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Hardestadt: The Single Dragonsbreath Round Theory

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  • #46
    If I recall correctly, you'll hear about these events from another perspective in the upcoming Camarilla book. Nothing concrete though, naturally.

    "Back and to the left."
    - Rashomon


    Matthew Dawkins
    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

    ~Hapax Legomenon~

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Wissenschaft View Post
      Holy bleep. We are missing something big here people. The beckoning. What if, just like the Tremere, the venture have had their "leadership" mysteriously vanish. No directorship at all..........maybe some arrangements before these methuselah parted but thats it. Who is in control of clan venture? Is anyone? How does the clan respond now that they are no longer chess pieces for their ancients?

      Unlike the open secret of the Pyramid (that clan tremere is very obviously ruled by its elders), the directorship isn't common knowledge. If this is the case then who was involved in killing Hardesdat, if hes really dead?

      (Yes, I know the Directorate was never as controlling the the Tremere counsel of seven, but still, their absence on mass would be very significant for the clan.)
      Unlike the Second Inquisition strike on Vienna, which *cough* *cough* *cough* destroyed the entire Council of Seven (yes, dear), the Beckoning is a gradual phenomenon, and not universal. Its effects on the Directorate would likely be erosion rather than decapitation.

      The weakening of the Directorate might have driven the desire for a more exclusive Camarilla, though. Notionally sharing power with the Low Clans is all very well if the Ventrue are numerous and influential enough to keep the real levers of power in their own hands. If they aren't, then the fewer dissenting voices you have around, the better.

      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post

      1)You must remember that Ventrue clan has different rules when it comes to personal power: a Ventrue authority and power comes from his Dignitas, not from his age, and Dignitas is not bestowed by how many nightd you survived, but by results (and how you achieved those results); you can be as old as fuck, but if you didn't achieved anything in life you dignitas will be nothing. On the other hands Hardesdat was the most powerful Vampiric Prince of continental Europe and one of the founders of the most powerful vampiric organization since the Eternal Senate, and he was the epitome of what a Ventrue should always be.

      2)This is not the first time such an occurence happen in the Clan history.
      In the ancient Rome Titus Venturus Camillus was but an elder, but he was the primus inter pares in an Eternal Senate where stood 4th gen Methuselah far older than him like Antonius,Alexander, Mithras himself and so on.

      Even if he was but an Elder when he ascended to the top of Vampiric power, Camilla changed the Clan; it doesn't matter that Mithras was almost a 4th gen Metuselah when Camilla was just a mere neonate: it's Camilla that has shaped the Ventrue in what they are today, and even Mithras and Eric Eigermann were shaped by him.

      3)The number of people that knows that Hardesdat is a 6th gen Ventrue elder and not his sire, a 5th gen Ventrue Methuselah, can be numbered on a single hand.


      4) 4th Gen Ventrue had to treat Hardesdat as a peer, because Hardesdat was one of the most powerful vampire monarch of Europe, the Fief of the Black Cross (which encompass the whole Holy Roman Empire) was his own domain. When Alexander, 4th gen Ventrue prince of Paris, was exiled he went to plead Hardesdat help. And even for Mithras Hardesdat was a peer, even if an adversarial one.

      Remember that even in all his power Mithras was not omnipotent, he had to concede a lot to Britain elders.

      Mithras power was not different from Hardesdat in that regard, or from that of Alexander (who was exiled from Paris by a plot of local elders): their power originated from the support of the local elders, and Hardesdat had the support of most elders of the Holy Roman Empire. Challenging Hardesdat would have meant fighing every Ventrue elder of Germany, and showing the flank to the Tremeres.

      While the "physical" power gap between an elder and a Methuselah might be big*, the gap in terms of political power and autorithy is not always that wide. **

      5) Hardesdat had friends in high places. As one of the Founders of the Camarilla he knew Etrius and Merlinda, he was a companion of De Corazon, who is the most influential Toreador in the world (maybe on par with Villon), and he surely knew the other members of the Inner Circle.
      You make an impressive and persuasive case.

      It's a sword with two edges, though. If the clan and the Directorate are moving in the direction of greater exclusivity, then Hardestadt's prestige makes him even more of a roadblock to the change, and might make his elimination the only viable option for anyone pushing the one-percenter strategy. The difference is that they'd have to do it clandestinely, not openly.

      If Hardestadt knows this, then again, he might be reluctant to entrust his future position to the Directorate's goodwill.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Illithid View Post
        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.

        I seem to recall -- although this story may be apocryphal -- that in Justin's tenure on Vampire, Kindred were never described as "friends." Vampires have compatriots, allies, co-conspirators. Never friends.


        Ian A. A. Watson
        Onyx Path Community Manager

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        • #49
          Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
          "Back and to the left."
          - Rashomon
          I took "back and to the left" to refer to the direction John F. Kennedy's head moved in his assassination, as seen in the Zapruder tape. Such a movement is considered inconsistent with a shot from the book depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald was. It is claimed (more often, implied ominously) by conspiracy theorists that this proves there were at least two shooters.

