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Hardestadt: The Single Dragonsbreath Round Theory

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  • Hardestadt: The Single Dragonsbreath Round Theory

    I have just been listening the the Gentleman's latest video, for which applause, by the way.

    He mentioned a rumor that the Nosferatu passed a warning of Theo Bell's assassination plot to the Justicars, who conveniently forgot to warn Hardestadt. Might not be true, I know. But if it is, I wonder why?

    Here's a theory. There were two ways the Camarilla could have gone after the advent of the Second Inquisition. They could have become outwardly more inclusive and posed as the defenders of all Kindred against an existential threat, using the crisis as a pretext for increasing their own control "for the common good", and leaving a minority of hard-core Anarchs to look on from the sidelines and mutter about democracy dying to thunderous applause. It would have been a viable strategy. Think World War Two, the Falklands invasion, 9/11 and the Patriot Act, the *cough* Clone Wars. A common enemy is a great unifier, especially it it presents an existential threat, or seems to. And many Kindred would have been willing to trade liberty for security in the circumstances.

    Or, option two, which was the one they chose...



    No prizes for guessing which side of that argument Hardestadt would have been on. "Everyone is a member of the Camarilla whether they know it or not" was one of his quotes. It's unlikely that he would have stood by and allowed the Camarilla to take its present direction, come hell or high water.

    So is the real story a now-dominant Camarilla faction - call them the One Percenters - eliminating an otherwise immovable obstacle to their plans, using Bell as their instrument (knowing or otherwise)? Disgust at that sort of treachery is the kind of thing that might have pushed Bell over the edge.

    And if so... what happened to the Camarilla elders who shared Hardestadt's original vision?

    Food for thought if your taste runs to political conspiracy games
    Last edited by JezMiller; 08-16-2018, 03:25 PM.

  • #2
    What is vampire without conspiracy theories? lol

    It raises the question of how many enemies did Hardestadt have among the high ranking elders of the Camarilla? How many enemies within his own clan? I can imagine a whole lot of Venture, Toreador, and Tremere would be happy to make the Ivory Tower a more exclusive group.

    By the way, who are the members of the inner circle with so many elders gone?
    Last edited by Wissenschaft; 08-17-2018, 01:35 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wissenschaft View Post
      It raises the question of how many enemies did Hardestadt have among the high ranking elders of the Camarilla? How many enemies within his own clan? I can imagine a whole lot of Venture, Toreador, and Tremere would be happy to make the Ivory Tower a more exclusive group.
      A lot, I would have thought. I wouldn't put it past Mithras to have had a hand in removing him, for a start. A more elitist, exclusive Camarilla would be a lot easier for him to stir up sentiment against, and break from, than one which at least appeared to be more inclusive.

      The One Percenters may also have calculated that removing Hardestadt would be a rallying call to the anarchs and help split the movement from the Camarilla elite, which is what they were aiming for, so killing him would serve two purposes. That was, after all, what happened the first time he was assassinated.

      Originally posted by Wissenschaft View Post
      By the way, who are the members of the inner circle with so many elders gone?
      Good question! I never thought the Founders were the real powers anyway. I can hardly imagine Etrius or Meerlinda taking orders from Mistress Fanchon, for a start. But it's interesting to speculate who's now calling the shots. Is Villon still Prince of Paris?

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      • #4
        Enemies? It doesn't need to be an enemy. It could have been a die hard "friend" who just wanted this to happen and calculated it was the best way for it to be achieved.

        Vampires are lone Predators that will always do what is in their own best interests.

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        • #5
          My theory: the beckoning is coming not from the Antediluvians, but from the Methuselah’s. That‘s why I think no Tremere will be called. The Camarilla at its upper echelons is run by Methuselahs. Thus, people like Corazon aren‘t called.

          Villon was mentioned somewhere as hiding in Paris, I think.

