Diana et al – bits and pieces.

 

Born November 1st, 1968 in Boston and named Sarah McClelland.

 

In February 1969, Sarah’s parents were killed in a car crash. Rescue crews considered Sarah’s survival – relatively uninjured – as miraculous.

 

Lacking other family, Sarah was taken by the state and put up for adoption. Within two weeks, Mary Worthington, a Malkavian vampire with some Deep Issues, adopted Sarah.

 

Mary moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, to get away from Boston and the slight possibility that Sarah might have some distant family that could lay a last-minute claim to her. Once settled in Springfield, Sarah used her meager influence to destroy the paper trail. Mary renamed her adopted daughter ‘Diana’ and, for the rest of her life, Diana believed that she was born to Mary, shortly before her Embrace.

 

Mary wanted something to love, you see… In the past, Mary had taken to adopting kindred with a wing down, but it rarely worked out well – nor would it in the future. But, for the moment, Mary thought she would try a new approach.

 

Diana’s childhood was unusual, at best. Mary kept her away from other kids – holding off the state authorities with a variety of shenanigans and the truth that Diana was being taught at home. Diana’s education covered a variety of subjects – from the basics to sociology and forensics – but no one could fault her book-smarts.

 

Social smarts were another problem entirely.

 

Mary was very possessive of Diana’s time and, thanks to her own mental problems, the relationship had a big streak of Mommy Dearest in it. Mary suffered from PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) before Embrace and matters failed to improve afterwards. Following a monthly cycle, Mary could swing from smothering “June-Cleaver mom” to “Joan Crawford with a coat hanger” with just enough variance to keep Diana on her toes. Paranoia and a good dollop of egomania exacerbated matters.

 

Diana was rarely allowed to leave Mary’s sprawling, somewhat dilapidated house in Northampton (moved there in 1973) and, even then, “Mama” usually accompanied her wherever she went. Mary insured that Diana received the bare minimum of socialization to function, and that’s all. A dependent child is one that doesn’t leave her mother. The occasional dollops of vitae in the stew didn’t hurt, either.

 

Mary never lied to Diana about her state. Diana knew that Mama was a vampire and that it would be a Bad Thing if that fact got around town. Despite occasional spells in the basement without food and water, Diana loved her mother, and wouldn’t deliberately do anything to endanger her.

 

Constantly, Mary told Diana that vampires were special people, with special responsibilities. One of those responsibilities was looking after humans – ensuring their cities run smoothly, that they breed, but not too much, etc. Just as a rancher has a responsibility to look after his herd, so did the Kindred to the mortal populace. Mary frequently had to fend off accusations of Sabbat loyalty but, honestly, she found the sect repellent. Mary had a strong sense of duty and obligation to the humans – albeit a rather twisted duty…

 

And if Diana was very, very good, Mary told her, she would be a vampire one day, too. Diana considered this a pleasant prospect, so she tried to be very, very good.

 

The road to hell is, of course, paved with good intentions. So it’s not entirely surprising that one of the few human friends that Diana managed to make – 1989/90 – turned out to be a hunter that managed to worm his way into Diana’s house before Mama knew what was going on. Diana wasn’t happy about her would-be swain being served for dinner, but it would take a stronger person than Diana to stand up to Mama.

 

Things started going a bit downhill from there. The fact that Diana, herself, was slowly accumulated her own mental disorders by this point did not help.

 

Diana started to chafe – albeit a little later than most children – under Mary’s constant supervision and Mary, finally, was becoming a bit disenchanted and looking for new distractions. In ’91, Mary’s attention was caught by a local youth, Kim Peterson, and she set off to pick up another charity case for her edification.

 

During this time, Diana suddenly found herself with a lot more freedom – Mary would spend entire nights away from the house – and with a new friend, when Mary brought Kim home for dinner or conversation. Kim was nineteen years old, bisexual and recently reduced to whoring after being thrown out of his house by a righteously outraged father. How could Mary resist the chance to look after this wastrel?

 

Diana wasn’t jealous of Kim. In fact, she was quite happy about his presence, since it diverted Mary’s erratic attentions. Kim, himself, was a good-looking and charismatic fellow who was happy to make friends with Mary, whom he perceived as a little sister – despite her being several years older. Despite his situation when Mary met him, Kim was fundamentally an all right fellow. A masochist and transvestite, granted, but an all right fellow. In six months, Kim managed to teach Diana a hell of a lot more about the world than Mary had in the twenty years previously. It was all perfectly proper, of course, but still educational.

 

Quick aside – Kim is an old character of mine. When I discovered a strong similarity between his sire and the one I was creating for Diana, I couldn’t resist tying everything together… Worse yet, I’ve just realized that Mary’s surname is the same as good old Michael – Sire to Patricia DeMontfort (who, in turn, had a thing with Kim for a couple of years). I’ve really got to stop doing this to myself, as now I’m considering tying Mary and Michael together in some context – or perhaps make them the one and the same.

 

Then Something Happened. Johanna is still working on the details. By the time the dust had settled, Mary had Embraced and abandoned Kim in Northampton, taken Diana firmly by the hand and hied off to the far end of the country – Sacramento, to be precise.

 

Mary and Diana settled in Sacramento in 1993 and, for a while things were peaceful again. Mary reluctantly realized that she had to let Diana off the leash every now and then, and did so. But she also increased the frequency of vitae doses, just to be sure. Of course, Diana thought that this was just fine.