          The problem with the "Back and to the Left" theory is that between frame 312 and 313 of the film, Kennedy's head does indeed snap forward and then back again, giving the illusion of reversed movement. The head is moving at nearly the speed of a bullet, until it snaps back. Thus it is quite difficult to see on a home movie camera of the era.

          For my family, this is a well-worn discussion as one of my uncles was obsessed with the Kennedy assassination. He has since moved on to jet contrails, black helicopters, and the deep state.

          Luckily, I didn't develop any narrowly focused obsessions in which I pick apart the minutiae of some highly obscure topic.

          <pauses for three beats before dawning realization>

          Oh, my.

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          • #50
            By the way if we want to go with the "Hardesdat knew and faked his death" we could also call into the plot the Doppleganger division of the Archons.

            "DOPPELGANGERS
            Another informal designation, "doppelganger"
            refers to a very deep-cover agent . They are all
            masters of disguise, impersonation and intelligence
            gathering, both of the mundane variety and through
            mastery of Disciplines such as Auspex, Dominate,
            Obfuscate and - in the case of one specific archon,
            if hearsay is to be believed - Vicissitude .
            Most doppelgangers have willingly gone through
            intense indoctrination and mental conditioning
            to avoid giving themselves away under questioning,
            torture and even Dominate, and nearly all are
            blood bound to their justicar to further strengthen
            their ties of loyalty .
            Although doppelgangers are sometimes used to
            gather intelligence on the Sabbat or other non-
            Camarilla factions and clans like the Followers of
            Set, the justicars and the Inner Circle normally
            prefer to risk less valuable agents than archons in
            such endeavors . By far the most common operation
            undertaken by a doppelganger is internal security,
            gathering information on the activities of Camarilla
            Kindred. This most frequently focuses on princes
            and other elders in positions of authority, though
            doppelganger presence among anarchs is not unknown.
            The favored technique of a doppelganger is
            to observe a particular individual who is already a
            close ally (or believed to be a close ally) of the
            Kindred under suspicion . This individual is studied
            and researched until the archon believes she can
            pass herself off as that individual, convincingly and
            under moderately close scrutiny. At this point, the
            subject is "removed from play" (a euphemism that
            usually means staked and stuffed into cold storage
            until the exchange act is complete, though some
            who were deemed guilty of sufficient wrongdoing
            against the Camarilla are simply executed), and the
            doppelganger takes her place . In this fashion, the
            archon can quickly get close to the true target of the
            investigation and uncover details that could not be
            learned through other means . Some of the most
            successful doppelgangers have spent years in an
            undercover identity without being exposed .

            Even the most well-trained and alert observer
            cannot learn every detail about a subject, of course
            - if they could, there would be no need for
            doppelgangers at all, for they could learn all they
            needed simply by studying their primary target .
            Charades of this nature unravel as often as not,
            even when attempted by the best of the best . For
            obvious reasons, many other Kindred who have
            heard of them loathe doppelgangers with a violent
            passion. A doppelganger whose true identity is
            exposed had better have one hell of a tight escape
            plan set up, since the odds are overwhelming she'll
            be dead before the night is out ."



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            • #51
              Now do keep in mind that Mithras is no longer what he once was, he is 6th generation Banu Haqim at this point at least physically speaking. So while he is still extremely powerful, he isn't the nigh omnipotent god that he once was. However that does not stop him from being able to manipulate events of course, maybe he has been influencing the Banu Haqim to join the more elitist Camarilla so he can have them as martials and enforcers. Martials and enforcers who do not have the personality problems of the Brujah and Gangrel.

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              • #52
                BJD implied that Mithras powers where coming back in full, and in Children of the night is said that his generation is going up and down, it is not stable.
                Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-18-2018, 07:48 PM.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                  BJD implied that Mithras powers where coming back in full,
                  Unless he diablerizes another 4th gen, this won't happen. Due to Monty not being strong enough to consume the soul completely, he's up (down?) to 6th gen now. His knowledge from the past millennia remains, however, as the souls have been implied to have merged together to be greater than the parts.

                  and in Children of the night is said that his generation is going up and down, it is not stable.
                  His power levels have been fluctuating due to long bouts of torpor. This is implied to happen to numerous long sleeping Methuselahs like Tiamat. But their strength returns after a period of time. Keep in mind, he was asleep for 50 years and managed to take out packs of werewolves still.

