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  • The Koenig family

    I'm assuming there's no canon material on the Koenigs (the minor Giovanni family) except a basic description that says they are German arms manufacturers and death-cultists?
    In that case I'll have to flesh them out completely myself. I recently started a WW2 era chronicle centered on Berlin and I think I can use them.
    Anyone have any ideas on what they could be like? Cause what exactly is a death-cultist? We can certainly assume they are pro-Nazi at this time. The party was popular with upper-class ethnic Germans. Being pro-death and arms dealers only makes them more likely to love the Nazis.

  • #2
    I feel like the Giovanni-Families are always capitalists first and death-cultists second. That doesn't mean they don't care as much about necromancy, but establishing power is their priority, because it needs save havens to practice the art. They would most certainly be an ally of the Nazis, probably even conducting experiments in their name, using political and ethnical prisoners for research. If you look at the perverse experiments the Nazis conducted, they would most likely be involved.

    Probably the Family had some men rather close to Hitler or other elites, to conduct the necessary influence. Now, I don't know how much the Nazis knew about vampires but since the Camarilla was also involved with them (like it is explained in the terrible Berlin by Night and surely many better sources), the Königs would probably still be rather careful about revealing themselfes.

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    • #3
      Although I'll use some material from Berlin by Night, the notion of direct Kindred influence on the Nazi regime is out of the question. It has to remain a human evil. Vampires simply using mortal developments for their own ends will be quite common in my chronicle though.

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      • #4
        My personal head-canon has been that they were a group of late Roman/early Dark Ages Germanic Wotan-worshiping murder cultists embraced into the Cappadocians who sided with Augustus Giovanni during his coup. (This has the effect of elevating them to major family status, which contradicts what is in the two clan-books, so it's not for everybody.) They propagate violence and death for its own sake and for the power of the souls/ghosts of their victims it brings them. To this end, they were tangentially involved with Teutonic crusades into the Baltic regions, various regional wars (especially the 30 Years War) and German militarism. Sometimes this is as advisors or financiers, other times as armorers and industrialists. Schwarzstahl is the name of the family company I use, who used to be arms manufacturers in the 19th century before branching into chemicals during the lead up to WW2 and adding vehicles by the 30s. Students of business history still can't figure out how they survived the war crimes trials. Today they still make guns, industrial chemicals, automotive parts, light military vehicles, and high end medical equipment.

        Koenig means King in German, which would seem to imply some ties to various German/Holy Roman Empire/Prussian aristocracy. Given the state of pre-unification German states, both before and after the Napoleonic wars, it's entirely possible that the family ran their own small kingdom or principality for a period of time. If so, I like to think that they tried to marry in to both Prussian and Austrian nobility during the 18th and 19th centuries.

        As far as their necromancy style goes, I suspect that it draws really heavily on pre-Christian Germanic rights and rituals, including rune work, summoning the dead (especially the ghosts of dead seers) to divine the future and give other information, creating and controlling barrow-wright type zombies (I want to say that Wiederganger is the German term for walking dead, but I'm not 100% on that), and death curses. There may also be a more "modernist" movement among those from the past 200 years that takes a much more "scientific" and industrialized approach, with vivisection, weird human experiments, and parapsychology. They undoubtably draw on the darkest and grimmest aspects of both methodologies, such as hangings as human sacrifices to Wotan and whatever else you can dig up.

        With the German National Socialists, there's a lot of room for stuff that is pretty barking mad. I've seen photos of one of Hitler's official "Christmas" parties which featured Wotan as Santa Claus among other surreal strangeness. Ken Hite's GURPS Weird War Two (for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS WW2 line) and Nazi Occult (for Osprey Press) are both good and offer a lot of potential ideas for the crazier side of the period. The Koenig, being a part of the corrupt, sleazy and morbid mess that is Clan Giovanni, fit perfectly well with just about any creepy National Socialist idea you've ever seen or heard of.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Malkavian87 View Post
          Although I'll use some material from Berlin by Night, the notion of direct Kindred influence on the Nazi regime is out of the question. It has to remain a human evil. Vampires simply using mortal developments for their own ends will be quite common in my chronicle though.
          You may get some mileage out of Wraith's Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah sourcebook.

          I also recommend the films Cabaret (1972) and Swing Kids (1993).