 

Mary finally obtained permission to Embrace Diana in 1998. Diana’s one-and-only meeting with the Prince of Sacramento and the court of that city was a few months later. Mary had told Diana most kindred were ruthlessly pragmatic sons-of-bitches and best avoided. However, Diana was coming to her own conclusions – but she knew better than to confront Mama about this matter.

 

Post-Embrace, things slid downhill again. Diana’s lunacy fully manifested and, finally, she decided that perhaps she needed more time to herself – maybe all of it. Diana’s curiosity about Camarilla politics grew – albeit heavily laced with caution. She also felt the weight of ‘responsibility to the human community’ that Mary had convinced her she owed.

 

Diana’s opinion of humans is bit brutally pragmatic. They’re food and therefore necessary. They don’t have the special abilities that vampires do so, like farmers who save domestic turkeys from drowning in rainstorms, the vampires sometimes have to help humans – or save them from themselves. This is how Diana is able to reconcile a chilly Humanity with a relatively sensitive conscience. She takes the responsibility quite seriously, and she is very condemnatory of threats to the Masquerade and the Sabbat – or other kindred who are outright greedy and callous. One or the other, she can tolerate, but not both.

 

Had Mama not been destroyed in the Sabbat takeover of Sacramento, the situation between her and Diana would have quickly spiraled out of control. As it is, Diana is now free to wax nostalgic over the positive aspects of the relationship, and gloss over the rest. Those are the best kind of relationships, really…

 

When referring to herself, she thinks of herself as ‘Diana’. The multi-names thing is a convention she created as a courtesy to others. She’s aware that her behavior can be unsettling to those who don’t know her or what to expect. Diana is nothing if not polite – to other vampires, at least. Monat/Diana/Freys are not separate personalities – and those who are confused by Diana’s situation amuse her.

 

Aspects of Diana’s derangement:

 

Variable personality, coinciding with the phase of the moon.

Monat - new –crescent - Diana is at her most childish and retiring. Monat is drawn from the same latin root for the word ‘mania’. Monat will almost never speak, unless asked a direct question – and she has a habit of answering a question with a question.

Diana – half moon, plus-or-minus a few days – Diana is more forthcoming, socially, but is intellectually detached and very cynical. Ask her what color that house over there is, and she’ll say “It’s painted white, on this side”. Diana is also given to being a bit judgmental, when she believes she has all the facts.

Freys – recently acquired assertiveness. During the full moon, she has the confidence to pursue political friendships and grub for status. This also when she’s most vocal about her bluntest opinions.

 

Diana does not have a split personality, but she has learned the habit of introducing herself with these nicknames, to better warn any companions what they might be in for that evening.

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Diana must tell the truth, when asked a question. Diana has learned the art of being somewhere else, or refraining from volunteering something she might not want known but, if asked point-blank, she will always tell the truth – although not necessarily all of it. Mama hated dishonest children, you see…

 

Nightmares/Past Lives

Sarah McClelland’s parents were garou kinfolk – albeit somewhat removed from the fold. If Sarah had been allowed to live out her life free of Kindred influence (and blood!) she might have been a garou, but that’s all moot, now (rim shot). The only legacy left to her is harrowing nightmares of an almighty, unknowable struggle and an uneasy sense of detachment from the rest of the world. Something doesn’t fit in Diana’s worldview, and she’s rather afraid it’s her.

 

Crummy Socialization

Diana’s strongest bonds were with Mama and Kim, so she tends to try to place everyone she meets within that framework – surrogate parent or sibling. With her recent independence, Diana is going to be having a hard time placing everyone she meets into those pigeonholes… She has usually lacked male role models (good or bad) and has tried to seek them out – usually with bad results (see ‘hunter’, above). Her honesty and broad streak of naivety make her a target for predators, who promptly find themselves dealing with Freys - often shortly before they become lunch.

 

In the past year, Diana has been getting a little more seasoned and has learned that, properly employed, a pair of big brown eyes can be an asset, not a liability. But she’s got a ways to go, yet. Besides, that whole compulsively honest thing tends to get in the way of more Machiavellian scheming.

 

Diana’s not one to hold grudges, but that’s from lack of practice rather than deliberate inclination. Most problems she has encountered, either Mama dealt with them, or Diana frightened them off. When push comes to shove, I think Diana will be as good at holding grudges as any kindred.

 

Now what?

Diana has been supporting herself for the past few years by writing an assortment of truly awful astrology columns, psychic friend scrolls, fortune cookies and anything along those lines. She doesn’t believe in such things – despite her own personal interest in the occult – but she sees the dissemination of such information very useful for two reasons. Firstly, it provides entertainment for humans – and entertained humans are happy humans. Secondly, the kind of mortals that believe in these kinds of crap are usually of the kind looking for hope and/or direction in their lives. Again, heeding her sense of obligation to the breathing populace, Diana sees the throwing out of such scraps of hope as a mutually beneficial way of fulfilling those obligations. For what it’s worth, Diana does have a good knowledge of the occult and astrology and she tries to base even the mushiest columns on some reasonable facts, such as they are.

Her columns are reasonably popular and she can retread a lot of material to different buyers, keeping the onerous bullshit work to a minimum.

            Diana even tried a stint as a telephone psychic, but discovered that her penchant for honesty was a definite disadvantage in that career.

 

            Once settled in Aragon, Diana will start making friends with anyone who won’t run away from her and figuring out the status quo. She doesn’t want to climb the court hierarchy – yet – but she may do so just out of curiosity. That’s what usually gets her into trouble…