Ventrue File 1

download Ventrue File 1

of 8

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Ventrue File 1

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    1/8

    WH,

    Youdontknowme.Ifyouresmart,younever

    will.Fornow,callmeAeschylus.

    Yourlittlecompilerwonttellyou,buthefoundseveralofhispreciousfilesmissing.

    Itookthem.Theseareonlyafewofwhat

    weveacquiredfromyou-therestareina

    verysecureplace,andwillbegiveninto

    muchlessaccommodatinghandsshouldyou

    tryanythingstupid.

    Youhaveonechance.Thisprojectofyours

    isdangeroustoallof us.Enditnow,before

    youlosesomethingmorepreciousthana

    fewfiles.

    Aeschylus

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    2/8

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    3/8

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    4/8

    Okay. Whoever wrote thishould be strung up by their

    heels and slowly lowered intoa bucket of blood-addictedboty larvae. To posit thatthe Ventrue are just onebig bloodline oshoot othe Savages is

    Well. It turns my stomach.And very little turns mytomach these nights.

    This is something that Ihad hoped was local,but isnt. A number oCrone-worshipping Lordseem to have jumped on

    board with this idea,which is rankly appalling.Most Ventrue in the Circleave the good sense to believe

    themselves the relationstoor children o gods.This kind o blasphemy,though, which takes it touch an absurd level? Ugh.

    Revolting. Frankly, like anyeligious text, its occludedn all kinds o pseudo-piritual wale. At leastts not very convincing.

    The encircledKingsThe Dark Mother watched as the false-faced ones were consumed by

    the swallowing of the world and the sinking of the seven hills. Thoseof the legacy thought to usurp the destiny of all those of the Blood,but it was not to be, for the Mother of Monsters knew them tobe pretenders. She, the Mother Savage, saw that these civilized fewwere not what they claimed at all, but had holes where their heartsshould have been, holes in which ghosts could crawl. Once the pretend-ers were ousted there remained only five families: those of the dark,those of the worms, those of the mirror, her own children of the moon,and those who remain hidden. With the pretenders dead, the tablecould not stand.

    And so with this weakness the destiny of the Dark Mother was in

    danger, and the time came that the Savage Mother sought to recom-plete the circle once more. She needed a childe who could walk among bothman and beast as king, and so she dragged a human king, Taharka, intothe temple at Gebel Barkal, and she consumed his heart and his blood andgave him part of her heart and a droplet of her blood in return. Thisoutpouring of the Dark Mothers power scored the walls with imagesof Taharka the Lord, the progenitor of the dead kings, the keeper ofthe scepter of the Savage Moon.

    Taharka the Lord was both man and beast: asswift and ferocious

    as

    a lion, as

    commanding and intelligent as

    a king. He coulds

    peak tothe snakes and urge the hearts of all men. He too had a hole in hisheart where worms could creep, and all of his children are host to thissame hole. This hole, born of the imperfection of the blood and boredinto the meat by the weakening of the Mothers own monstrousblood, still remains a terrible weakness to this day. Should the ghostsreturn they have a place in which to creep, as weightless as a breathbut as heavy assin.

    The children of Taharka do not believe it possible that they come

    from what they believe to bes

    uch impures

    tock. They do not seelthe pride in being the active heart of the Mother of Monsters,the grasping heart of the Savage Mother, and this may be theirfailing. In pushing away the true stories they fail to recognizethe hole in their heart, and when the ghosts once more rise, theywill not know how to call upon the Dark Mother and the moon tostop them.

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    5/8

    I got this shortmeditation onthe nature (anpurpose) o Vecolonialism byinterviewing ain my own citythough i you him, he will noremember it. Wfnd interestinhere (aside rhis candor) is h

    sense o the dlurking within ally, contact acohort we keep

    Colonialismandthemigrationof lords

    cities and their sires, but Ill bet that they nevermade it tothe city nor did they make it in the city.

    For those poor bastards, its a short story.

    Tonights mortals are brought up thinking that

    inheriting the amily business or inheriting yourparents home or staying in the town where yougrew up is so oten a sign o weakness. They think

    its pathetic, basically. Theyve been raised on bed-time stories o world explorers, whether its Cook

    or Columbus or Indiana Jones. Going places is theonly way to know that youre going places, I guess.

