World of Darkness: The Tremere vampire
Coming around the corner of a cliff face almost a mile outside of the warehouse I was told contained my target. A Tremere, a vampire with a long colorful history unlike anything I have heard before. Torture, betrayal, and the most inhuman acts one could imagine are commonplace in this being’s history. Born a man of faith during the Salem Witch Trials, he single-handedly dropped the population of mages to almost nothing in what would become the United States. This being, the source of the screams I can hear from hundreds of meters away, once picked a target that decided he would rather not be burned at the stake. A Tremere vampire that turned him, and created a monster whose evil has nothing to do with his lust for blood.
Ozymandias Veldt, the terror of Seattle, has holed up in this warehouse, on the run from every vampire in the Camarilla. He had murdered and consumed every Tremere in the coterie, sparked a war, and even diablerized the primogen and chantry that served him as a prince. All this in the pursuit of knowledge and power. What is beyond this man is unknown, as his deeds have known no bounds. It is for this reason I intend to keep my distance.
Looking from my high perch, I watch the bald man known as Ozy in this day and age standing before two men. The man to the left seems to be crying, the one to the right standing stoic and brave. The man on the left begs for his life, only to be lifted into the air with a simple gesture of Ozy’s hand. With but a word I cannot understand and a flick of his wrist, the crying man begins bleeding from every orifice of his body, the blood crawling of its own accord to a hand of the vampire in the long red coat and then to his mouth. With the use of such arcane measures, the ruins upon that red coat glow in silver. With another flick of his wrist, a rib is ripped from the man, its sides falling off as if to express a desire to become the knife it became with such an action. With that, the other man floats into the air. Only to have his leg cut open, the femur removed as he screams the most soul shattering sounds of pain ever heard in the history of mankind. Then, with the pain nerves somehow still attached, the vampire coats the bone in a molten metal. Without a word or a pause of humanity left in him, he then beats the man to death with his own bone.
Then, with the now silent screams of a man no longer concerned with the bravado of masculinity, the vampire turns as if he can see me. There, with a smirk that crosses the distance, he nods at me as if I am next. Turning and running as fast as I can, I leave there. I have the sudden urge to sit very close to some Garou that don’t like the color red.
The Tremere vampire
There are Vampires and there are Mages, and then there is the Tremere. These Vampires are in a category unto themselves. See, they are not one of the original clans. In fact, there is some who do not consider them a clan at all. It was through dark arts and the ritualistic diablerization of an ancient vampire that ended a clan and caused the rise of another. What has happened is the struggle one can expect from a group that barely has allies and do not have a place to turn.
What does one do when their back is against the wall and you are all alone? Well, you adapt and learn, you find allies, you make it work for you. That is what the Tremere have done in their adamant loyalty to the Camarilla. There is hardly a Prince without a Tremere near to call upon for things of a mystical nature, or for the shear power they represent. Their history as diablerists and their insatiable desire to learn the occult have lead to them being highly distrusted, though, even among their peers. For that reason, they keep to themselves in their mystically-protected Chantries. These places are part fraternity house, part library, and all dangerous to the unwelcome, from the spells to the Gargoyles that would tear intruders to shreds.
The history of the Tremere, all the way back to ancient Vienna, has always been one of drive to explore knowledge. This drive is one that leads us to part of the reason the Tremere are untrusted, the arcane discipline of Thaumaturgy. This Thaumaturgy is a matter of greatness because it is the most versatile, and in many ways the most powerful, discipline in the world. There are whole paths of power for the Thaumaturgist, ways of concentrating the power of the vampire’s blood to achieve amazing things. Between telekinesis, pyromancy, plant control, to even draining the power of other vampires to levels they have not seen since they were first turned. The thing is, if you can come up with something, this power can likely make it happen. Beyond that, the power gives access to rituals (such as the one listed in my preview). Thaumaturgy is a beast, and it runs on your willpower over the real world. As such, those who possess it are likely strong in their willpower and determination in this world. This determination is a staple, and as such they tend to pursue their obsessions with a zealous drive. This drive should be a facet of your roleplay.
Now, I have gone over Dominate with the Ventrue vampire, but I wanted to cover it again, in that the Tremere have it and use it for multiple things, not the least of which is the pursuit of knowledge. This gets them items of antiquity, into and out of trouble, and, if you can imagine, how easy it would be to learn ancient lore when those who know it have to hand it over like they are passing a drink. Beyond this, there is the ability of Auspex possessed by many other vampires, but for the Tremere it allows them to find what is not meant to be. Senses, reading objects specifically, could be invaluable to those who want to learn all that they can. Imagine seeing things that have already transpired, as if they still were. It is amazing to think of how this would work to the mage’s advantage.
Now, something to keep in mind is that the Tremere bring new members into their fold through ritual that involves vampiric blood and, as such, they are more susceptible to the vampire blood bond. Normally a vampire takes three droughts to become bound to others, but the vampire clan of Tremere are more experienced with the binding abilities of Vitae. The Warlocks, as they have become known, are known to become bound with only two drinks of a vampire’s blood. Keep this in mind as no Tremere is going to blindly drink another Tremere’s blood. Beyond this, the rituals that lead to this weakness also are the reason why anyone who knows of them is going to be borderline paranoid about their blood being in the possession of the Tremere. They don’t know what they do with it exactly, but they are not willing to find out and leave it to apocryphal boogieman stories.
Alrighty. I am gonna go to bed. I caught the flu that is sweeping Seattle right now and I will spare you the details, but I am not able to concentrate worth a damn. I sincerely hope you do not catch this. Ugh, I may return to alter this later, but I need to end this as the screen is making me ill. Ugh. Next week I will be up to snuff hopefully and will deliver a power packed article on the Lasombra. This shadow clan is amazingly fun and my friend Eric made one that was a lot of fun to watch. Hope to see you next week.
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