The formidable Voivode of Suceava and the patron of the Northern Blood; a brilliant, autocratic ancilla who has thus far managed to keep the hordes of Noriz from descending into Transylvania through the Tihuta Pass.
This man is tall and commanding, with cropped iron grey hair, a hawk-like nose and deep-brown eyes under heavy brows. Looking like he could have stepped straight from the old Dacian-Roman empire into the Long Night, he wears dark, jewel-toned colours offset by several rings and a golden chain necklace. A broadsword rests comfortably in a bejewelled scabbard at his side and he wears the finest armour that coin can buy.
In many ways, Mircea Dzardescu, Voivode of Suceava and Lord Protector of Dzardev Castle, is very much a paragon of the Tzimisce in the feudal mould. He is a Cainite of education and discerning judgement, equally at home managing his estates, leading a brutal Trial by War or debating the finer pieces of art (flesh-crafted or otherwise) with the most erudite of Toreador critics. However, there the similarity between he and many of his rival voivodes ends. Mircea believes strongly in the security of the spiritual and temporal traditions of his homeland, but he is most unorthodox in his methods of achieving his goals. This is because Mircea Dzardescu has chosen to ally himself with a Gangrel knez and a Nosferatu bandit chef in addition to his more typical vassals. Such a disruption to the status quo has earned him few allies among the clan, but the Voivcde of Suceava cares little for their criticisms.
Noriz, the Corruptor of Legions, is his neighbour. He wants Dzardescu’s demesnes. And his soul.
Mircea is quite young, and weak in the blood, to claim the title of voivode. Embraced in the early years of the 12th century, and counted amongst the eighth generation, his claim would be shaky at best in the hotly contested lands in the heart of the Voivodate. And yet, Micea has three factors working to his advantage: Firstly, and most importantly, Suceava and his other dominions lie in the foothills of the northern Carpathians, beyond the Tihuta Pass and squarely in the sights of Noriz’ ambitions; Secondly, Dzardescu has forged a highly unorthodox but undeniably effective alliance of Tzimisce, Nosferatu and Gangrel opposed to the Corruptor; and lastly, the talents of the young voivode are immense. He is intelligent, creative and possessed of extraordinary leadership qualities. Long ago, even as a mortal, it was these traits that drew the attention of his late sire, Gerlo.
In spite of his relative few years as a vampyr, it is rumoured that Mircea Dzardescu existed as a ghoul for many decades- perhaps even several centuries- before Gerlo gifted him with the Dead Water. For much of that time, he was tasked with the protection of Dzardrev Castle, an impressive fortification that guards one of the gateways to the northern end of the Tihuta Pass. He was also responsible for the administration of Gerlo’s mortal pawns among the boyars of the region. As castelan (lord protector) of Dzardrev, he served honoroubly and well for several generations of men, seeing his children and his children’s children prosper in his lord’s service. Some also earned the honour of becoming Gerlo’s ghoul servants, and a number of them still serve Mircea to this night. In AD 1113, Mircea was given the Dead Water as a reward for his extraordinary service.
In the late 1120’s, when the fugitive former voivode known as Visya set up a Domain south of the pass, Gerlo thought little of it. While individually powerful indeed, Visya had been humbled by Vladimir Rustovitch, and had few allies worth mentioning save a small following of his stalwart Vlaszy revenants. Noriz, the Corruptor of Legions, was pressing on the demesnes of Suceava’s eastern neighbours, and Gerlo was far more alarmed by the threat that the ravenous legions of the Corruptor posed. However, within a score of years, Gerlo came to regret his single-minded concern for his eastern border. Visya, battened on the power and influence of his childe Prince Radu of the newly formed town of Bistritz, plunged through the pass and declared a Trial by War.
Taken unawares, Gerlo was forced to divide his attention between two threats. Ultimately he failed on both fronts. The effort of countering Visya’s many-layered plots and probes sapped the forces and attention of Gerlo, and much of his manpower was diverted towards keeping his older rival at bay. Due to this unfortunate development, he was also unable to effectively assist (or take advantage of) his weaker eastern allies in their struggles against the Corruptor, and their demesnes were gradually eroded and destroyed by Noriz. Mircea, with his Bratovitch allies, was given command of the battle-scarred eastern front, while Gerlo concentrated on (inconclusively) settling the matter of Visya. Meanwhile, Mircea made many unusual alliances, both within the clan and without, during the battles with Noriz’ ravenous and degenerate progeny. His own ghoul servant and captain, Bogdan Basarab de Argeș aided him in holding the line for many years, and Mircea granted him the Dead Water as soon as Gerlo would allow.
