was a Szantovich revenant.
Radu Szantovich was born during the high ages of Tzimisce rule in Transylvania. After gaining the favor of a feudal lord, Radu was chosen as an ambassador to the West. His master believed the brilliant young diplomat would efficiently supply him with information. When the revenant learned that the Ventrue wanted to establish seven domains in Transylvania and a coterie of Cainites to rule it, his master gave him the Embrace so that he could infiltrate the council.
Radu skillfully played potential princes against each other, ensuring himself a position among the rulers of the Council of Ashes. Regularly conversing with the rulers of the other six domains, he quickly gained a reputation for diplomacy. Through Radu, several Tzimisce knezi were able to maintain diplomatic relations with the rest of Europe. Radu’s authority was recognized by both the knezi and voivodes of his clan and the Cainites of Transylvania. He was granted the city of Bistriz in Transylvania as his domain.
Originally one of the Elders threatened by the Anarch Revolt, Radu refused to bow before the Anarchs, instead joining the sect on his terms. After he was ousted from his domain by the rabble, he fled the Borgo Pass castle, relying upon the hospitality of Feudalist Tzimisce to survive. As an elder without a domain, he traveled from tirsa to knezate to voivodate, calling upon his fellow Fiends while invoking the most traditional forms of etiquette.
Only one significant Tzimisce refused Radu this courtesy – Lord Dracula, who rushed to recover the Borgo Pass castle from the claws of Septemus and the rampaging Sabbat Brujah antitribu. Vlad Dracula remained there until the Victorian Age, when he decided to relocate to London. Because Radu had abandoned the Borgo Pass castle, the Son of the Dragon cursed his name.
Through etiquette and diplomacy, Radu garnered enough political influence to appeal to a few key voivodes among the eldest Transylvanian Tzimisce. By speaking against the new generation of Sabbat vampires as a threat to the security of the Feudalists, Radu helped create a new political office: Cardinal of the Land Beyond the Forest. Although the Tzimisce's alliance was tenuous, it helped stave off the depredations of a new generation of neonate Sabbat.
After a decade, Radu left for the New World to bring his ideas to the Sabbat abroad. He served as a Bishop to the Lasombra Francisco Domingo de Polonia, aiding to stabilize the diocese of New York City. After witnessing firsthand the dangers that the younger generations of Sabbat could create, he used his experience to push through the Purchase Pact, a dictum forbidding Sabbat from warring against each other instead of their true enemies in the Camarilla.
Following his contributions to the Pact, he was named Cardinal by Regent Gorchist. After that he acted as Cardinal for a time before he passed the diocese to someone else, instead traveling back to his homeland. Following his rejection by the transylvanian Elders as a traitor, he continued to wander the earth, lamenting the decline of the younger Tzimisce generation due to the influence of the Sabbat.
|“||Velya, a modest proposal: let's sheath the Sword of Caine, awaken our Father and be done with the whole thing. No, I have not defected to the Camarilla (hiding in fear does not suit a diplomat). Rather, I have just had the most unpleasant interaction with a fresh pack that supposedly shares our blood. The fires in their bellies betrayed them as Tzimisce, and I am glad that the Blood hasn't thinned to nothing just yet. But their fire blazes unchecked. Where is the discipline, the measured ingenuity that made us sovereigns of the Old World? Where is the inclination to greatness? Where is the respect? The voivodes are gone, and I fear that we shall never see their likes again. Have we wasted too much of the old blood on sieges and Monomacy? These young ones, I do not understand them. This newest generation lacks... protocol. Although I cherish the ideals of our sect, it tries me to uphold them in the face of this modern impetuousness. Were we like these upstarts, when we were young? I do not remember. Forgive my fit. Our correspondence has been a comfort to me during my travels abroad, and I must apologize for the lateness of this letter. Sadly, I was preoccupied with some confusion within the consistory. Our august regent is acting more like herself than ever and persists in refusing me an audience. How fare the Cardinals of the Land Beyond the Forest? Have you learned anything more about the incident at Cernavoda? Send Elaine my love.||”|
|— Your Homesick Radu|
In the Final Nights, Radu Bistri was involved, though not instrumental, in the addition of the Salubri antitribu to the Sword of Caine. His current project: negotiating the acceptance of a dozen elder Gangrel who apparently abandoned the Camarilla over its inability to deal with some pressing threat.
Radu appears weak, almost foppish. It is the perfect deception. His blond hair is unusual, and his blue eyes turn red when he angers. His fists clench, allowing him to show his potent strength. His rage passes and the deception returns in an instant. Because he so loves to participate in mortal culture, he has learned to age his appearance over time. Every 25 years, he returns to the visage of a 25-year-old man and assumes a new identity for dealing with mortals.