The Black Spiral
Few vampires in New Orleans give others as many creeps as Baron Cimitiere’s rival in vodoun, Rosa Bale, whose presence would put most Nosferatu to shame. Physically, she presents nothing especially eerie or disturbing— a mulatto woman in her late 30s, with a bush of straw-like salt-and-pepper hair tied up in a brightly colored scarf. Even her eyes, usually the windows to a crazy person’s soul, aren’t especially off-putting. Indeed, when she’s trying, Rosa Bale can be quite the charming conversation companion. No, the source of her reputation is the palpable aura of otherworldliness she projects. Even those who haven’t heard of her reputation as a spirit-medium can tell within minutes of talking to her that Rosa Bale trafficks with forces beyond the normal. Depending on the circumstances (usually when she’s especially stressed or focused on something), these forces can and will even manifest themselves; for example, several people have reported seeing candles wink out or have their flames turn a chilling shade of blue when Rosa Bale passes too close by.
The most powerful Kindred mambo in New Orleans not allied with Baron Cimitiere, Bale is well-known for harboring a hatred of the Baron nearly as strong as Prince Vidal’s own. Her public claims—that her hatred stems from Cimitiere’s use of the title and imagery of Baron Samedi, and that doing so indicates an arrogance and heresy unsuited to a vodouisant leader—ring hollow in many ears. The Kindred are accustomed to seeing ulterior motives beneath the surface, and few indeed believe that Bale’s actions stem from so utterly mundane a source.