Covenants

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When the Russians came and brought with them the ideas of Marx and Lenin, the Kindred were understandably skeptical. It was philosophy for the sheep, they said, not fit for those who are predators of the night. When the world descended into war, the Kindred continued to play lords and ladies, wilfully ignorant as their mortal influences crumbled around them. 16th of April 1945 saw the Red Army march in on Berlin, and the city burned for fourteen days and fourteen nights. And on the heels of the machine gunfire came an even greater terror—the Strix—who unlike the Red Army, stayed and hunted the Kindred like prey, driving them to madness.

The Kindred who survived remembered the ensuing years as a fiery haze. The Masquerade was a non-issue as mortals died by the thousands from disease and starvation. Buildings were razed; civilians were massacred. And then, the Berlin Blockade. The Soviets cut off all travel routes to West Berlin from June of 1948 to September of 1949. For one year no news came out of the Kindred Court of Berlin. And when the Blockade was lifted, the Invictus was no more; in their place was the Carthian Party— authoritarian, social utilitarian, and toting their pamphlets of Hobbes' Leviathan in place of the Little Red Book. Hobbes states that the natural state of man was “bellum omnium contra omnes—a war of all against all”, and to avoid a perpetual state of war, man must lay down their right to all things to a man or to an assembly of man, called the Commonwealth, which is known as “the Leviathan”.

In the ensuing vacuum, the Carthians picked up the pieces, forming a stable government and securing blood and safe haven for those that came under their protection. Within the Carthian Movement, a selected elite formed the Central Committee. Behind them pulling the strings is an even more selected elite, called the Politburo. Those who oppose the Politburo are known to disappear into the night. We do not talk about the Politburo.

The Carthians do not all belong to The Party. Hippies, anarchists, collectivists, and all other sorts have splintered away from the main group. The Party considers these people harmless but misguided—prospective comrades to be one day brought back into the fold. The Party is founded on the philosophy that shapes the Carthian Movement—the four tenets; Tolerance within reason, Collective action, Individual rights, and Duty to be a complete being.

Covenant carthian movement.png

Carthian Members


Source books

  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles

All stats and abilities from the above books are approved for use unless stated otherwise.

Other references

  • Vampire: the Requiem (Fluff only.)
  • Carthians (Fluff, Bloodlines, and some Merits.)

Links

Germanicus Julius Caesar lead the legions westwards to conquer the tribes of Germania. They were called the Suebi, Semnones, Tencteri, and others, inhabiting the mountains and rivers, and worshipping goddesses in sacred groves. Historians Tacitus and Suetonius described their ferocious clashes with the Roman Legions. They described feast days, where the barbarians sacrificed to their bloody goddesses, slaughtering pigs, horses, heifers, and humans. The Germans derived their religion from Celtic and Norse influences; they were said to have worshipped Odin (Wotan), Thor (Donar), Frigg, Tyr (Teiws, Tiw, Zio, etc.), and the Triple Goddess (Matres and Matronae). When Christianity spread, the old gods fell to the wayside, their influences laying dormant. But the old gods do not need to be worshipped. They just are. They sleep in the swampy lakes and roam the Grunewald as wild boars. They dance on the Brocken and lend their worshippers power in the Hunt—and curse those who have wronged them.

"The terrible intensity of the malady was increased by the belief that he [Germanicus] had been poisoned by Piso. And certainly there were found hidden in the floor and in the walls disinterred remains of human bodies, incantations and spells, and the name of Germanicus inscribed on leaden tablets, half-burnt cinders smeared with blood, and other horrors by which in popular belief souls are devoted so the infernal deities.” — Tacitus

Despite his conquest of Germania, Germanicus fell out of favour in Rome, and was sent to Syria, where he mysteriously died. Back in Rome, his wife and six children perished due to a feud with the then Roman Emperor Tiberius, leaving his son Caligula as the sole survivor. Caligula was assassinated, and he was later succeeded by his uncle Claudius, who was succeeded by his grand-nephew and Germanicus' grandson Nero. Nero would fiddle while Rome burned, and thus ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

In the Holy Camarilla Empire, the Invictus and the Lancea et Sanctum dominated the Primogen court. But when the Empire fell, the Invictus Princes lost their faith. They turned to the Circle and the godless Ordo Dracul. They paid lip service to the Lancea Sanctum while populating their court with seers, oracles, and soothsayers.  And diablerists, as the rumour went. It was said that the Crones could not subsist on human blood due to their mastery of Cruac; they fed on the Kindred and became rampant Diablerists, protected by the Invictus court.