          Counter argument to my theory: Helena has been beckoned. And she has no one between her and Arikel as far as I know.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Murder-of-Crows View Post
            My theory: the beckoning is coming not from the Antediluvians, but from the Methuselah’s. That‘s why I think no Tremere will be called. The Camarilla at its upper echelons is run by Methuselahs. Thus, people like Corazon aren‘t called.

            Villon was mentioned somewhere as hiding in Paris, I think.

            Counter argument to my theory: Helena has been beckoned. And she has no one between her and Arikel as far as I know.
            Not right now. But she did, her sire, Minos, who she diablerized.

            Presence isn't limited by generation. A childe or sibling of Minos might have Beckoned her, maybe?

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            • #7
              Yeah she could have been beckoned by a host of Toreador Methuselas, there are a bunch of them.





              English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

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              • #8
                This is an excellent thread.


                Matthew Dawkins
                In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

                ~Hapax Legomenon~

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                • #9
                  Another idea is that Hardesdat faked his death 'cause he had to go in torpor. Which could be related with the "Mithras knew of london and let it happen, and probably survived".


                  He has been the public face of the Inner Circle for years, too many, which also means that he has been the main target for assassination for a long time. If I was a powerful Ventrue Elder, and I'd like to pass the scepter without losing the plot armor that my station granted me I'd fake my death.

                  Besides BJD seemed to imply something like that.

                  Beckett: You mentioned earlier Mithras might have taken a spot on
                  the Inner Circle.

                  Basingstoke: I mentioned there were rumors. Piffle. I don’t see
                  Hardestadt stepping aside.

                  Beckett: [Pause] Sometimes it’s not about stepping aside. Sometimes
                  old people just need some time off.

                  Basingstoke: [Longer pause] That is news, if true. A resurgent
                  Mithras might well be the obvious choice to take the place of
                  Hardestadt. And it would explain why Pieterzoon has been so randy
                  lately.

                  My idea is this: Hardesdat needed some time off and so the Ventrue Ehporate decided Mithras had to take his place. Mithras accepted to let London burn and "go down", in return he becomes the secret Ventrue top dog in the Camarilla. Hardesdat use dominate 6 on Bell, get shot, get off the radar ;same goes for Mithras at London , so Hardestadt can sleep in peace and Mithras is elevated to the highest throne in the Vampire world.

                  And in someway I think this must have been more ore less the same scenario that happened to Vienna.


                  The other scenario is "Pieterzoon did it".

                  He is playing the Hardesdat the younger v.2.0 scenario. He pushed Bell and faked his own death to ascend in his master place in the Inner Circle after getting the Ephorate on his side,after this he shapes the Camarilla in something more secretive, and in a sect that aknowledge Antes existence. He invite the Lasombra inside the flock (since they killed an Ante, they must know more) and slowly start to transform the Camarilla into something new just as Hardesdat did once.


                  Even a combination of the two previous scenarios is not unlikely: Pieterzoon offers Mithras the throne in the Inner Circle, and in return he get a Camarilla capable of facing Gehenna.
                  Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-17-2018, 11:53 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                    And in someway I think this must have been more ore less the same scenario that happened to Vienna.
                    What do we know from BJD? Tremere entered the body of Goratrix, wiped out the antitribu, and put Goratrix in a mirror. The "thing" back in Vienna is either Saulot or Tremere's Beast or both. Tremere leaks enough information to the SI for them to lead an effective assault on the main chantry. Schreckt salvages what's left of House Tremere, finally free from both Saulot and Tremere. House Carna can use the confusion to get itself founded, and Tremere in Goratrix body founds House Goratrix.

                    Since the antitribu have been destroyed, the question is: to who owes House Goratrix allegiance?

                    On an unrelated note: Pieterzoon was my favorite Ventrue. I really do hope he survived somehow doing something clever. (Yes, I know from the Clan novels that his feeding flaw is problematic at best).

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                    • #11
                      Awesome theories here, thanks people!

                      Some questions:

                      Did Villlon or Paris get mentioned in V5?