                  His generation is fixed unless something dramatic happens, like a ritual or diablerie of a lower generation.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Kael03 View Post

                    Unless he diablerizes another 4th gen, this won't happen. Due to Monty not being strong enough to consume the soul completely, he's up (down?) to 6th gen now. His knowledge from the past millennia remains, however, as the souls have been implied to have merged together to be greater than the parts.
                    There were a few suggestions, in Beckett's Diary probably, that his generation may lower itself over time to 4th again. Going forward, the writers obviously don't mean for Generation to be as set in stone as it used to be, with 16th Generation vampires appearing, higher generation vampires able to Dominate lower ones rather than it just failing automatically and, in the most drastic example, the possibility that Beckett found the ashes of Enoch and he was no more potent than a thin blood, suggesting the oldest generations may be losing potency. Hell, even the Curses of Caine are abating, with Ventrue able to ignore theirs if they spend willpower.

                    I'm not saying that I like this. Hell, I certainly don't, I prefer for the Antediluvians to remain the nary indestructible blood gods of legend. But this is the direction they seem to be going.


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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by HardestadtTheEvenYounger View Post
                      I'm not saying that I like this. Hell, I certainly don't, I prefer for the Antediluvians to remain the nary indestructible blood gods of legend. But this is the direction they seem to be going.
                      We'll have to agree to differ on that one. The Antediluvians are supposed to be powerful vampires, not the Great Cthulhu with fangs. Ravnos surviving a nuclear attack was a bit of a nadir for me.

                      Having them all-powerful also begs the question of why they need armies - assuming of course that the Beckoning is some sort of recruitment drive and not the clan Founders ordering take-out

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by HardestadtTheEvenYounger View Post
                        There were a few suggestions, in Beckett's Diary probably, that his generation may lower itself over time to 4th again. Going forward, the writers obviously don't mean for Generation to be as set in stone as it used to be, with 16th Generation vampires appearing, higher generation vampires able to Dominate lower ones rather than it just failing automatically and, in the most drastic example, the possibility that Beckett found the ashes of Enoch and he was no more potent than a thin blood, suggesting the oldest generations may be losing potency.
                        I was under the impression that Enoch, or whoever was in that sarcophagus, was up and active. And, again, their strength could be limited by being in torpor for over 4,000 years.

                        Hell, even the Curses of Caine are abating, with Ventrue able to ignore theirs if they spend willpower.
                        The Ventrue believe they weren't actually cursed, as their founder may have not participated in the uprising. They believe their feeding restrictions are more a sign of their status as vampire kings. Unless we see a Nosferatu become attractive again, or a Malkavian become sane, I wouldn't hold to that thought.

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                        • #57
                          The venture, like a lot of clans, are self-diluted fools who like to think their Clan Banes are strengths rather than weaknesses. Its just a lie they repeat to themselves. The Venture are curse like any other clan.

                          Edit: I chuckle at the user name HardestadtTheEvenYounger. Well played.
                          Last edited by Wissenschaft; 08-19-2018, 05:22 PM.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by JezMiller View Post

                            We'll have to agree to differ on that one. The Antediluvians are supposed to be powerful vampires, not the Great Cthulhu with fangs. Ravnos surviving a nuclear attack was a bit of a nadir for me.

                            Having them all-powerful also begs the question of why they need armies - assuming of course that the Beckoning is some sort of recruitment drive and not the clan Founders ordering take-out
                            Fair enough. But personally, I like them when they are inextricably Lovecraftian, they are the Great Old Ones, just look at Tzimisce and how Eldritch it has become, or Malkav who no longer exists but in the Madness Network or Saulot duking it out with Yama Kings.
                            Ravnos didn't survive just one nuke, it survived three. And its death resonated across all of the WOD, its repercussions shattering a prison built by God Himself to contain over 30 million Fallen Angels. That's the kind of crew the Antediluvians should be running with.

                            Why they need armies? Because they compete against each other. Because they exist in an universe filled with creatures like Belial or the Wyrm.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Kael03 View Post

                              I was under the impression that Enoch, or whoever was in that sarcophagus, was up and active. And, again, their strength could be limited by being in torpor for over 4,000 years.
                              In one scenario, it's Enoch who's in there, he gets up and has a nice chat with Beckett.
                              In another it's still Enoch but he's gone insane and begins destroying the world.
                              In another it's Set and he takes over North Africa.
                              In another, it's just the ashes of a thin blood prompting the theory that maybe the old generations are losing potency.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by JezMiller View Post

                                We'll have to agree to differ on that one. The Antediluvians are supposed to be powerful vampires, not the Great Cthulhu with fangs. Ravnos surviving a nuclear attack was a bit of a nadir for me.

                                Having them all-powerful also begs the question of why they need armies - assuming of course that the Beckoning is some sort of recruitment drive and not the clan Founders ordering take-out


                                Antedeluvians needing army is something of this edition.

                                In second edition and Revised Antes didn't needed army, no more than Chtuluh needs his followers.

                                I too dislike this change: the Chtonic horror given by the Antes was one of the things that made me love vampire.

                                Every setting has its own kind of chtonich doomsday harbingers: the Aswadim in Mage, the Maeljin in Werewolf, Apophis in Mummy, the Onceborn in Wraith, the Yama Kings in KOTE and so on.
                                Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-19-2018, 06:13 PM.

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