1) Is the Jerome in Masks is the same Jerome, senator and master of Elyas, in Death’s Mistress?
Yes, Jerome was Elyas’ master–good for you! I didn’t know if anyone would catch that. But it was nice to be able to flesh out the European Senate a little.
2) In one of your other Q&A you wrote that when Mircea tried to separate Dorina’s two natures in the beginning he got a little help, as we would have seen in ‘Masks’. Did you mean the other ‘Masks’, the one about Mircea from the present and Cassie traveling back to Venice to gain blackmail material on another senator? I admit that when I first read that I thought maybe it was Mircea from the present that helped is past self.
In answer to your questions, I started writing Masks several times over the last few years, only to have to put it away due to deadlines for other projects. And when I would go back to it, I would often find myself working on a different storyline. Basically, Mircea has a LOT of backstory and it kept intruding. I finally told myself to just concentrate on one story or I was never going to get it finished, so that’s how we ended up where we did. And why, at different times, different storylines were discussed (because when I was asked the question, that’s the one I was working on). I hope that makes some kind of sense!
3) Somewhere, I don’t remember where I read it, you explained that at some point the differences between Cleo and Anthony became such that they could not co-exist in the same territory and senate so Mircea and Marlowe persuaded her that North America deserved a Senate too and they all went across the pond. How long after they became co-consuls did it happen? And, if it’s not spoiler, why did it happen?
It happened in the late 18th century. You’ll recall that, when Cassie and Mircea were visiting Paris in 1793 (in Embrace the Night), they were able to stay at his Paris home because the Mircea of that time was away in North America. That’s why he was away—scouting out the possibilities for a new senate.
As for why it happened, there’s an old saying “can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” that pretty much sums up Cleo and Anthony’s relationship. When they’re apart, they miss each other; when they’re together, they frequently want to kill each other. It’s complicated. So, the togetherness all the time thing wasn’t working, and in fact, was not working to the point that something had to give soon or there was going to be another challenge.
Mircea and Marlowe pointed out that the natural resources of NA were likely to make it an economic, and therefore political, power one day, and that its population was already exploding after the Revolutionary War. It was ready for a senate, and if they didn’t establish one, somebody else would. So she and Anthony split the blanket to stay allies rather than destroying one another.
4) In modern vampire law (Cassie and Dory books) a Master is responsible for the vampires he/she sires, right? When was the law introduced and does it mean that what happened to Sanuito would be punished if it happened again?
It was always tradition that a master was responsible for those he sired, and was in fact the law elsewhere. The info on “Cathay” that Bezio had in Masks was skewed by his own prejudice. He assumed that because other senates didn’t have a “safe haven” such as Venice, it meant that they hadn’t made any accommodations for their strays. In fact, they didn’t have a Venice because they didn’t need one. Masters were held strictly accountable for any children they made, something that wasn’t true in Europe because the old consul didn’t enforce it. Anthony and Cleo changed that after they took over, something that was helped by the rather large number of old masters they slaughtered putting down rebellions.
As far as Sanuito’s fate, though . . . technically, it could still happen. It probably wouldn’t, because the master vamp would then be stuck with a useless servant, and killing too many of your servants for no reason gets you the reputation for instability/weakness (because if you were strong, you wouldn’t need to kill them to control them). And that can end up costing you your own life, if another master decides that you’re ripe for a takeover. And that’s assuming that the senate doesn’t go after you themselves. Auria’s master, for example, would not have been tolerated after the events of Masks. But a master still has life or death control over those he makes as long as he keeps it within reason.
The main difference brought about by the change of power you saw in Masks was better leadership, which held masters more accountable. And so greatly cut down on the numbers of masterless vamps running about. Afterwards, if you made a vampire, you were pretty much stuck with him. And if you made one by accident and he thereafter went on a tear (like a revenant) you had to track him down or hire someone to do it for you. It’s why Louis-Cesare was in trouble over Christine, and why Dory was able to eke out a living chasing down mad vampires.
5) Are there any penalties if a Master forces the change on an unwilling person?
Changing someone who is fighting it, or sick, or otherwise in less than optimal condition, is tricky, and can land you with a dead servant or one like Horatiu. Mircea doesn’t mind about Horatiu, of course, because he loves him and feels indebted to him. But someone else would not be so happy to have a servant like that!
In the case of Martina, the character in Masks who had been forcibly changed, her master didn’t care whether she herself was useful or not, because he was only after her property anyway. All he cared about was that she live long enough to sign it over to him. But most of the time, a vampire has enough willing persons to change that he doesn’t need to change the unwilling. It’s also a factor that you can only change so many vamps, because you can only control so many, so are you really going to risk wasting one of your limited number on someone like Horatiu?