In sashays a sinewy thing that makes no effort to conceal the curse of its Nosferatu blood. The head is crowned by a wine-colored turban pinned with a gaudy rhinestone brooch that contrasts horribly with a venous countenance mottled with powder and rouge. Its eyes are the color of an oil spill, and you imagine that the two caterpillar-like clusters of hair upon its brow must be trying to escape. Further down the face a row of jagged, discolored teeth protrudes boldly from misshapen, painted lips. From the lobes of starkly pointed ears dangle pendulous tassels, and a string of pearls adorns the shriveled, birdlike neck. Over a tasteless red mesh top hangs a moth-eaten coat of lank fur that has been stained with various nauseating hues. Scabrous hands with long, twisted nails jut out from the shabby sleeves to terminate in knobby, fungal fingers crowded with a variety of clashing rings. The ensemble is a sartorial crime, made all the more offensive by the brazenness with which it is worn. Why? Why will this creature not do what is merciful, and hide itself from sight?
Society: Camarilla (Elder, Harpy)
Pre-1421: Depending on the day, Vancura's stories of his mortal life include being the heir of dispossessed nobility who were forced to flee their homeland, being the child of long-suffering peasant laborers who were worked to death, being a street urchin forced to act, sing, and do other questionable things, and being the son of a merchant sailor who was essentially raised on the sea. The only constant in these stories is that he is of Hungarian descent.
1421: The vampire Vancura is formally released in Munich as the progeny of Dieter von Chiemsee, a monkish and retiring Nosferatu. He shows none of his sire's wisdom or modesty and thumbs his nose at the expectation that a proper Nosferatu is rarely seen and only speaks words of worth. His affectation of courtly mannerisms and his fondness for pageantry earn him unflattering comparisons to the Toreador. Moreover, he refuses to to dwell underground with his new "family," instead preferring to take up residence in the city's brothel.
1429: Vancura's pathological need for attention has him attiring himself in ever gaudier displays of purloined finery, towering wigs, and make-up. ("The eye, against all desire, is drawn to him as to a blister on the lips of the Madonna" noted one Harpy at the time.) He is eventually invited to a Toreador salon in Nice just so that the guest of honor, Cassandra Apollo, can savagely mock him; however, to the guests' collective dismay he flips the script and succeeds in charming her with his dancing skills, flattery, wit, and sincere passion for the dramatic arts. The Lady from Delphi is sympathetic to his desire for visibility, and thereafter he finds himself invited to more salons in earnest.
1430 ~ 1450: Seeming never to settle in one place for very long, Vancura widens his circle of associates by attending gatherings in several cities including Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Genoa, Amsterdam, Prague, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and elsewhere. His ability to gather information earns him some grudging respect from his fellow Nosferatu, even if they continue to fault his flamboyant style. His ease at infiltrating and navigating both high and low mortal society allows him to work various favors that other kindred find useful. At salons, he begins to discuss outlandish aesthetic notions that he later formalizes into a "philosophy" he calls beaute radical, which asserts that beauty is a function of one's will, independent from the perceptions or judgments of others.
1450 ~ 1750: Vancura is a known associate of Grifo Léon Pippin Martel, who is later recognized as an Architect of the Camarilla, so it is no surprise when he later joins the nascent sect. Over the next several decades his appearances at salons and other social functions become less regular, punctuated by absences lasting for months or even years as he goes on extended spontaneous "holidays." Toward the middle of the 18th century, he is believed lost after a ship carrying him to the New World sinks off the coast of Virginia during a storm, and as the news spreads those kindred who have appointed themselves the gatekeepers of good taste breathe a collective sigh of relief.
1977 ~ present:Vancura presents himself in Richmond "fashionably late" and decides to settle there. When the Toreador Harpy Fiona Bizet is appointed Seneschal, he gladly steps in to fill the vacancy. Rather than submit written reports in writing, he physically distributes his thoughts on micro-cassettes questionably called Nocturnal Emissions. He lays claim to an a seedy, dilapidated theater called La Petite Mort in which he periodically hosts parties, and he often announces symbels by theme to encourage getting into the spirit of things.
DID YOU HEAR??
- Zoltan is the original "Cleopatra," but it wasn't until Freaks premiered in 1932 that the Nos finally had a name for it.
- His need for attention is merely a cry for help stemming from an especially traumatic Embrace.
- He avoids sewers because he has a paralyzing fear of tight spaces.
- The genuine Zoltan Vancura was lost at sea and has been replaced by a young, misguided upstart seeking to capitalize upon his notoriety.
- He was one of the girls in the music video for Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible."
- Zoltan has only been playing at presenting as a Cleopatra all of these years; he is, in fact, a Leatherface.
- He has particular animosity toward vampires on Paths of Enlightenment.
- He was rejected for membership in the Green Carnation Club; alternately, it was he who turned them down.
- Zoltan is actually a Toreador Ancient who only obfuscates as a Nosferatu according to Xan Zidane.
- Zoltan is not a Nosferatu, but Zoltar (an animatronic fortune teller from the Tom Hanks movie "BIG") so be careful what you wish for... according to Grendel.
- Zoltan is hunted by dark creatures that live in shadows, the constant need for attention is not to salve ego, but rather a survival instinct.
