Wasting the Dawn
Player: Johanna Mead
Wingrove-Graves (aka Sarah ‘Sally’ Wingrove)
How old are you?
154 years old.
Where were you born?
1849, in Newcastle, England.
What was unique about your
Nothing beyond attending school until age 16 – which wasn’t very common in those days. It was in adulthood that life got interesting for Sarah.
What kind of person were
Intelligent, resourceful, loyal to family and friends. Sarah was (and still is) willing to take risks for her chosen cause and for those she considers family – which includes her Regnant, of course. Otherwise, a down-to-earth Englishwoman, working hard to raise a good family and be a ‘good’ person.
What was your first brush
with the supernatural?
1882 – first encounter with the kindred. It was quite blunt and unsparing of Sarah’s finer feelings, as Toby Wrexham-Jones of Clan Ventrue was moving quickly to acquire Sally as a tool before anyone else did.
How/why did your Embrace
happen? [If you're a ghoul, how/why did you become a ghoul?]
Toby Wrexham-Jones of Clan Ventrue was part of the diamond boom in southwestern Africa in the 1870s/1880s. He wanted to extend his hold over the nascent industry, and wanted indirect influence over Cecil Rhodes, who had by then emerged as one of the major players in that scene (Rhodes had proven strangely difficult the manipulate directly). Sarah had built up a significant stake in the Bartano consortium of diamond fields – having taken over her husband’s holdings after his death in a mining accident – and Bartano was targeted for a merger with what would become the DeBeers group. By dint of being a woman in this man’s world, Sally had attracted some attention from Rhodes and his cronies, and Wrexham-Jones saw ghouling her as a good way to slide some influence into the DeBeers’ circle – and that’s exactly how it worked out.
How did the Embrace change you?
(Aside from becoming a vampire, of course.) [If you're a ghoul, how did
becoming a ghoul change you?]
Both her negative and positive traits were enhanced. Loyalty to her children and employees became loyalty to her Regnant – although Sarah still had the time/ability to keep looking after her two children (at this point in their early teens). Despite having managed her own mine for ten years, Sarah still had some illusions regarding proper behavior, ways of doing business and her fellow man. Becoming a ghoul stripped away the last of those illusions. She became more of a realist – or a cynic, if you like – but did not lose her faith in God or belief that loyalty can be earned, and sometimes not misplaced. Of course, ghouls rationalize a lot.
Who was your sire, and how
did he treat you?
I’ll just do a rundown of Regnants, shall I?
1882 – 1903. Toby Wrexham-Jones, Clan Ventrue. Classic fat-cat money-grubbing Ventrue. Treated Sarah moderately well, but it was clear that she was a tool in his eyes, not a person.
1905- 1930. Two years of chaos followed Rhodes’ death, after which, Sally falls into the hands of Sebastian Moore of Clan Ventrue. He had more luck and charisma than skill. He treated Sally better than Toby did – more as a human being – but only because it amused him, and Sally knew it. She got the last laugh as she had the sense to not get paper wealthy gambling on margin trades, whilst Sebastian did so and ended up committing suicide after the Market Crash of ’29.
1930 – 1945. George Gibbons of Clan Toreador. Very humane, an honestly nice fella – as far as kindred can be – and if Sally had to pick a favorite, it would be him. He encouraged Sally to appreciate gems as fine art, as well as a way to make money. Sarah was crushed when George casually handed her off to her next Regnant to pay off a boon.
1945 – 1962. Yuri Semeniov - a cold-hearted, hard-nosed Brujah. Dedicated communist who was looking to flood the market with Soviet diamonds. Treated Sally with a coldness comparable to the Siberian mines she was managing during this time. He didn’t despise Sally for being a ghoul – that would have required paying attention to her.
1962 - 1978 - Richard Antonioni, Follower of Set. This one was definitely Sarah's least favorite, particularly as she was forcibly carried off by Richard as a ‘spoil of war’. During this time, she was involved in smuggling conflict diamonds and other unsavory aspects of the business, which grated against Sarah very badly, despite being Bound. Finally, through careful inaction and allowing information to be ‘coerced’ from her, Sally helped her next Regnant destroy Antonioni (potential dirt).