                      How is the Camarilla enforcing the no-technology for communications rule?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                        My idea is this: Hardesdat needed some time off and so the Ventrue Ehporate decided Mithras had to take his place. Mithras accepted to let London burn and "go down", in return he becomes the secret Ventrue top dog in the Camarilla. Hardesdat use dominate 6 on Bell, get shot, get off the radar ;same goes for Mithras at London , so Hardestadt can sleep in peace and Mithras is elevated to the highest throne in the Vampire world.
                        .
                        The main difficulty I can see with that theory is that Hardestadt would almost certainly fight the plan tooth and nail. Sooner or later, he would expect to rise from torpor. And he knows how Mithras would react to a cheery, "Hi, I'm back, thanks for keeping my seat... er... cold. I'll take over now", from someone he considers an "impudent childe".

                        Hardestadt wouldn't have been surrendering his seat on the Inner Circle for the duration of his torpor. He would have been surrendering it until Mithras needed to drop into torpor himself. On past form, that might be a very long time. I make it eight hundred and thirty-six years between Mithras rising from torpor in the Dark Ages setting and being forced back into it by German incendiaries in 1941.

                        I can imagine a similar scenario, though. Hardestadt is feeling the pull of torpor. Meanwhile, a lot of Ventrue elders have read Beckett's diary and figured out that Mithras is back. (You don't become an elder without being able to read the signs, particularly when they say Caution: Concealed Methuselah). A significant faction of the clan, reasoning that a brilliant general and master tactician are exactly what they need to cope with the Second Inquisition, flock to Mithras' banner.

                        Hardestadt's political authority is draining away as a result of this double whammy. He realizes that, if he's in torpor and vulnerable when Mithras takes over, he's not going to wake up. Therefore he fakes his own death to forestall the possibility. He might even have taken advantage of a genuine, existing, Anarch assassination plot to do that.

                        ​He might also have setup a cadre of loyalists within the Camarilla to lay the groundwork for a counter-coup when he returns...

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                        • #13
                          Two questions were raised by the Gentleman's Gamer video.
                          Were elements within the Camarilla aware of Bell's plans to assassinate Hardestadt who neglected to inform him of this? And did Theo Bell really kill an Elder Ventrue, presumably with copious amounts of Fortitude, with just one or two rounds of Dragonsbreath or, like the video says, were there more knifes on Caesar's back?

                          At a first glance, the questions seem unrelated. After all, the possibility of the Justicars turning a blind eye to Bell doesn't diminish Hardestadt's Fortitude and it's possible that more rounds were fired from other Brujah rebels which helped fell the Ventrue. However, what if they are related?
                          It is worth nothing how convenient it is for Jan Pieterzoon to be on hand to protect his sire with his unlife. Especially consider how, in Beckett's Diary, Jan was aware of how Hardestadt had been using Dominate to control him for years and that he had been planning to use the Eastern Cost of the US as a base from which to resist his sire.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by valismedsen View Post
                            Awesome theories here, thanks people!

                            Some questions:

                            Did Villlon or Paris get mentioned in V5?

                            How is the Camarilla enforcing the no-technology for communications rule?
                            Just the one reference to Villon: France’s Calcédoine program within DGSE has driven Villon into hiding and slowly clears Marseilles.

                            Paris is mentioned in the Memoriam section, but the only contemporary reference is that it's "dominated by the Camarilla"

                            As for the technological communications rule, that's a tricky one, since without using technological communications, how do you know that someone's broken it? Social pressure would cut down on the obvious manifestations and Auspex could be used to interrogate anyone suspected of breaking the rule, but it would be hit-and-miss, I imagine. Newly Embraced millennials would probably have some difficulty adjusting to the notion that their smartphones are not, in fact, an integral part of their anatomy.

                            The few remaining Gangrel in the Camarilla have probably carved out a nice little niche as specialist couriers. The Revised Clanbook talked about them working in that area, but without electronic communications, the value of their services must have gone way up.

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                            • #15
                              Mind you, as I understood it, vampires can still use social media. What they need to do is never use terms that can get easily flagged regardless of how private they think the conversation is.

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