Nights of the Kindred
Queen Sasha Fierce
In 2041, Sasha returned to Pendros and lead the assault team against the Vampire Goddess Crimson. She sacrificed herself in a successful attempt to weaken her. It is also rumored that she was responsible for taking down Bloody Mary a few years earlier.
Former: The Former Dark Queen of Pendros. Was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet that burned her from the inside-out.
How the Queen died:
This is how it happened. Trust me, I was there.
Two days previous, Nathaniel Gorgeous had summoned the largest gathering of Masked to ‘The Dome’, a Gigantic indoor arena meant for Hoverball and large concert venues. Everyone was in attendance.
At the center of the Dome was the Queen and her court.
The Queen rose to give an announcement.
A shot rang out.
Fire enveloped the Queen.
That night, lines had been drawn in the sand. Some said that the Queen had survived, but just barely, and she now slept in torpor. Others confirmed that she was dead, burnt to a crisp before their very eyes. Either way, it was supposed to be the Princesses’s time to rule. But Nathaniel Goregeous wouldn’t concede the throne. The changelings rose up to support him and their ‘five court army’. Upon hearing this news, The Carthians announced that they wouldn’t be following the Queen any longer, and began claiming Turf in the University district. The werewolves quickly began making similar declarations, saying the time of Vampire rule was at an end. During the morning of that same day, a disaster sealed the lines: An innocent’s house had blown up when a confrontation between the Los Incendios Tocado and Carthian Ghouls became heated, killing the mundane inhabitants. By the next night, Whisper made a decree: The Residential district was off-limits. All those Masked who wanted to stay in the Residential district had to report to her to protect the borders, or they had to get out.
The city had gone mad.
Queen Sasha Fierce, Prefect of the Carthians, Priscus of the Zelani, Socialite 5, Manipulator 5
Anyone who know the where the name Sasha Fierce comes from might chuckle to themselves upon hearing it. Those who know the Queen, however, do not do such a foolish thing. Sasha has loyal followers everywhere. She encourages Vampires to embrace their nature, and live every night as if it was there last night…forever. She demands that her subjects treat each other equally, with acceptance, and treat each other with respect.
She’s a svelte maiden in iron armor. She’s the velvet glove and the bloody gauntlet. She’s the mistress and the master. To look at her, you might not guess. Her puckish haircut and small frame imply youth and fun. She was like that once, in the year 2009, when the Requiem was new to her. She wears that witty girl on her surface, but the roots of that flower are starved dead — there’s nothing left inside but cold, black dirt. Tonight, her heart has been tempered by hurt. She’s had her heart broken, and dead hearts don’t heal. If you do as she says, she smiles at you and praises you and takes your hand in hers. If you lie or cheat or trespass on her laws, she cuts and scorches and takes your skin and bone as hers. She can commiserate, but she cannot forgive. She can appreciate your reasons, but she cannot pardon anyone. She is the keeper of monsters, the moral tyrant, and if you cannot keep a leash on yourself, she will have you put down.
It is well known that to insult the Queen to her face is to welcome death. More than one Vampire has made the horrid mistake of attacking Queen Sasha on her home turf: Club V. Observers have noted that Sasha becomes more skilled when her opponent becomes rude, insulting, and angry. She also seems to become more powerful when there is a higher attendance rate at Club V. No one knows what this all means, but it is clear that trying to harm Queen Sasha at Club V only is an indicator of how suicidal one is.
Her unpredictability is renowned. One of the Harpies tells a story about being in her presence as her advisors rattled on about a fire at the pawnshop on Fifth Street, and who controls Fifth Street, and who wants control of Fifth Street and blah blah blah. She didn’t even seem like she was listening; just bouncing that pixie cut to some Gaga tune, pursing her smeary red lips at herself in a broad bronze mirror. And then, just like that, she whirled around. She giggled. She pointed at the adviser who was doing the speaking and said, “I blame you.” And then she cut his head off with a pitted broadsword that — a half-second before — was 10 feet away.
No wonder they call her Da Puta Queen.