1978 - 1983 - Maria Jones of Clan Toreador. Another reasonably-humane kindred. Maria gave Sally free rein to pursue her business as she saw fit, providing the money kept coming in. However, Maria could be a holy terror if she felt she was being slighted in any way. This relationship ended in another round of pay-a-boon, and Sally was handed to:
1983 – 2002 – Mark Tyler of Clan Ventrue. Another classically money-grubbing Ventrue – matters had come full circle. Mark was generally distant and cold, but not cruel as Richard and Maria could be. Despite being Bound to him, Sally was rather indifferent about Mark Tyler.
Were you presented to the Prince?
Only when the circumstances were appropriate. In the early days in Africa, there wasn’t much of a Prince to speak of. After than, if the Regnant felt it best then, yes, Sally would be walked around court and presented.
Where is your Haven?
Until the mid-1980s, Sally would haven with her Regnant. However, as she now has a 17-year-old ward to look after (Robert Wingrove-Graves), she endeavors to live in a house/condo close – but not too close – to her Regnant.
Do you retain any
connections to your mortal life?
Very much so. Before faking her death in 1908, Sarah set up a significant trust fund for her descendants (she had two children, full family tree available on request) to ensure that they would not have to return to the working-class roots that Sarah and her husband came from. The trust fund includes significant incentives for the beneficiaries to go into the diamond/gem business in some capacity, which makes it easier for Sarah to keep an eye on them. She has occasionally popped up as “Cousin Jane”, etc, but she keeps direct contact to a minimum.
That policy changed, however, when Sarah’s great3 granddaughter (Mary Wingrove-Graves) and her husband (James Graves) were killed in a car crash in Liberia in 1987. They left behind them their infant son, Robert Wingrove-Graves. Realizing that posing as a distant cousin might not win her guardianship of her great4 grandson, Sally moved quickly to take over Mary’s identity, hush up various bits of paperwork that stated that she had died, and took over the raising of Robert – albeit with a lot of assistance from nannies, private schools, etc. Robert is currently 17, and is studying to be a diamond cutter which, of course, thrills Sally no end.
Do you still pretend to be alive? If not, did
you fake your own death?
Lady Sarah Wingrove (she bought a title, of course) died in 1908. After that Sally used a variety of aliases to do her business. In an earlier time, maintaining an alternate identity was very easy but it is becoming increasingly difficult. At the moment, Sally is known to almost everyone – except her Regnant – as Lady Mary Wingrove-Graves (the title will go to Robert when he’s 21).
Do you have a driver's license, or other form
of identification? If so, what's the name and
address on it?
Drivers’ license, passport (British), in the name of Mary Wingrove Graves.
Where do you haven/live?
Currently, a nicer residential area in Oakland (I’ll work out the details later, if I may?)
Do you have a car? If so,
what's its make (model and year optional) and license plate of your car?
Sarah drives a mid-range BMW – she has a certain image she must maintain. CA license: 1TSR 4DWB (Johanna doesn’t know license plates)
What are you habitual
What is your preferred herd?
What is your style of
What do you want to
accomplish at Court?
Create new business contacts to further increase money-making opportunities. Offer my services to other members of the court - as far as I am permitted by my Regnant, and always to his/her benefit, of course.
Establish business and political allies – for my benefit, and for that of my Regnant.
What's a long-term goal of
See Robert successfully established in his chosen career and married off to some nice, fertile young girl – the continuation of family has become a bit of an obsession with Sally, although she’s starting to wonder if she could have another child, herself – complications with the Masquerade notwithstanding, of course.
Find a Regnant who won’t pass Sarah off like an old pair of shoes, or let her be carried off as a spoil of war – a Regnant who will be as loyal to her as she is to them.
What motivates you to
accomplish your long-term goal?
Love for and loyalty towards family – both as a general concept and as specifically personified in the great4 grandson, Robert.
What's a medium-term goal of
yours? [Make this different from your long-term goal.] What motivates you to
Expand business holding from the diamond and fine gem trade. Diversify the portfolio in terms of money making and in allies amongst the kindred. Personal power would be the motive behind that.
What's a short-term goal of
yours? [Make this different, too.] What motivates you to accomplish it?