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Malkavian87 View Post
            Although I'll use some material from Berlin by Night, the notion of direct Kindred influence on the Nazi regime is out of the question. It has to remain a human evil. Vampires simply using mortal developments for their own ends will be quite common in my chronicle though.

            I'm not saying the Vampires made the Nazis do this. All I'm saying was that Vampires like a Giovanni sub-family would probably try to use this for their own ends.
            It all depends on how strong you want the influence of one side on the other side to be.

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            • #7
              To my mind, death cultists mean they are in an Oblivion cult and are likely in contact with a Nephwrack. If that is too much to you, it might simply be a pejorative name for some kind of ancestor worship, again related to Wraiths or Spectres. That would make the family an obvious target for the Giovanni.

              The first edition Clanbook lists the Koenig (along with several other families) merely as breeder families to propagate the Giovanni mortal bloodline with very few of them actually embraced. That would indicate the Koenig were only recently brought into the fold.

              Koenig is actually a fairly common German last name. We shouldn't expect the people who have that name to have any more ties to a royal family than we would to Americans who have the last name "King".

              While I've never actually used them in my chronicles, I have written a few sentences in my notebook on what they are. I've used them in a similar way to Sarah Winchester, the widow of the firearms magnate who built the famous Winchester Mystery House (a house always in the process of construction with many strange and unfinished rooms) in order to somehow appease the ghosts of the people killed by their firearms. Just in this case, the Koenig were more like the Krupps than the Winchesters in the types of weapons they produced. That put them in contact with ghosts which somehow lead to the death cult and eventual more corruption.

              BTW, I've prepared a chronicle centered around Berlin from 1919-1945 myself. I am very well read in real world Berlin of this era and created my own WoD setting with both vampires and werewolves detailed extensively. If you're interested in learning more for your own use, feel free to send me a PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                Koenig is actually a fairly common German last name. We shouldn't expect the people who have that name to have any more ties to a royal family than we would to Americans who have the last name "King".
                Sadly true. Looking at Ancestry.com, it says the name originated among servants or retainers of kings, or alternately the head of a craftsman guild, or of a society of minstrels or (interestingly) sharpshooters.
                The craftsmen and sharpshooter angle would seem to tie in with them as weapons makers. But I confess that this is strongly motivated by my love of Destro from GIJoe. They may have gotten their name originally from being the German king's personal assassins or something.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Malkavian87 View Post
                  Cause what exactly is a death-cultist?
                  A death cultist is a person or a group who either consider the concept, symbolism, and themes related to death important ; or just literally that death has some significance, without any clear concepts or symbolism tied to this. Such persons can be either benign towards other persons, or very hostile. Being a death cultist does not have to lead to seeking to cause death of other persons, or to making other persons suffer. Another possible attribute of a death cultist is categorizing death into different kinds and types.
                  I think that Necromancers definitely aren't death cultists by default ; but it is a possibility. A person can be a death cultist, and have no inclination towards Necromancy, nor any skill in it.
                  This kind of person is quite common in fictional settings ; usually as part of such a group.
                  Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-19-2019, 07:32 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all your input, it was inspirational. I've since created two Koenig NPCs that detail which direction I went with the family:

                    Reinhard Koenig

                    He was born in 1878, eldest son of Herman Koenig. His father head of a family that was administrating an iron mine in the Upper Harz region of central Germany for the Prussians. They were just middle class at Reinhard's birth, but were quite wealthy by his late childhood. The Koenig's had grown ever more corrupt as the years went by. Prioritizing their own coffers over the safe operation of the mine. Deadly accidents happened all the time. These didn't actually hamper the mine's operations though. Workers were easily replaceable and the veins of iron ore they excavated seemed to grow ever thicker. The Koenig family was rewarded handsomely for their amazing output.
                    However it was only a matter of time until a true mine disaster happened. In 1886 there was a collapse that killed dozens of miners. And yet the Koenigs' fortunes rose even further in its wake. The collapse led to finding the richest veins of iron yet. This twist of fate led to Herman Koenig forming a strange belief. That the misfortune of others, being responsible for the death of lesser men was what was directly powering the rise of his family. In business this led the Koenigs to become involved in the manufacturing of weaponry. In private Herman presided over grotesque rituals in which his family worshiped Death itself by way of human sacrifice.
                    The following years only strengthened Herman Koenig's convictions and turned his protege Reinhard into a true believer too. Their close connections with ore mining put them in an excellent position to enter the arms business. And as Koenig rifles were used to slaughter natives in the German Empire's colonies, the family's fortunes rose even more. And meanwhile nobody that mattered really cared how quickly the Koenig mansion had to replace its maids.
                    A number of clandestine armament contracts that Reinhard closed in Italy in the early 1900s led to making the acquaintance of the Giovanni family. Who seemed most eager to cultivate close ties with the Koenigs. Which led to the marriage of Reinhard with Lucetta Giovanni shortly after. Their first daughter Ulrike had her christening ceremony in Venice. That evening the attending Koenigs learned a great many things about their hosts. These revelations left Herman and Reinhard watering at the teeth for a chance at immortality.
                    In order to prove themselves useful to the Giovanni father and son did everything they could to develop their business empire even further. Which was made easy by the armaments race Germany was pursuing. The Koenigs were less satisfied with the fatality rate they were responsible for. Feeling that all the executed Africans, crushed or burned factory workers and gutted servants didn't amount to enough. These worries soon dissipated after an Archduke was assassinated in the Balkans. The next four years proved a golden time for money and death
                    And yet at the end of that period no great reward was forthcoming. Instead Germany had been humiliated, its economy in ruins, its lower classes seizing power from their betters. And not a single Koenig had been offered the embrace yet. To make matter worse; Reinhard caught the Spanish flu and seemed unlikely to recover. Meanwhile Herman never stopped pestering the Giovanni with his demands. Eventually they came with a response.
                    By mouth of his wife Lucetta the Giovanni came with a proposition to the dying Reinhard. Prove that his true loyalty lies with Clan Giovanni, not just with his own family's prosperity. Find the strength to leave his bed and deal with one who has since proven his disloyalty. In order to survive himself he had to murder his father.
                    Reinhard quickly made a decision. He took his pistol and dragged himself to his father's bedroom. Shooting his sleeping parent twice through the head. As he collapsed at the foot of the bed the dying man saw a strange woman approach him. An agonizing pain, then nothing until he rose again as a Giovanni vampire and the new Koenig patriarch. Death had handsomely rewarded him yet again.

                    Image: A balding middle aged man with his blond hair slicked back. Fairly broad shouldered but standing a little below average height. Yet Reinhard comes over as quite imposing. His face is a pale and unwholesome mask with his blue eyes as the only color. An intimidating mask that shows no emotion.
                    The business suits he wears are in matching dour and severe styles. Always with a swastika pin on his lapel.

                    Roleplaying Hints: You've reached everything what your father would have wanted in life, what the dead man considered the top. But actually standing there you're looking out over a whole new world and you realize you're nothing, yet. You'll use the tools of money and death to rise even further. And you're determined to not be caught asleep as Herman was. You shouldn't even trust close family. Everyone is just looking to use one another, even your own children.

                    Name: Reinhard Koenig
                    Clan: Giovanni
                    Sire: Alessa Giovanni
                    Nature: Conniver
                    Demeanor: Director
                    Generation: 11th
                    Embrace: 1919
                    Apparent Age: 40
                    Physical:Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3
                    Social:Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2
                    Mental:Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
                    Talents:Awareness 2, Brawl 1, Expression 2, Intimidation 2, Leadership 3, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 2
                    Skills:Etiquette 1, Firearms 2, Melee 1, Stealth 1
                    Knowledges: Academics 1, Finance 3, Law 1, Occult 2, Politics 2
                    Disciplines: Dominate 2, Necromancy 2
                    Necromancy Paths: The Sepulchre Path 2
                    Backgrounds: Allies 2, Contacts 1, Generation 2, Influence 3, Resources 5, Retainers 2, Status 1
                    Virtues:Conscience 1, Self-Control 4, Courage 5
                    Morality:Humanity 3
                    Willpower: 5
                    Merits/Flaws: Haunted, Language 2 (Italian & Latin)