During her rise to power, Sasha was a competent fighter, and was highly agile and manipulative. As she has grown used to her role as ruler, he apparent comfortableness with the current events has begun to raise questions as to her ability to rule. Many cite the fact that she is always to be seen at Club V, and no where else. Others say her blatant disregard for the multiple masquerade breeches is quite troubling. Worst of all, the Queen’s hesitation to kill her more powerful opponents shows, to many, that she is weak. Still, while she has Zelani, Daeva, and Nosferatu kissing her shoes, she’ll be in power for a long time coming.
Or will she?
You know how, in some vampire movies, the creature of the night seems human, cheeks flushed with pink, eyelids bat-ting? And then suddenly, the human veneer drops, and the thing is now a hissing, pale monster, hungry fangs dripping saliva or blood or some other horrid fluid? That’s what Queen Sasha is like — metaphorically, speaking, of course.
See, she’s all about playing at humanity. Except, her idea of humanity is all wrong. She thinks it’s about music. About fashion. About being immersed in human culture and being savvy enough to talk about the newest album or who won the Golden Globe for Best Hair in a Shitty Movie. Sometimes, she pretends to “feel” something, and she laughs or she cries, but it’s all mimicry. Like being around an actress feigning sorrow or levity, everyone in her presence feels ill at ease when she plays pretend in this way. It’s all the more discomfiting because she seems to believe she’s really selling it.
So, she can be fun. But remember that the fun is only going to precede the terror, like a light and airy giggle before a methodical disemboweling.
Sasha represents that kind of “glam” vampire myth, the narcissism and vulnerabilities offered by the vampires in a film such as The Hunger (also a book by Whitley Strieber). Vampires play at being humans both because they’re attempting to reclaim a memory (similar to wearing an old coat for the smell) and because dressing like a sheep helps the wolf to hunt. The Queen is the epitome of a vampire who isn’t quite willing to admit she’s a monster, even though her cruelty is all she has left of her humanity — thus, in effect, making her wholly monstrous.
Masques and costume balls and synth concertos: the Queen sure does love her parties. Doesn’t matter how well or poorly the city is doing on a given night, she will celebrate, and by the gods, all the vampires will celebrate with her (leaving many using phrases such as “bread and circuses” or “fiddling while Rome burns”). Really, though, every party ends up a monster’s parade: the truly gruesome discard their oft-held social propriety and feed noisily on whatever human sustenance is provided while the less gruesome (i.e., now very few of the city’s Kindred) watch and try to hide their Beasts. From the ground, it’s like having a child in charge — a child with a gun and a fickle temper who will glibly put a hole in whomsoever would disagree. And yet, most vampires don’t know what to do about it. Certainly the city’s holding together. Certainly if you play along and stay out of her way, the Bitch Queen is all smiles and winks and kissy-noises. Of course, she has 100 little laws (that most suspects she makes up on the spot), a Byzantine tangle of bylaws and clauses that mostly orbit around her always being right and nobody disagreeing with her or displeasing her. Betraying these invented laws is a surefire way to end up hanged by the neck from a lamppost at just the spot where the sun shines its light down the canyon of skyscrapers.
The political situation is this: she is the number one authority, everybody else be damned. Does she have advisers? Yes. Does she sit and listen to Nathaniel Goregeous, or the Masked Council, or Sheriff Wesley or take into consideration the opinions and positions of Sara Jordan, Anthony Walker, Yui Sakaichi or other covenant and lodge heads? Absolutely. Problem is, she’s aloof and dangerously capricious. One minute, she seems to be taking advice with the utmost seriousness, but then it turns out she’s just lying or leading them on. They’d move against her, but she always has enough allies who’d rather be on her goodside than her bad, and the city is home to more than a few powerful sycophants (who value their Requiems). Here’s what the Bitch Queen wants: yes-women. She is more likely to take the “advice” of those who basically are parroting her opinion back to her. She nods. She smiles. And it looks to outsiders as if maybe she’s taking outside counsel, when in reality she’s just listening to vampires who are already her mouthpieces. What this means is, essentially, there is no hierarchy. Sure, there are positions beneath her. But they squabble for power amongst themselves, and the only real route to that power is gaining Queen Sasha’s favor. As far as Elysium is concerned, she’s established Elysium in the hippest, most active and lively parts of the city — where all the nightclubs shine, where the cool bars and tattoo parlors are, where Sasha likes to bask in the neon and the smell of exotic fried foods and remember, if only for a moment, what it was like to be truly human.