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Marcus and Edda Discuss Ghouls

Marcus Giovanni | Edda Ghiberti; February 17, 2008

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Letter: Marcus Giovanni to Edda Ghiberti; February 17, 2008

Dear Edda --

I hope this letter finds you well.

I'm writing because I want a little advice. What kind of a headache is it to keep a ghoul, and do they always have to be blood bound? This whole deal with Lazaro's wife started to get me thinking about how useful it would be some days to have an extra pair of hands to manage a few things. My biggest problem has been making appointments with people for interviews -- they just don't tend to appreciate getting called after 10 pm.

But then there's that whole blood bond thing, and, frankly, it makes me a little squeamish. I mean, deep down, they could hate your guts, but the whole blood bond thing would force them to have to deal nicely with you. I know some folks think that's a great deal, but all I can think is, what happens when the person bides their time and finds a way to slip out of the bond? Then you're fucked. I mean, we're looking at that with Lazaro's wife, right? If she upped and left him, then she had to have found a way out of that bond, didn't she?

So, anyway, I figured you knew more about this sort of thing than I do. I didn't crawl out of the coffin yesterday (like sometimes I think you think) but I don't have any kind of practical knowledge on this subject. It kind of seems to be more trouble than its worth, but then once in a while I wonder.

There are a couple of people I wouldn't mind having in a position to get my back. If they just got one little drink of blood, does that last then? I mean, the ghoul stuff wears off after a while, I know that, but how long does it take to wear off? And what about the connection they feel? Is that forever? Like, ten years from now, they get another taste of me, and then they're another step toward that blood bond? That's kind of creepy, if you ask me.

Oh, hey -- if you see Lazzaro, I know it's a difficult time for him, but remind him that he needs to get me that information on his wife. I pretty much get to twiddle my thumbs on the case until I've got that info, and the longer we let things go, the harder it will be to pick up any kind of trail.

Sincerely,
Marcus

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Letter: Edda Ghiberti to Marcus Giovanni; February 17, 2008

Yes, this letter finds me quite well Marcus, thank you.

The process of ghouling someone can be rather... intense. You are taking them out of their normal lives and forcing them to deal with all of the things which we have to grow accustomed to - immortality, kindred society, and the political complexities. They become - to explain this simply - addicted to your blood. For this - and reasons of loyalty - the proxy kiss is something generally reserved only for those members of the family which have been prepared for it and for whom we have the highest hopes. I definitely need you to run anyone like this by myself or someone else in the Family. I am currently working on getting us a group of people who may be appropriate to ghoul - a branch of the Family for the city - but this may take a while. The Family understandably doesn't desire to risk a branch of the family in what we suspect will become a war-zone. There are some very serious politics involved in this process.

As to the blood bond - no, it's impossible to have a ghoul without that bond, and frankly quite unwise. A wayward ghoul risks us all. Truthfully, I doubt Lazaro's wife managed to do anything such as slipping the bond. I suspect rather if she left willingly it was in attempts to protect him because she genuinely loved him. The stronger-willed can do that. With an exceptionally strong will they may even manage to temporarily pull themselves away. From what I understand, Lazaro's wife was a ghoul of some power. I suspect rather she was able to make a rational decision and to keep herself together long enough to go through with it. I have heard trying to break the blood bond compared to trying to trying to go cold-turkey on heroin - that the older ghouls also know it will lead to the surrendering of their immortality and probable death does not make it any easier. Might some ancient ghoul develop the power to break the bond, or to twist it? Well, certainly - though usually they only manage to escape it so far as to attempt suicide.

A well-treated ghoul can be quite happy and content. At that point your largest risk becomes blood-born instability and jealousy. As to how much blood they require - that depends entirely on the ghoul in question and how active they are. It seems the more active they are the higher their blood-need tends to be. An injured ghoul who has recently healed will often require blood immediately. Truthfully, I've only had two ghouls during my existence - one was for security, and the other to help me set up some of my original California hospital locations. Laura, who helped with the hospitals, would have to drink perhaps once a month or so. Ryan, my security, seemed to need almost weekly blood due to his tendency to get himself hurt. I sometimes wonder if he got himself hurt intentionally for the purpose of engaging in blood drinking... he seemed to be unnaturally fond of it, but that is neither here nor there.

It IS possible to induce the blood-bond without ghouling an individual however. Honestly, for what you are talking about, that sounds like the best option... But to be sincere, I'm not sure you would want to deal with it.

Now, there are different 'levels' to the bond of course. I often find that if I absolutely require the assistance of some particular mortal, taking them no farther then the second is enough. This is not to say that there are not potential problems even with this - but if you exercise care not to induce it in the unstable you are likely to find that they will likely follow your wishes without becoming so obsessive that your disappearance for a day or two causes them to become unstable. I have found that after a few years such things will sometimes fade, and sometimes not. I make a general policy of being particularly courteous to those I have put under this form of sway, and as such these individuals rarely realize that their feelings are anything other then an unusual level of an already existing emotion.

Keep in mind that if these servants come to know too much, they become liabilities to the family - so you need to be careful here. That said, it can be done well.

Sincerely,
Edda

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Letter: Marcus Giovanni to Edda Ghiberti; February 17, 2008

Edda --

Thanks. You answered my question very adequately. Ghouling sounds kinda the way I thought it would -- way too much fucking work.

I was mostly worried because there was this thing the other night, one of my girls got carried away and she got a little taste of my blood. If I thought she would bite like that, I'd have tied her down better and added a ballgag, but that was my mistake. Anyway, that kind of thing doesn't normally happen, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't up shit creek, you know? She started acting a little funny afterward, getting way cuddlier than is normal. A sappy little puppy dog is about the last thing I need in my life right now.

Oh, and on that note, I might have an alternative to your blood bank idea, assuming you have the stomach for it. I can kind of see you thriving in this particular environment. Poor Lazzaro would probably have to up his weekly number of Hail Mary's, if he got involved, at least, if I've read him right.

Sincerely,
Marcus

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Letter: Edda Ghiberti to Marcus Giovanni 17; February, 2008

Marcus

Well, I'm afraid you now have a cute little girl following you around. Since you've had the bad luck, may as well make her useful. The blood bound generally like feeling useful. Puppy is a very good analogy for where she probably is. If you don't kick her too hard she'll try (clumsily) to do tricks for you. Just be careful, even if they don't know what they're after she might try for you again.Just be aware Marcus, and I say this out of genuine concern for your mental well being: Don't let her get too close. I can't allow the family to be put at risk.

If I'm gauging your innuendo, you're right that it's a plausible route - but really, I'd rather not go that way. I tend to save that route for things far more important then merely finding food. Besides, my actually trying to feed can get a bit... *messy*... even for a member of our line. I doubt you'd approve.

Of course, it could also explain why the Settites would take to targeting you. Between your move and Luciano's bid to grab Lisa's club, it certainly is seeming like we're nosing in to their territory.

Ah well, enjoy your new pet.
- Edda

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Letter: Marcus Giovanni to Edda Ghiberti; February 17, 2008

Edda --

Great. One little taste and I have a friend for life. But not all the way, right? And she's no ghoul if I just sort of let things slide in the blood department, right?

Yeah -- this particular little thing is why I don't particularly like
Setites.

--Marcus

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