The Carthians maintained that blood magic invited the plague of the Strix. In their brave new world there is no place for bloody sacrifices to Odin and naked dances of creation under the moonlight. The Circle lost numerous members to the Carthian witch hunts, and the Carthians moved to ban Cruac sometime in the 1950’s. The laws have loosened somewhat over the years; provided that they do not practice blood sorcery, membership in the covenant is tolerated.

Covenant circle of the crone.png

Circle of the Crone Members


Source books

  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles

All stats and abilities from the above books are approved for use unless stated otherwise.

Other references

  • Vampire: the Requiem (Fluff only.)
  • Circle of the Crone (Fluff, Bloodlines, and some Merits.)

Links

Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans in the year 800; in a similar fashion the Kindred sought to unite the fractured kingdoms of Europe and restore the Roman Camarilla. This idea saw the most traction in Germany, where a group of Princes gathered and fashioned themselves Prince-Electors, who would meet to elect an Emperor from amongst themselves to serve as the head of empire. The Emperor would be ratified by the Cardinal of Rome; and thus it was called the Holy Camarilla Empire, to signify the union between the First and Second Estates.

The Empire devolved into wars and infighting, and broke up long before the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon in 1806. It was said that each warring faction met a horrific end by unknown assailants. It was a warning, they said, that whenever the Kindred try to unite their fiefdoms under one rule, there would be calamity. The Council met one final time to dissolve the Empire, and each Prince returned to their realm, isolated and to rule separately.

The Margraves of Brandenburg were once Prince-Electors of the Holy Camarilla Empire. They nursed a long-standing feud with the House of Habsburg, which had came about for reasons lost to the Fog. The Hohenzollerns encouraged the rise of the Evangelical Creed (Westminster Creed) to rival the Monachal Creed practiced by the Habsburgs. They stirred their various proxies to war, culminating in the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Year's War, and the Austro-Prussian War. Frederick von Hohenzollern, Prince of Brandenburg, perished in war to mercenaries hired by the Habsburgs. His heir, Leopold von Hohenzollern, rose from four centuries of torpor to claim the throne. He had an axe to grind with the Habsburgs (who, with a minor branch of their family, House Geheim, extended their reach to the Secret Estate). He worked to undermine them in every aspect, and to this day, the Habsburgs believed that their enemies schemed to cause the dissolution of their empire, Austria-Hungary.

Allegations of conspiracy aside, members of the Geheim bloodline did meet mysterious or violent ends in Berlin. Not without good reason, as some might say, for the von Geheims did plenty to deserve their diabolical reputation. Courtly intrigue was the order of the day as the Invictus bickered among themselves along the lines of guild or faction. Leopold von Hohenzollern grew increasingly mad with age. He became brutal, arbitrary, and erratic; he believed that his Praxis was besieged by invisible enemies, and towards the end of his reign, walled himself and the torpid bodies of his family in a crypt underneath the Berlin Cathedral, in the Museum Island in Mitte. According to Carthian accounts, he diablerized them all and was found on his own, covered in Vitae and bits of his family members.

The Carthians dragged Leopold out of the crypt and staked him, leaving him to the tender mercies of the sun. The Party claimed Praxis, and a few years later, all of the Royalists were wiped out. After the Blockade, the Carthians declared that membership in the Invictus covenant is illegal. West Berlin was officially declared “Invictus-Free” in 1954.

Covenant invictus.png

Invictus Members

 

Source books

  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles

All stats and abilities from the above books are approved for use unless stated otherwise.

Other references

  • Vampire: the Requiem (Fluff only.)
  • Invictus (Fluff, Bloodlines, and some Merits.)

Links

In Europe, there was a time when men of the cloth held enough power to rival the most eminent of princes. Bishops fielded armies, collected levies, crowned kings; they padded their pockets by selling indulgences, and did not see their holy duties as hindrances to wielding temporal power. In a similar vein, the Lancea et Sanctum ruled over swathes of territories in the cities of Latin Europe and southern Germany. The regions of Bavaria and Rhineland were staunchly Catholic; upon the Embrace many of the Kindred gravitated towards the Lancea et Sanctum. The widespread corruption of the Catholic Church made it very easy for them to predate on the kine.