While war was never constant, it was frequent enough to wear Suceava down. After a grueling number of Trials By War over a score of years, Gerlo’s Domain had grown weak and hollow. The Voivode lost his Unlife defending Suceava in AD 1182. In the end, he was not killed by Visya or his servants at all. Gerlo was wounded and his bodyguard decimated by a chance encounter with a pack of silver furred varcolaci, and he was then finished off by several Tremere who sought a treasure in his possession.
Many expected the Voivodate of Suceaca to disintegrate at that point, but Mircea had been busy forming an unorthodox alliance to maintain the integrity of the late Gerlo’s lands. This tentative alliance included Mircea’s nephew in-blood Victor Armanas of Tranest, the vengeful Alexandru Taladescu of Botosani, the powerful but eccentric Taratus of Rodna and the savage Parldo Lup of Pleth. The alliance of three Tzimisce knezi with a Gangrel pretender and a Nosferatu bandit was initially spurned by other Tzimisce in the region, many of whom have since privately admitted that it has so far proven successful. As a symbol of their new bonds of loyalty, these Cainite lords each contributed one of their own circle of allies to a new coterie. The allied coterie of ancillae and elders put forward a number of their favoured servants to create De Nord Sânge (the Northern Blood). As the favoured servant of the newly declared Voivode, Bogdan was named as the leader of the coterie. As their first act, De Norde Sânge declared vengeance on Visya.
Dzardescu and his allies threw back a subsequent Trial by War instigated by Visya in the spring and summer of AD 1191. De Norde Sânge were instrumental in the war against Voivode Visya, whose conquest of Rodna, Pleth, Botosani and Suceava had once been considered a foregone conclusion by observers. Mircea’s coterie managed to eject Visya and his allies from the late Gerlo’s lands, and have since expanded their borders further, pushing into Transylvania proper. De Norde Sânge is instrumental in Voivode Dzardescu’s plans, for they have the power and ability to hold the south against Visya while Mircea and his allies concentrate on holding back Noriz.
The voivode was deeply displeased with his childe for his failure against the Concord during De Norde Sânge abortive Trial By War in AD 1199. He considered punishing Bogdan harshly (when he recovered from torpor) but he was approached by the wily Veceslav, Bogdan’s mortal brother with an intriguing offer. Veceslav had bested Bogdan in honourable combat, and so was entitled to claim the title of Knez of Tihuta. However, while ostensibly allied with the Ventrue Arpads, and ergo with Prince Radu and Visya, the Tzimisce diplomat was open to the vicissitudes of fate and not necessarily invested in either camp. Furthermore, he understood that as Mircea was troubled by Noriz (a hated enemy of Veceslav and his own sire, Gabor the Bulgar), so was Visya plagued to the south by Voivode Vlad Ionescu, a vassal of Rustovitch. The newly proclaimed knez was prepared to act as a buffer zone between Mircea and Visya. He would be subject to neither but could offer each of them a respite from Trials by War that neither could afford, so that they might concentrate on their more pressing enemies.
Mircea was duly impressed with the knez’ logic, and agreed to the proposal provided he could get Visya’s solemn promise to do likewise. He acquiesced to their request that a number of hostages from the pass be released, and in return Veceslav’s ally, the Cappadocian Sister Maude used her death magics to restore Bogdan to consciousness. He chastised his childe, but did not punish him, seeing a valuable new asset in Bogdan’s newly rekindled relationship with Veceslav.
Some months later, word arrived of Veceslav’s success in obtaining Visya’s agreement to the truce. Mircea fully expects betrayal at some point, but for now he continues to treat with the elder Basarab through his correspondence with Bogdan. The _voivode_is finally free to direct his energy where it belongs; to where Gerlo’s energy truly belonged from the start. Dzardescu must now find a way to defeat Noriz, a task that none of his older or stronger kin would envy…
Lineage: Lineage: Childe of Gerlo (d), Childe of Florin Dodrescu (d), Childe of Mihai Ruthven, Childe of Ruthven, Childe of the Eldest
Honorific: Mircea Dzardescu Gerlovin sin Ruthven