Hard Times in the Big Easy
The Belmont Family
The Belmonts are an old family of hunters, dating back to the time of the first crusade, when an ex-crusader lost his fiancee to vampiric predations, and took up the sword against the creatures of the night. Since then, they have only grown in size, strength, and closed-minded bigotry.
The Belmonts are devoted to the absolute eradication of supernatural beings from the mortal world, and to the destruction of The Beast, Vlad Drakul, in particular. More than once, a champion of the clan has believed The Beast to be slain by his hand, only to have him show up once again after a short time had passed. Multiple champions have insisted that they did in fact kill him, and insist that his resurrection is due to his soul being so horribly evil that even Hell refused to harbor it. More than likely this is just to make them feel better about screwing it up. Probably. … Hopefully. They generally regard groups like the Venatori Umbrorum as distasteful, for their willingness to work with the witches and sorcerers of the ‘White’ Council, and the Fellowship of St. Giles with a small degree of respect: Here are people who, despite being afflicted with various monstrous abilities, still fight the good fight against the monsters who blighted them. They will likely be killed last, in recognition of their fortitude.
In the interest of seeking every advantage they can find in their crusade against the supernatural, the Belmonts many years ago began training their children as soldiers in their private war from very young ages. Their techniques for doing so have been greatly refined over the years, and continue to improve, yielding more and more competent footsoldiers and hunters for their private war. Less than a century ago, efforts also began to breed better hunters, and the heads of the various branches of the family began pushing together the best and brightest (and the dumbest and toughest) they could find within and without the family in order to create yet another advantage against the unnatural beasts they hunt.
Although primarily located in eastern Europe, with the home base located in Romania, the Belmonts have begun making efforts to branch out in the last few generations. So far, the only significant presence they’ve managed to establish outside of Eastern Europe is in South America, where they’ve managed to carve themselves a decent foothold into southern Chile, although the vampire war has been rather rough on them so far.
In the interests of organization, the family is subdivided into a variety of branches, following various bloodlines, each with their own heads, pushing optimal pairings toward each other, organizing large-scale raids on vampire dens or witch covens, and keeping the finances in order. From among these heads, a single patriarch or matriarch of the family as a whole is chosen, to give direction to the heads and take charge of the (currently cold) war against Drakul.
The family’s strength isn’t entirely physical: They’re also a force to be reckoned with financially. Two centuries back, the family was blessed with a pair of financial geniuses, who managed to massively increase the family’s wealth through a variety of clever means, most notably convincing the Vatican to begin paying the family for their services, using the reasoning that the better equipped the soldiers, the more effective the crusade. That relationship soured in the ‘40s, but the family had found other ways to maintain and even improve its financial status. One of the least effective, but most noteworthy ways was selling a partial history of the family to a young Japanese fellow by the name of Koji Igarashi, under the agreement that they would get a percentage of any profits he turned using their name in ’fictional works’. What they expected were novels … what they got were video games that garbled their history to the point that the only similarity was their issue with Dracula(’s father), name, and issues with the supernatural. Seriously, a magic whip? Boomerang crosses? Whatever, at least they got their cut.