The Sanctified formed an alliance with the First Estate, consolidating their territories into the Holy Camarilla Empire. It came as no surprise to anyone that the alliance would not last. The Invictus Princes in the regions of Saxony, Hamburg, and Brandenburg saw the Protestant Reformation as a chance to curb the influence of the Sanctified. They took the reformers on as vassals, and played the Protestant Evangelical Creed against the hardliners of the Monachal Creed. The influence of the Monachals were further eroded when Bismarck launched his Kulturkampf—Culture War—against the Vatican. Clerics were jailed and preaching was restricted; Catholics were purged from government office and positions of prominence. The campaign brought down many of the mortal assets of the Sanctified. And of course, the Invictus took the opportunity to promote their own vassals, moving them like pawns on a chessboard and allowing the Protestants to come into majority in Prussia.

In Berlin, this strategy proved to be a mistake when the Invictus and the greatly weakened Sanctified were unable to combat rising threats both within and without. The Crones were allowed to run amok, and the Strix plagued the city. Finally, Berlin fell to the Carthian Movement. While engaged in their worldly squabbles, the Lancea Sanctum had lost sight of what was important. Berlin had become a Godless city, desperately calling out for the guiding hand of the faithful. The kine revel in their decadence, becoming deviants and drug addicts. They are lost to the back alleys and neon lights. The Sanctified will be there, waiting, as monsters and the embodiment of sin, to remind them of the eternal glory of God.

Lancea sanctum.png

Lancea Sanctum Members


Source books

  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles

All stats and abilities from the above books are approved for use unless stated otherwise.

Other references

  • Vampire: the Requiem (Fluff only.)
  • Lancea Sanctum (Fluff, Bloodlines, and some Merits.)

Links

Conspiracies, cults, and secret societies—that was how the Order fought their influence wars with the First and Second Estates. The Order was a latecomer to the scene, rising to prominence during the years of the Enlightenment. Scientific enquiry was all well and good, but in order to stem the influence of Sanctified dogma on occult research, something must be done. In the cloisters of an obscure, ancient Bavarian university, three Dragons gathered to form an organisation called the Illuminati. You may have heard of them. Their purpose was to usher in a world ran by rationalists and scientists, and where religious dogma has no place in public life. They were, of course, declared heretics.

The three Elders of the Bavarian chapter succumbed to torpor before seeing the fruits of their labour. Their secret organisation took off like a runaway horse, spreading into a global conspiracy that is firmly entrenched within mortal institutions. Other Dragons have tried to duplicate their success. Rosicrucian pamphlets in the early 17th century mention “Invisible Colleges”, which were mysterious groups that operated in academic circles, researching natural philosophy and alchemy. Following all this, the Palatine Rite was established in the Rhineland. Rumoured to have stolen the secrets of Cruac and hoarding potent relics (like the Holy Grail, Hector's Sword, and the Spear of Destiny), Palatine Academics are often linked with the Thule Society, the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Luminous Lodge of the Vril Society and other secret orders associated with the Nazis and their occult ambitions.

The Ordo Dracul thrived in Berlin. Built by its philosophers and engineers, Berlin had attracted the best and brightest in Europe, if not the world. An innovative research environment was provided by the Humboldt University, founded by the Prussian educational reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt and his brother Alexander von Humboldt. For centuries the Ordo toiled behind the university walls, advancing the Great Work. World War II caused a lot of the Dragons to flee the city, but now they're back, in greater and ever increasing numbers. The Dragons survived the Purge relatively intact, and many believe them to be the only thing standing in between the Praxis and the horrors beyond the Wall. What deals did they make with the Carthians to keep their position?

Due to past indiscretions (starting WWII and all that), the Dragons are banned from involvement in secret societies. Declaring oneself as a member of the Palatine Rite is considered unfashionable and to an extent, dangerous. Despite this, the Dragons are of the opinion that if a secret society is truly secret, the Carthians wouldn't know about them.

Covenant Ordo Dracul.png


Ordo Dracul Members


Source books

  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Blood and Smoke: the Strix Chronicles

All stats and abilities from the above books are approved for use unless stated otherwise.

Other references

  • Vampire: the Requiem (Fluff only.)
  • Ordo Dracul (Fluff, Bloodlines, and some Merits.)

Links