                    Ulrike Koenig
                    She was born in 1901, shortly after the marriage of Reinhard Koenig with Lucetta Giovanni. The girl grew up at the Koenig mansion in central Germany, walking distance from the iron mines that originally paid for it. Her upbringing was a strange one, the concept of death was central. She took her first life at the age of six. During a family ritual she stabbed a bound and gagged parlor maid to death. A year later one of her playmates disappeared. Nobody found out what happened to the child until Ulrike's wardrobe started to stink. Easily covered up by Koenig power and influence. A string of such incidents would run through her entire childhood.
                    With each murder she grew more cunning and subtle though. By the time Ulrike came of age outsiders saw nothing but a fine society lady. One with a keen mind too and an interest in politics. During the 1920s she convinced her father to become one of the wealthy benefactors that kept Adolph Hitler afloat. The coming years Ulrike became a common sight at upper echelon party functions. It was obvious that the proposed Nazi program was very much in line with Koenig ambitions. Certainly it became a time when the family could use all the help it could get. They were heading into rough economic waters. Their iron mines were almost depleted. With the restrictions imposed on the German military their other business didn't do much better. And there was trouble at home as well.
                    Years of murdering had finally come to haunt the Koenigs, literally. Especially her father Reinhard was constantly being hounded by an angry spirit. And the ghost wasn't above getting to him through his family. Her mother Lucetta's bed spontaneously caught fire, leaving the former beauty badly disfigured. Ulrike herself had an invisible hand push her down the stairs, lucky not to have broken her neck. Although the woman did not show it, she'd lived in a state of constant fear since.
                    The Giovanni had a sink or swim attitude towards the Koenigs, they would offer little assistance. But with Reinhard's rudimentary knowledge of Necromancy, next to nothing could be done about it. Ulrike cursed her father that she was suffering for his failure. It made her determined to attain power of her own and she knew exactly where to get it. However she also understood enough about the Giovanni to realize begging them for the embrace would do more harm than good. So instead she found an exploitable weak link in the Clan. He was Bernardo Putanesca, a fledgling from Southern Germany. Ulrike knew from previous encounters when he was still breathing that he was smitten with her, this had not yet changed in undeath. However she realized Bernardo was not quite stupid enough to embrace her just cause she flashed her eyelashes at him. So she provided him with an additional incentive. A fortune in gold she'd stolen from her father's vault. They had a deal.
                    Unfortunately the Clan elders were outraged by this unauthorized embrace. Her sire was soon destroyed. Ulrike fared better however, having earned some grudging respect. Reinhard tried to offer up his daughter's unlife to get his gold back, no luck for him however. The elders ordered them to work together for the good of the Clan. To Ulrike's dismay not as equals though, Reinhard would be her direct superior. And she had to submit to a one step blood bond to assure loyalty.
                    The last few years father and daughter have devoted to rebuilding the family fortune. With results that have pleased their Giovanni masters. Ulrike makes quite the lobbyist. The mines have closed, but Germany is buying weapons en masse again. As far as the Koenigs are concerned Hitler is making good on his promises. With the potential for so much more in the coming years.

                    Image:A tall beauty with pale blond hair and large hazel eyes. Heavy yet expertly applied make-up and her hat's netting hanging across her face is to hide that she is in fact a predatory corpse. She blinds people to her inhumanity by dazzling them with her opulent style. Always dressed akin to a Hollywood star.
                    And with all the fur generally too warm for the season.
                    If one would ever see her bare arms they'd notice a tattoo on each shoulder. On the left it says "Geld und Tod", meaning "money and death" the unofficial moto of the Koenigs. On the right she has a totenkopf symbol as used by certain German military units, most prominently the SS.

                    Roleplaying Hints: You no longer believe in your own survival. The beast has grown too strong, you know it will eventually pull you under. You do your best to preserve the image of a refined society lady, but that mask is slowly crumbling. As you see it your only chance is to give Death the biggest sacrifice any Koenig, any Giovanni ever has. You've talked to her, she promised to make you a queen of the underworld. You'll do anything in your power to help the Nazis tear this world apart. Father might get in the way. You'll play nice with him for now, but he'll have to go soon though.

                    Name: Ulrike Koenig
                    Clan: Giovanni
                    Sire: Bernardo Putanesca
                    Nature: Sociopath
                    Demeanor: Gallant
                    Generation: 13th
                    Embrace: 1932
                    Apparent Age:38
                    Physical:Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2
                    Social:Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 4
                    Mental:Perception 2, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
                    Talents:Awareness 1, Expression 1, Intimidation 1, Subterfuge 2
                    Skills:Drive 1, Etiquette 3, Firearms 2, Larceny 1, Melee 2, Performance 2, Stealth 2
                    Knowledges: Academics 1, Finance 2, Investigation 1, Occult 3, Politics 2
                    Disciplines: Necromancy 2
                    Necromancy Paths: The Ash Path 2, The Bone Path 2

                    Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 1, Fame 1, Influence 4, Resources 3, Retainers 1, Status 1
                    Virtues:Conscience 1, Self-Control 2, Courage 5
                    Morality:Humanity 2
                    Willpower: 5
                    Merits/Flaws: Haunted, Language 2 (Italian & Latin)
                    Last edited by Malkavian87; 02-01-2019, 10:56 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Bernardo "Putanesca" ? Either meaning he takes his surname from a pasta dish, or his family name is Prostitute Bait?