Find a new Regnant, right now - hence Sally’s presence in the game. Mark Tyler is ash under whatever circumstances the STs would like to dictate, or they may leave that to me, if they wish.
What religion were you
Church of England.
Do you believe in God(s)?
Yes, very much so.
What religion are you?
Still CofE – it was ingrained in your typical working-class Brit of the 19th Century, and even more so when the climbed the social ladder.
Do you attend organized
Not as regularly as Sally would like, as there’s a shortage of genuine Anglican parishes in the US. She has found a congregation in Walnut Creek that she is checking out at the moment, and attends about once a month.
What was the most shameful
thing you have ever done?
Sally is still very ashamed of her involvement in the conflict diamond trade in the 1970s. It was an atrocious bit of business, dealing with some of the scum of the earth and doing scummy things to move in their same circles. Sally is a human person, and did not appreciate being told “Well, if Person X won’t sell his stake to me, you should go kill his wife and see if that changes his mind.” Sally committed a variety of crimes during that period – ranging from extortion to murder – and is amazed that she managed to cling on to her faith and morality through it.
Do you have any dirt
that someone might dig up on you? If so, what Group will go after you if it
comes to light?
Well, she was technically responsible for the death of the Regnant that put her to work in the conflict-diamond trade – Richard Antonioni of The Followers of Set. Sally couldn’t act directly against her Regnant of course, by dint of carefully allowing herself to be vulnerable at the right time to the right person (Maria Jones of Clan Toreador), information that enabled his Destruction was obtained. So, hm, the Followers of Set might count as a group looking for revenge, if Richard was important enough, and if it was put together.
Then there was that incest thing in the early 1950s…. Mind you, Simon M.R. Wingrove didn’t know that Sally was his great-great-grandmother and, frankly, it didn’t go too far – Sally hopes! The affair was brief and the result of a huge heedful of bad wiring, which I will detail at another time.
What's the best
thing you've ever done?
Sally believes – rightly or wrongly – that she is largely responsible for the success of her family (via the trust fund and occasional deft uses of influence and kindred favors). She has looked after her descendants to the sixth generation, now, and she considers that a success and a good thing to have done.
What do you do for fun?
Read trashy novels, cook gourmet meals, go to the beach or a luxury hotel and have meaningless sex with gigolos. A lot of things that vampires can’t do.
If someone investigated your
police record, what would they find?
Lady Mary Wingrove-Graves is, fortunately, a law-abiding soul – with the exception of a couple of traffic tickets each in the US and the UK. As she is involved in the diamond trade, her passport number is flagged with “Always search this person’s luggage, thoroughly!” written next to it – but there are ways around that… ;)
Does the FBI (or any other
government agency) have a file on you? If so, what does it say?
Hm. Interpol might have a small file, just because of the nature of the diamond trade. Mary Wingrove Graves has played things so far above board, the authorities probably suspect she’s getting away with murder. The fact is, following that nasty period with the Brujah and the Settite, Mary does her damnedest to play as fairly as the rules allow – being honest, loyal and never screwing her customers more than the market demands.
Has any other organization
been made aware of your existence?
A supernatural/hunting organization? Not to her knowledge.
What kind of a game do you
Character driven, riddled with political intrigue, emphasis on character development through interaction with other PCs (rather than self-driven character development)
What do you want from the
A coherent storyline and plots that can be resolved by the playership without any rail-roading or deus-ex-machinas by the STs unless things go really awry. Timely and polite communication regarding game and character status, changes to logistics, etc. Some attention to my background would be nice but I can always look after that myself. J
How much do you
want to interact with OWbN?
Not much, I don’t have a lot of time for it. Interacting with just the other players in this troupe will suffice, I'm sure.
What do you think about
It happens. Sometimes it happens for stupid reasons – ie, a player gets bored and decides to whack a PC to alleviate that boredom. Stupid deaths should be discouraged/punished but, if it fits the plot, then a player must be prepared to accept the risk of character death during the game.
Do you have any story ideas
that don't necessarily have to do with your character?
Not right now. I’ve only had this chick in mind for a week!
Would you like the STs to
have a seminar about the rules/influences/etc.?
No, I think all of my questions have been answered.
Mary Wingrove Other Vampires Rough Cut e-mail