City of the Damned - New Orleans
Nosferatu Houngan and Regent
Covenant: Circle of the Crone
Apparent Age: Indeterminate
Perhaps the most enigmatic figure in New Orleans, Baron Cimitiere is a savior to some, a threat to others, and a mystery to all. This strange Kindred arrived in the city in 1799, having left Haiti during the revolt against French colonial occupation. Of his time before, he speaks little, even to his most trusted followers. No one knows if he was native to Haiti or he traveled there at some point from elsewhere. He says only that he faced Final Death in Haiti and was restored to his current incarnation through the aid of the great loa Baron Samedi. Whether he speaks metaphorically or literally is another detail of which he does not speak, but he attributes his devotion to vodoun to that event.
Combining traditional vodoun rites with the powerful undead magics of his covenant, Baron Cimitiere made a powerful houngan. For many years after arriving in New Orleans, he was content to be left alone to participate in the growth of vodoun culture. It was at this time that he gained his small but devoted group of Kindred followers in the city, as well as his far more substantial mortal
congregations. Slowly, he began to realize that both New Orleans’ Kindred authorities posed a threat to his people — Prince Vidal because of his intolerant religious beliefs and his growing fear of Baron Cimitiere’s power and influence; and Antoine Savoy through his manipulation of vodoun and its practitioners for purely political ends. Baron Cimitiere uses his considerable influence among the kine and his small but influential group of Kindred supporters in order to oppose both threats. On occasion, necessity has forced him to cooperate with Savoy against Vidal — as much as Baron Cimitiere despises Savoy’s misuse of vodoun, it’s better than Vidal’s overt hostility toward it — but these alliances have always been short-lived arrangements.
When he is not reluctantly involved in politics, Baron Cimitiere dwells in one of several havens located throughout poorer, predominantly black neighborhoods — the heart of vodoun in New Orleans. He conducts frequent ceremonis for Kindred and kine alike. Most of his mortal followers believe him to be solely a powerful houngan, and they remain unaware of his undead nature. Baron Cimitiere has occasionally alluded to the existence of other groups of Kindred vodouisants beyond his followers in New Orleans (in Haiti, Central and South America, the Caribbean islands and across the United States). His followers believe that one of his objectives is to eventually unite them formally in a covenant to rival the primary five.
Many people mistake Baron Cimitiere for a costumed mummer upon first meeting him. He appears to be a walking corpse, his flesh gray and sunken, his teeth and eyes yellowed, his hair falling to his shoulders in stringy clumps. He dresses in the traditional fashion of Baron Samedi himself — an old black suit, cane, top hat and sunglasses. Baron Cimitiere naturally smells of rot, but he takes great pains and uses a variety of cleansers and scents to hide that fact. He claims his corpselike appearance came about when Baron Samedi raised him from Final Death.