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Rodrigue de Navarre was a mortal Dark Age nobleman who, after discovering the existence of vampires, founded a group of Christian witch-hunters called the Sword of St. James.

BiographyEdit

Rodrigue grew up as the second son of a minor noble from Navarre. He showed no inclination to become a priest or enough skill at arms to become a knight. The best his family had hoped for was a political marriage that might secure them a better place among the aristocracy of southern Europe. Rodrigue did just that, marrying a wealthy woman from Toulouse.

He traveled frequently between his native land and France on business for his family. It was doing so that he first caught fleeting glimpses of what he called "the darkness". He was already familiar with the dualist heretics of the region: Cathari, Waldenses, Albigensians, and others. Although they were clearly evil, these heretics were banal in comparison to an elusive something that he sensed behind them all.

Therefore, it was no surprise to Rodrigue when he obtained a partial Latin translation of the Book of the Shining Blood, the central text of the Cainite Heresy, after a raid against an isolated community of heretics on his wife's lands. He read the book with both disgust and exhilaration, for he now had the proof he needed that a great evil was at work in Europe. So he spent the next few years gathering information and recruiting others to serve as his agents. If what he read were true, he would need all the strength and learning he could muster to succeed.

His search has convinced him that the St. Panteleimon Monastery in Venice was somehow connected with the darkness he struggled against. With the arrival of the Fourth Crusade's men in that city, he became more determined than ever to uncover the truth, making him a potentially dangerous opponent to the Cainites of the region.

Since his time with the crusade, Rodrigue has shared his concerns with a few others whose opinions he could trust. When they too became convinced that he had uncovered genuine evidence of a dark conspiracy beneath the surface of Christian Europe, they joined him in his quest. With these first followers Rodrigue created the Sword of St. James as a guerrilla army against the forces of darkness. They look to the legendary exploits of St. James the Greater as an example of what they hope to accomplish, by destroying the bloodsucking monsters that plague Christendom. However, only Rodrigue and the followers who accompanied him on the Fourth Crusade had any direct experience dealing with vampires – consequently, the knowledge of their group regarding the enemy is largely theoretical, gleaned from observation and snippets of blasphemous tomes.

In 1209 CE a young Malkavian named Xalbador discovered the activities of Rodrigue and his followers, but the neonate came too close to the witch-hunter and their leader himself gave him the Final Death, becoming the first vampire Rodrigue actually destroyed (although the Sword has killed several ghouls and other Cainite pawns, and has sent two vampires into torpor). Although Xalbador was merely a neonate, his ability to get close to the Sword has led to paranoia among the group. Rodrigue became obsessed with security, worrying that other Cainites might might follow in Xalbador's footsteps. His fears were justified, for the Malkavian's sire was very much aware of the existence of their group. However, Prince Roque of Pamplona has kept their existence to himself and his closest advisors, as he believed that they posed a threat only to the foolhardy, and he was certain that one night the Sword would make useful pawns, seeing no point in destroying them prematurely.

Rodrigue sees his initial discoveries as evidence of God's call: he cannot turn away once that he has heard it.

Character SheetEdit

Rodrigue de Navarre (before the Fourth Crusade)[1]
Nature: Innovator
Demeanor: Defender
Age: Early 40s
Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social: Charisma: 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 3
Talents: Alertness 1, Empathy 3, Leadership 3
Skills: Etiquette 3, Herbalism 1, Melee 1, Ride 1
Knowledges: Academics 2, Investigation 4, Law 2, Linguistics 2, Occult 2, Politics 2
Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 2, Influence 2
Willpower: 5


Rodrigue de Navarre (after the Fourth Crusade)[2]
Nature: Innovator
Demeanor: Defender
Age: 50s
Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 1
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2
Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 3
Talents: Alertness 3, Dodge 1, Empathy 3, Leadership 3
Skills: Etiquette 3, Herbalism 1, Melee 2, Ride 2
Knowledges: Academics 3, Investigation 4, Law 2, Linguistics 3, Occult 3, Politics 2
Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 2, Influence 2, Resources 3
True Faith: 2
Willpower: 7

ReferencesEdit

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