    A lot o these edglings have trouble adapting tothe idea that they may have to wait in the shadow

    o their sires or decades or a seat to open up atthe table or a chance to be awarded territory by

    the Prince. Sticking around is pass, I guess.

    You know, to be air, the thing with the explor-

    ers was true back then, too. On the one hand, were

    trying to capture some o the glory and excitement and, yeah, the prestige o Aeneas and Brutusand the great conquerors among the kine. We sent

    our childer, our colonials, o to the New Worldbecause we wanted some Ventrue to be conquis-

    tadores, even though our sires and Ephors werent

    willing to risk their Requiems or their lordship orthe chance. But theyd share a amily name with

    grand explorers, so thats something.

    The Cartier brood, colonials o the New World donated by Marienne Cartier

    Colonialism is a much more ormal wordthan what I think wed pick i we were to givethe custom a name tonight. That name cameup, I dont know, in the 1500s, even though

    wed been doing this same thing or a thou-sand years by then. For whatever reason, itstuck, and we still havent shaken it o. Sowhen I let Holland or England, I wasnt sim-ply dodging an overcrowded and ranklyhostile domain o overlapping fes just toget a chance at landing my own territory inManchester or Aberdeen or even London. In-stead, I was a colonial, boldly going to bringmy sires wonderul Blood to a new city, asmy sire would say, and thus expanding ourworth or both o us.

    Tonight Id be like a kid going o to college tomake my own way in the world. Nothing special,

    these nights, among mortals. The neonates Ivespoken to about this all seem to think that braving

    a new city stalked by anonymous, territorial mon-sters is no big deal. Because they havent done it.

    I can think o... hm, seven? Ten? Plenty owhelps whove gone o to other cities in search o

    their own power or lordship and just disappear-ing into the night. Maybe theyre just not reaching

    back to maintain their connections to their old

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    6/8

    The point, though, was to expand existing

    control and inuence beyond whatever limitedterritory was available in the local fes, not sow

    new power, like modern Kindred seem to think.

    Look, when I let Holland, I was being petulant. I

    wanted to be lord over some small fe, and I wasntwilling to wait. But ater I got to Aberdeen and set

    up shop there, I ound that I was able to carve outa mighty three streets o tur because I didnt care

    what kind o enemies I made. I discovered that

    coming into town without a reputation, withoutany implied juice behind me, is nothing but hurt.Lots o Kindred tried to take me out in that frst

    year because, you know what, why shouldnt they?Nobody knew me and they had no reason to think

    anyone was going to avenge my Final Death. Whats

    the consequence or chopping up a vampire withno allies and no connections? Nothing.

    So, like a whelp, I tried to go mumming back tomy sire in Amsterdam. I sent letters, but I heard

    nothing back. I sent a courier, but I still heardnothing back. Were the letters getting there? Was

    anyone who would be able to read through theMasquerade in my letters even still in residence

    at the old address? How the uck did I know? I hadto go by what the courier told me when he came

    back with my letter in hand: Nobody was there.

    The place was abandoned.

    It was humiliating, but I didnt have much

    let to do to deend mysel but ingratiate myselwith the local Lords in Aberdeen. I swore oaths. I

    became another Lords vassal. I spent somethinglike thirteen years getting mysel established

    again. I took on a new amily, drank new Bloodand changed my name.

    When my Priscus decided we should be gettingrich o the New World, he picked three o us to

    brave the voyage by sea. (One o us was Embraced

    just or this purpose, in act.) We went to Wales,we boarded three dierent ships with us locked upin chests inside, and we sailed or the Province o

    Carolina. O the three o us, Im the only one whomade it, near as we can tell. This was 1662.

    The frst thing I did when I got o the boat washand the letter Id written back in Wales to the frst

    sailors heading back. A year later, the Lord Priscus

    o Aberdeen wrote back.

    So you see whats happened now, right? And thiswas especially amazing back then. I was halway

    around the globe, in this bizarre new territory, but Istill had connections back in the old country. I had

    inormation about what was happening in England

    inormation known only to important mortalsand the Lords who made them kings and othershere in the Colonies didnt have that. So I became

    valuable in the new colonial settlements becauseI could predict hostilities and travels and visitors

    rom overseas. I was protected, at least a little bit,because some important Lord with a city ull o

    minions could dispatch Ventrue blades, or activatesome colonial Crypteia, to avenge my destruction.

    Was this likely? Not as likely as we made it seem.But it was a degree o protection, at least.

