Image by Danilo Reyes. Please do not use without permission
Clan: Cappadocian (Giovani bloodline)
Concept: Altruistic merchant
Embrace: 1141 A.D. (Born 1117 A.D.)
Sire: Pietro Giovani
Physical Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2
Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 3
Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 4, Wits 4
Talents: Alertness 2, Awareness 3, Empathy 4, Leadership 2, Subterfuge 3
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Commerce 5, Etiquette 2, Ride 1
Knowledges: Academics 2, Hearth Wisdom 2, Occult 4, Medicine 4, Politics 2, Seneschal 2
Auspex 2, Fortitude 2, Necromancy 5 (Path of Bone 3, Path of the Corpse in the Monster 5, Path of the Grave's Decay 1, Path of the Sepulchre 3)
Allies 3, Contacts 4, Domain 2, Generation 4, Herd 2, Influence 3, Resources 5, Retainers 5, Status 3
Conscience 4, Self-Control 4, Courage 3
Image: Daniel is one of the "new blood" Giovani who retain their mortal visages – in his case, a slim, swarthy young man with short black hair and large brown eyes. He dresses as a moderately prosperous merchant, neither rich nor poor enough to attract undue attention.
Roleplaying Hints: You charm people through quiet courtesy and small acts of kindness and consideration, rather than flamboyance. Your compassion for others is mostly genuine, but you're also enough of a pragmatist to understand that charity and generosity buys influence, especially with the Church, and you trade in favours with the skill of a master merchant. Anyone expecting you to be a soft touch is likely to be disappointed. The more monstrous indulgences of your fellow Cainites disgust you. You have little taste for ruthlessness yourself, but you have no hesitation in turning the worst offenders over to Matthew and Magdalene, who have far fewer scruples.
The agonising nature of the Giovani Kiss is the thing you regret most about your condition. You almost never feed from mortals directly, instead relying on the thaumaturgically purified blood that Magdalene distils from human and animal sources. Only when dealing with the vilest of humans (or, sometimes, Cainites), will you feed from a Vessel, but on rare occasions, you will use your bite as a punishment for a particularly egregious offence.
Your ability to function in daylight is your greatest joy, and the Children of the Rout's most prized asset. You exploit your position as the coterie's main intermediary with the mortal world to influence the others in a more humane direction whenever you can. You're under no illusion that Matthew or Magdalene truly share your sentiments, but you're willing to settle for being indulged out of loyalty and friendship, despite your occasional qualms of conscience about their ruthlessness.
Influence: Daniel's Allies, Contacts and Retainers are all members of his large extended family. Several of them are prominent in Winchester's Guild Merchant, but a greater number are clerics in easily-overlooked but important roles, such as clerks in the Bishop's scriptorium, assistants to the cellarers of the city's monastic foundations, messengers, and even rent collectors. Through them, Daniel has extensive intelligence on the Church's affairs and substantial influence over its commercial activities – which, since the Church is the wealthiest and most powerful force in the city, are considerable.
Since the Black Death, the swollen ranks of the Restless Dead have given Daniel a huge new pool of informants and spies. He's learned secrets which would allow him to blackmail mortals and Cainites alike. Even though most of the information relates to individuals who have died or left the city, much of it remains relevant and useful.
The Young Ones can always spot a lucrative opportunity, even in something as unpromising as a failed burglary. In a strange twist of fate, Daniel da Treviso owes his immortality to an unsuccessful attempt to rob the Giovani loggia in Venice.
Two generations back, his entire extended family were a gang of Venetian thieves in the employ of Rellantali, a Covenant of Hermetic Mages. The Mages, believing the Giovani to be mere wealthy merchants, sent the gang to raid Augustus' library and treasure vaults.
When, inevitably, the thieves were captured, two things spared them from death. Augustus saw a certain poetic justice in turning them into double agents in the heart of the Hermetic Covenant. Perhaps more importantly, the family possessed a natural aptitude for hedge magic and nigramancy which the Rellantali had encouraged. They would, the patriarch decided, make excellent additions to his growing brood.
His decision proved wise. Within a couple of decades, the gang had engineered Rellantali's downfall, first weakening it from within by encouraging internecine conflict among its Mages, and then delivering the coup de grace by bringing its extensive criminal and espionage activities to the attention of the other Hermetic Covenants. Ironically, Rellantali's collection of occult lore ended up in the very Giovani library which they'd sent the gang to rob.
In the wake of the Covenant's destruction, Augustus relocated the family to the nearby town of Treviso, where they reinvented themselves as (seemingly) respectable merchants.
Ventrue-dominated England was far from the heart of the Young Ones' mercantile empire, but the Baronies of Avalon were important enough – and potentially, a lucrative enough market – that it was worth risking a relatively unimportant family like the newly self-named da Trevisos to establish a Giovani presence there.
Daniel da Treviso first came to England in 1137, part of a group of da Treviso merchants attending St. Giles Fair in Winchester, which at that time was one of the major trade fairs of Europe. The expedition was notionally under the command of his uncle, but Daniel – handsome, charming, and something of an occult prodigy – handled most of its dealings with Matron Aethelflaeda, the most influential member of the Cappadocian clan in the Fief of York.
Aethelflaeda was impressed both with Daniel's grasp of nigramancy and his ability to handle social interaction with mortals – a tiresome chore which she'd been looking to delegate to a suitably capable assistant for some time. She offered him a permanent position in her household, giving the Giovani their first long-term foothold in Winchester.
When Roger FitzWilliam offered her the right to Embrace a childe in 1141, Aethelflaeda made the Giovani an offer; she would allow a member of their bloodline to Embrace Daniel, and also use her political influence to help him to establish a permanent Giovani presence in the Fief of Winchester, in exchange for funding for her research, instruction in the more advanced techniques of nigramancy, and Daniel's continuing services as her assistant and nominal childe.
Daniel wasn't completely happy with his transformation. He loved the pleasures of life, but he knew that defying Augustus' will would simply deprive him of them in a far more permanent - and painful - fashion. He did what was expected of him, building a wealthy Giovani power base within Winchester's wool and wine trade while subtly undercutting Aethelflaeda's influence over the Cappadocian clan in the Fief, but he remained a staunch adherent of the Road of Humanity.
He was drawn into the Children of the Rout through his unlikely friendship - and on occasion, more than friendship - with Matthew Fitz-Ranulf. His merchant connections, his ease in mortal company, his ability to communicate with the dead, and in time, his limited ability to function by day, was hugely useful to the coterie. They, in turn, provided him with vitae, security, and simple companionship
His extensive mortal family were largely protected from the Black Death by Magdalene's magic. The rumour that they were spared by the will of God, whispered adroitly into the right ears, gave them a certain additional cachet with a Church to which they were already generous benefactors, increasing Daniel's already considerable influence over Church affairs.
Since Magdalene took power in Winchester, Daniel has become the "Keeper of the Silence of the Blood", a position invented by Magdalene which essentially involves preventing or covering up Cainite "indiscretions". He sometimes stretches this definition to protect mortals from Cainite depredations, but with the Church in Winchester so active and the Inquisition resurgent, Magdalene tends to view this as erring on the side of caution.