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Looking for some help choosing convictions and touchstones?

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  • Looking for some help choosing convictions and touchstones?

    So this is the backstory I’ve written for my Childe vamp. Our chronicle is set in Manchester with London vampires who have escaped the inquisition scourging of London.

    This will be our first v5 vampire chronicle.

    Alexandru St.Juda

    'Andru is a victim. Though he would laugh if you suggested it. He is a victim by design, by politics, by inclination, by philosophy. Everyone he has ever met before the fall of The Hermitage (the Tremere Chantry in London) used him, abused him, was false to him.

    He would roll his eyes and grin condescendingly, and tell you of his place in the grand designs of vampire society, of his power, his nobility, his service- justly rewarded.

    'Andru was born to ghoul parents, not out of love or need but at the instruction of the Tremere Regency to fill a quota, under the watchful eyes of of the London sheriff and the princes delicate spreadsheets of ghoul populations.

    He was fed upon. constantly. his arms, thighs, neck bare scars from feeding, from donation needles, like a junkie they are a anatomical map of collapsed blood vessels mapping his veins. His diet was rich in iron, liver, spinach, fortified cereals. He was issued with erythropoetin injections to stimulate red blood cell production. There where fashions in The Hermitage, times when he was allowed to eat nothing but oranges and bathe with citrus fruit, times when pads of raw butter were placed on his plate, so that he would take on the flavour desired as part of some banquet, or whim or ritual. If you pointed out the horror of this him, he would smile his singled fanged, lopsided grin. "No, no, no, I was lucky, Desired, I had a place, I served, I was special, i was complimented on my flavour routinely, My older brother, Gheorghe, he was pumped full of black tar, china white, made to smoke forty, fifty cigarettes a day. My aunt..."

    As a human 'blood doll' he assisted in the working of rituals and it was in such rituals that 'Andru sacrificed small parts of himself, willing he would say, though it might not have occurred to him to resist. A fingernail on the left hand, three times. A strip of skin from his right hand, a canine incisor plucked fresh from his mouth. petty sacrifices, given with 'contingently' It is the left canine that is his most prominent scar, the rest of his marks concealed under layers of fitted shirts, suits, long sleeves. a wound before his ghouling, before his vampiredom, it is unhealable.

    'Andru became an addict to vitae on his 25th birthday. he never aged a day after that. hes unsure of his true age, somewhere between 27 and 33 he would estimate, if you forced him. not that he'd worry about it himself, he'd consider that painfully 'human' a condition he pretends he has always lacked, a condition that gives him pause and worries him, like a butcher worrying hes going soft when he pauses before the slaughtering of cattle. He pretends he dosent care, but he watches people, like their speaking another language he watches change being given to a homeless person in confusion, he convinces himself of the conniving intent of acts of volunteering or charity or random kindness. he mimics them, he puts on the mask but he dosent get it, he trys not to get it, hes vaguley anxious that one day he will get it.

    His ghouling was, in the tremere fashion of London- ritualistic, already having gone through many rites and branding and rituals, some of which may have been religious, some genuinely magical, some merely cultic. He was assigned numerous dominators and roles. He played manservant and bodyguard, driver and whipping boy, student and mentor. He took no income, his needs provided for as part of the 'live-in' ghouls of The Hermitage. The ghouls lusted after their masters attention, blood and secrets. like a bucket of crabs they pulled each other down, they betrayed each other, family was everything and nothing, tore metaphorical and literal strips off each other. 'Andru was not well loved, and not well ranked within the Hermitage ghouls, he thought himself a player but lacked the experience (centuries) and power and favour of his elders, the cynicism of his brothers and the vigour of his youngers.

    'Andru came to the attention of his future Mentor, tormentor, lover 'Sophitia Krasia D'Gog. Apprentice of the 4th circle, master of the path of twilight, Directrix of Warding.' If you caught her in an honest mood, she'd admit 'Andru was at best an average student of the artes but she took to him, if theres a rhyme or reason its not apparent, maybe it was as close to her understanding could get to love at first sight.

    It caused a mild stir when kindred realised that the affair went beyond lust or abusive need to something akin to affection, a need to control him, to make him hers and hers alone. the exact nature of the internal politics of the hermitage kindred students and teachers where a level of political gamesmanship beyond his ability, Though it must have cost her something. or perhaps 'Andru was to be a pawn in her political machinations but shes not abandoned him since the fall of the hermitage, perhaps her need of him has yet to come, perhaps she is grooming him for some other sacrifice.

    Again, condescendingly confident, 'Andru sees his elevation to vampirehood as just the next stage in his life, a step away from weakness, he sees only his own power, his own potential for advancement. he is blood bound to Sophitia and even if he was not he lacks the instinct to reflect upon her machinations, her abusive control of every aspect of his life. She was his primary mentor in the artes and has shared occult secrets and even pages from her own spell book. To him, deciding what clothes he will wear, what blood he will drink is just another aspect of her instruction.

    The only extent that 'Andru MIGHT admit victimhood was when humanity attacked him, and everything he knows, the night THEY came to the The Hermitage, with white phosphorus and silver bullets and aerosolised holy water grenades. daemons in the night with glowing green eyes, upon black winged helicopters and bursting through windows. He lost his home, his past, his future, everyone he'd ever known and hated and loved.

    their flight from the city was misrible, ignoble, locked in car boots, container lorries, the network of connections to the outside world that Sophitia had as an established vampire fell away as the city fell, as phone numbers went dead, as helicopters flew overhead, as survivors went to ground or in it.

    Manchester, why? Sophitia ignored the question. The local chantry refused all but the most minimal assistance required by pyramid law. They where dangerous the whispers said, had they been followed by the mysterious attackers? where they moles? The local prince bemoaned 'Refugees' for the first time in his life 'Money' became an issue. personal safety and Sophitia became ever more emotionally remote and dominering. He had to hunt, "like a savage" for his blood

    He drives an Uber.
    He Has to provide for his mistresses needs.
    He struggles to learn the rituals.
    His condescending, sanctimonious personality makes finding friends amongst his new community.... hard.

    He is ill-equiped, ill designed for this world.

    If you told him this 'Andru would grin his lopsided, single fanged grin, roll his eyes and snicker at YOUR niavitee. But exposure to the outside world, to non-vampire culture humanity is corroding his carefully constructed reality, his unbendable self confidence.

    Hes been watching Netflix. Talking to Outlanders, Sewer rats and stranger vampires too. he nearly spoke to a caitif once. He drives strangers in his car. He had a conversation about cheese. He fears that somehow he is regressing, weakening, becoming human, he has nightmares he'll wake up human, the sun failing to burn his skin.

    NOT that he'd admit that, not even to himself.

    Part of my problem is that by giving him a cloistered origin there’s not many mortal humans to play touchstones. Maybe a ghoul who escaped and went cold turkey? A mortal blood doll relative?

    Thanks in advance for your time! 😁