New Orleans by Night
Iago was the personal priest to the demanding and brutal Countess Matilde of Tuscany. He was also a devout follower of Pope Gregory VII, even though he rarely agreed with the Pope’s decisions on matters of state. This all came to a head when the Pope excommunicated Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor.
Iago found that the Pope had Henry thrown out of his castle, standing barefoot in the freezing snow. Iago believed what the Pope and the Countess were doing was very wrong. He pleaded that Henry be allowed back in, but now he was beginning to see what kind of a man the Pope really was.
At sun set, a very pale man, who was an advisor to the Pope arrived and suggested Henry remain outside until he died from pneumonia. This idea shook Iago to his core and he stood up to denounce this advisor’s idea, making a well reasoned and moving speech about Christian charity that convinced the Pope to rescind the excommunication.
After Henry was allowed inside and back into his chambers, Iago stopped by his room to kiss his ring and wish him luck. Then as Iago left the room, he saw a swirl of cloth in the corner of his eye and everything went black. Iago awoke with the Countess standing over him, screaming and telling him what a disgrace he was to the church. Iago didn’t feel right, there was a terrible hunger in his belly and a gnawing ache in his mouth. Before he knew it, he lunged at the Countess and sang his newly sharpened teeth into her neck. Somehow Iago got a grip on himself, dropping the Countess in horror and fleeing the castle to the far reaches of the Earth.
The vampire priest tried to remain the man he had always been, but the suffering grew extreme. With each feeding his sanity, as well as his faith, diminished a little more. Somewhere along the way he changed his name from Iago to Lazarus after his madness overwhelmed him. And Lazarus never stopped traveling, preaching a blasphemous sermon of pure Christian heresy, shocking many in the religious community.
Usually Lazarus shows up in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, where the socially dysfunctional of Kindred and Kine wait for his arrival, anticipating each year’s spectacle. One year he preached from a float, covered in black roses, scantly clad women and three crosses with what appeared to have real people nailed to them. The Prince of New Orleans tries to keep Lazarus from attracting too big a crowd or violating the Masquerade.
With his powers in Presence, Lazarus is able to convince people of things they would not normally believe – their friends are their enemies, their children hate them, etc. But he rarely does it, not wanting to bring too much attention to himself.