- Zoltan has been seen hanging with Bob at Sabbat, invitation only parties, back when there was a Sabbat.
- Start a rumor here!
THE REVIEWS ARE IN!
- "Don't be fooled. I adore Zoltan almost as much as he adores me." -Bob
- "I do hope that your city can endure his voracious desire for adoration." - Miguel Cantone to his sister, Prince Fiona Bizet
- "A gorgeous creature with an incredible wit. Zoltan is a force of nature as a Harpy, one I'd never dream of crossing." - Prince Fiona Bizet
- "Delicious, an unexpected beauty inside and out. Like a bite of the most delicate pastry filled with exquisite diamonds." - Benjamin Assi Caesarea
- "A decrepit old thing, ugly inside and out, spreading gossip and slinging petty insults in a format so obsolescent almost no one can listen if they even want to. So, a typical Camarilla Elder Harpy, really..." - Silas Blackwell
- "I have literally no fucking idea who that is. Maybe Great Grandma knows? I mean, nothing against them, as long as they don't try to have something against me. Now, you want a hit of this green here?" - Craig
- “Were I to have a tidbit of gossip, Vancura would be the first to hear. His knack for scandal is sinfully delicious. He keeps his cards close to his chest, and I admire that. Others may look down upon his appearance, but his social prowess is what makes him so profoundly gorgeous.” - Ivonne Martel
- "If a Murder of Harpies gathers, Zoltan is the executioner." - Zeke Wylde
- "Zoltan's beauty draws from his uniquely Kindred perspective. It's a kind of enlightenment that would be wasted on the Kine." - Randolf Stein
- "I so love ruthless Harpies who know their stuff. Elder Harpy Zoltan is all of that and more. Cross him at your risk." - Grifo Léon Pippin Martel
- "He courts the edge of propriety. I respect him as a risk-taker." - Reginald Channing
- "Zoltan inherited all the style in the family...as I'm often reminded. He is lovely, sweet and charming...I love him as if he were one of my own." - Mother Maspeth
- "Just a wannabe who thinks pretending he knows everything makes him look good." - Laszlo Tisza
- "Don't be fooled by the glitz and glamour, mon ami. It's all a facade to cover what's really on the inside." - Luc
- "Witty banter for days, and information you can't get anywhere else. Zoltan is a gas." - Agatha Palmerstone
- "Thinks he's nice, but his back handed compliments suit the face of a prominent Nos." - Kelly Cassidy
- "Not everyone can handle the hurricane of personality that is Zoltan... stay in the eye." - Henri
- "Ah, Zoltan. His flamboyant style and sharp wit aren't for the faint of heart. Tread carefully." - Magni Erikson
- "Zoltan is always a delight to behold. I'm not one to tell stories in Church, but there have been many evenings of interest that would make Dennis Rodman blush. Shan't get too deep into it here, people talk." - Mr. Paris
- "I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who live shamelessly and pursue life and beauty without apology. Those who would suggest anything else have simply never seen us together to know better. I adore Elder Harpy Vancura." - 𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓾𝓭𝓮
- "Oh, his reputation certainly precedes him. He's made quite sure of that." - Zalman-Rose Melamed
- "I mean..." - Kenneth Bilge
- "One of the few people on earth that can party with me and keep up. An ability to be respected and feared." - Melissa Anaktoria
- "I ... carefully avoid interactions with Elder Vancura. Not because he's Nosferatu; I'm not that shallow. No, I avoid interactions with him because he makes me unspeakably sad and afraid for what any of us have to look forward to as the years progress. His wit and his style blind most of you. They're meant to." - Dr. Marcel Trevisani
- "It is perfectly monstrous, the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true." Orion
- "You would think for someone of their curse they would posses inner beauty." -Aria Delmar
- "A pity that one so shameless demands it in abundance in others." -Walter Merrick
- "The Elder Harpy confuses me. Makes me rethink things I thought were absolute." -Elizabeth
- Say something nice (or throw some shade)!
RECENT APPEARANCES OF NOTE
- 2011 Ventrue Halloween Ball in Radford, Virginia: He appeared in the guise of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, attired in the golden "Isis" costume she made famous in Cleopatra.
- 2018 Toreador Ball in Reims, France: He sported a ruffled ochre tuxedo from the 1970s, sparkly purple Mexican pointy boots, and a long, trailing cape of peacock feathers.
- 2018 Hawaiian Halloween: He wore a skintight, holographic vinyl jumpsuit and an oversized, floor-length arctic fox fur coat.
- 2021 Thrill of the Hunt Art Competition in New York City: Although Zoltan did not attend in person, his submission (an unsettling mixed media piece with the title "Like One of Your French Girls") was the judges' favorite and declared superb by three tastemakers.
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
- Truman Capote
- Mata Hari
- Jiminy Glick (Martin Short)
- John Waters
- Buddy Cole - Kids in the Hall
- Ruby Rhod - The Fifth Element
- Jenna Maroney - 30 Rock
- Roger - American Dad
OUT OF CHARACTER STUFF
Player: Brandon R. (he/him/his) US2010096592
Player Email: homodm at gmail dot com
Storyteller: AJ Parker
Storyteller Email: RICCamST at gmail dot com
Location: Richmond, VA-013-D