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                      • #12
                        The Putanescas are a canon Giovanni family: https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Putanesca

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, they were one of those things were Justin Achilli seemed more concerned with amusing himself than with how they'd actually play out long term.


                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Damnit I hate it when my phone eats my post with a misclick!

                            Okay my headcanon is they are related to the Erlking Story, the Erlkoennig. Revised steared away from Both Crossovers and Changeling in General so it was easier to just call them death cultists. But I take inspiration from the poem, they kidnapped children for sacrifice and had dark dealings with Unseelie/Winter Fae. The Jovian Family thought they were special because they had the Patronage of Dispater, and then Cappadocius. But the Koenig are not just some family of dilettantes and deviants like say the Dunisyrn. They also have their dark patron, and tying into a Vampire clan was a calculated power play. I would have it they may also be a conspiracy within the Giovanni, with the rest of the Clan not knowing of their Connection to the Dark Fae. I would have it the Family only has some embraced, some of their best their Talent is Fae related with Changeling members and even toss in a handful of Sorcerers/Mages/Kinain among them.

                            But that’s just me, it’s the most interesting idea I had for the brief mention of them as a minor family. I personally guessed it was a nod to the story of the Erlking.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                              My personal head-canon has been that they were a group of late Roman/early Dark Ages Germanic Wotan-worshiping murder cultists embraced into the Cappadocians who sided with Augustus Giovanni during his coup. (This has the effect of elevating them to major family status, which contradicts what is in the two clan-books, so it's not for everybody.) They propagate violence and death for its own sake and for the power of the souls/ghosts of their victims it brings them. To this end, they were tangentially involved with Teutonic crusades into the Baltic regions, various regional wars (especially the 30 Years War) and German militarism. Sometimes this is as advisors or financiers, other times as armorers and industrialists. Schwarzstahl is the name of the family company I use, who used to be arms manufacturers in the 19th century before branching into chemicals during the lead up to WW2 and adding vehicles by the 30s. Students of business history still can't figure out how they survived the war crimes trials. Today they still make guns, industrial chemicals, automotive parts, light military vehicles, and high end medical equipment.

                              Koenig means King in German, which would seem to imply some ties to various German/Holy Roman Empire/Prussian aristocracy. Given the state of pre-unification German states, both before and after the Napoleonic wars, it's entirely possible that the family ran their own small kingdom or principality for a period of time. If so, I like to think that they tried to marry in to both Prussian and Austrian nobility during the 18th and 19th centuries.

                              As far as their necromancy style goes, I suspect that it draws really heavily on pre-Christian Germanic rights and rituals, including rune work, summoning the dead (especially the ghosts of dead seers) to divine the future and give other information, creating and controlling barrow-wright type zombies (I want to say that Wiederganger is the German term for walking dead, but I'm not 100% on that), and death curses. There may also be a more "modernist" movement among those from the past 200 years that takes a much more "scientific" and industrialized approach, with vivisection, weird human experiments, and parapsychology. They undoubtably draw on the darkest and grimmest aspects of both methodologies, such as hangings as human sacrifices to Wotan and whatever else you can dig up.

                              With the German National Socialists, there's a lot of room for stuff that is pretty barking mad. I've seen photos of one of Hitler's official "Christmas" parties which featured Wotan as Santa Claus among other surreal strangeness. Ken Hite's GURPS Weird War Two (for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS WW2 line) and Nazi Occult (for Osprey Press) are both good and offer a lot of potential ideas for the crazier side of the period. The Koenig, being a part of the corrupt, sleazy and morbid mess that is Clan Giovanni, fit perfectly well with just about any creepy National Socialist idea you've ever seen or heard of.
                              In my Headcanon Santa Claus is the Ghost of Odin... sooo not too crazy for me...


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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