    Tonight, the colonialism isnt much dierent. Isent my childe out west with the number to a cell

    phone I keep just or him. So he can call me andhave me send money or weapons or inormation

    I can coax out o other Lords with colonials in hiscity. He has an edge over the local Kindred who

    dont have these connections.

    But the night he arrived in that new city wasnt

    much easier. Strangers with protective, territorialBeasts smelled the stink o a oreign vampire, and

    what could he do about it? Wherever he goes, heruns the risk o trespassing without even knowing

    which landlord hes oending. He doesnt knowwhere this fe ends and that one begins. (Though,

    actually, I hear you can do that in St. Louis, wherethe Invictus have some ront company in the

    phone book, like First Estate Movers or some shit.Because a ew o the Society Kindred out there are

    in the business o shipping Kindred in and out othe city. But youd still have to know to call that

    number and say the right shit to get yoursel intouch with actual Society vampires.)

    The trouble with all this colonialism,though, is that every connection is like a cord,linking one Lord to another. Pull on that cord,and the Kindred on the other end o the con-nection gets pulled into view. Its dangerous.It can be abused.

    What i my childe changes his loyalties? Ater

    a ew years in the dominion o other Lords and

    other covenants, its probably more than likely. Hecould give my cell number to some evil nomads or

    some tech-savvy Shadows and have me tracked,destroyed and robbed to pay o his debts or make

    his Prince richer or something. Anyone who wantsto get at me could go through him. Every gate in

    the city wall is a spot where thieves and spies andassassins can infltrate.

    This is why colonial Kindred are still so rare. Thisis why even the ew that do go out to try and expand

    control or money are kept secret. Its in our bestinterest to keep our cities locked down and in our

    hands so that it isscary or other vampires to comehere. So that, when they do, they have to genuect

    and pay homage i they dont want to be just an-other neonate that just suddenly disappears.

    The scarier it is or others to come hereor go there, the more valuable the individualplayers and kings are in each city, and thegreater the return we get on our individual

    investments. The mayor I control is worth alot more i no mega-Prince with a bunch omayors in his control can come and tell meIm doing it wrong.

    And, on top o that, the scarier it is or othersto brave new cities, the more valuable our net-

    work is. Its not an edge i everyone has it. We wantto keep our connections as ouredge, so we have

    to protect their rarity to keep them valuable.

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    7/8

    WH

    Throughout the States we heard those same rumors obizarre, ritualizedVentrue gatherings in European domains.The details were much as you said:masked observers, nudesupplicants, virginal vessels on hand or the edglings frsteeding, baths o blood. Our frst thought was that, i true,

    the ritual wassome amalgam o ceremonies between the Suc-cubi and our kin. Our investigations overseas have turned upnothing more than similar rumors beingspread rom oneEuropean city to the next.Our man in Paris heard this was happening in Venice. Theghoul we sent to Venice heard this was something they did atthe court o Budapest. And so on.My avorite response to our questioning, though, came rom anancilla in Vienna. When asked i neonate Lords were Embracedbeore an audience o clanmates and courtly powers, he said,

    That would be like having sex in ront o the Prince! Not just theprudish American response, then. Even in Europe, the Embracecontinues to be a private aair or Lords and their childer.The stretch o time between the Embrace and a childers Debutbeore the clan(or the whole of the domain, depending) seemsto be considerably shorter in the States than in Europe. SeveralLords told us they were regarded as edglings under theirsires care or two years or more. By the time o their Debut, itwas a pleasantry they already knew most of the Kindred whowould attend such a thing.

    In the Americas, one year was thought of as a long time for a sireto be responsible for his childe (according to most of the Lordswe could ask). But throughout the Americas, the Debut was alsoregarded as a more literal ceremony wherein the childe was revealedto clan and court (or, in practice, whoever truly attended). Prior tothe Debut, childer were kept out of formal events outside the clan.In Mexico City, we were even told that it was bad luck or anew childe to bespoken to beore his or her Debut.For whatever reason, this seems to be a more mutable customfrom domain to domain.More than any other, we ound the

    Debut was regarded as an unusual tradition in the clan,particular to the local domains, though really it seems tobe happening rom Bogota to Moscow.I keep wondering, though: How is it that the rumors othe bloody, cultish spectacle o the ceremonial Embrace havespread so ar with such similarity rom domain to domain?

    VT

  • 8/3/2019 Ventrue File 1

    8/8