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  • Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    Did Justin actually create the Giovanni clan, or just write the original clanbook?

    He did not create them, no.


    Matthew Dawkins
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    • I felt he really brought them to life, though. But everything in Vampire: The Masquerade is a collaborative effort really.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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      • The Eye Opens

        One of the distinctive features of Bollywood cinema is the ability to do the utterly over the top with an utterly straight face. As much fun as that is, this chapter avoid that pitfall. And it would have been a pitfall here.

        The Ravnos have never offended me, but they also never really interested me. This changed with both the revised clan book, and in particular with expansions to the Dark Age line moving them to the major players in India.

        This chapter is a kind of delight following on that, and makes me want to be a part of games set in Southern Asia. There is a kind of subtle frisson of awe and terror going on in this chapter, particularly after Hazimel wakes and takes a positive shin to Beckett. How would you feel if a veritable death god responded to you with affection, gratitude, and took you for a dance?

        Speaking of Hazimel, there are some interesting qualities to his appearance. To Beckett it does appear that the Ravnos elder does possess more than two arms (the exact number is not specified) and that he places the eye in the middle of his forehead. This could easily be taken to suggest Hazimel possess Vicissitude and Obeah. If he possesses Vicissitude, then he possesses a connection to Tzimsice and Kupala. And if he possesses Obeah, then he possesses a connection to Saulot.

        Originally posted by BJD, pg. 301
        There are more Clans than you know who could sport a third eye, Gangrel.
        Originally posted by BJD, pg. 304
        Saulot sees through any who have even once drank of Salubri or Tremere blood.
        So one of the most feared warrior Methuselah’s on the planet might well be influenced by at least two Antediluvians. The mind boggles at the implication.

        Unless that was all a trick of Chimerstry. And it is almost impossible to tell one way or the other.

        In any case, it is worth noting that Beckett is at his best behaved here. He is, in fact, better behaved here than he was at Castle Dracula. Perhaps, because he used wisdom as a dump stat, he is particularly susceptible to manipulation through flattery and faked affection. I wonder if Lucita and Anatole have worked that out.

        CTPhipps and I disagree about KotE and the Eastern Vampires. In fact, here is a totally legit video clip of our last debate on the issue;



        In any case, I like the concept of vampires that are not Cainites. I am just skeptical it can be handled well. But they are well used in this chapter, mostly because they are kept off stage as a considerable but unseen menace.

        Really, this chapter is kind of a delight. It part because it makes no reference to the Week of Nightmares - which may not have happened.

        I have it on good authority that Hazimel and Beckett’s effort’s to find Marizhavashti Kali, go well. In fact, here is a totally legit video of Main Man H, his new BFF Beckett, and H’s crew rolling up on Marizhavashti;



        (Beckett is the shorter of the two dudes dressed like the Blues Brothers.)
        Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-12-2019, 05:12 AM. Reason: Hazimel made me do it.

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        • Re: The Endless Night

          My inclination is that the vast majority of Giovanni don't know about the Endless Night plan in totality, in that they actually are gathering 100,000,000 souls right this very second somewhere and that really are planning to destroy the world. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a family legend about it filtered down through whispers and rumors that most are aware of it while not taking it seriously. Indeed, when I did run the Giovanni, I had them talk about it as a parable.

          Basically, that the Giovanni teach their children that Gehenna will be a purging of the world of evil with the good souls (i.e Giovanni) spared and the bad souls (everyone else) damned. I use the original Order from SILENT HILL and SILENT HILL 3 as an influence for my Giovanni with the idea of heavy Christian, Last Judgement, and apocalyptical overtones not concealed from the family but disguised. In this version, Augustus is often painted at the Left hand of Jesus or in images of the Lake of Fire in Giovanni family art--all hidden in plain sight so that other Kindred don't get it or just think them hokey Giovanni are assuming their Antediluvian will spare them.

          In this respect, the big difference between them and the Followers of Set is that both of them have the exact same plan but while the Followers of Set are planning to pray until Set arrives to end the world, the Giovanni are planning to get the keys to the nuclear launch codes as well as the Presidential football. They have the knowhow so that this is a significant actual danger and not just a joke as we see in Dust to Dust with one of them potentially setting off a micro-verison of it.

          Mind you, I come from the Deep South where there are actually people who take Left Behind 100% seriously (and not just Kirk Cameron) and believe we support Israel as well as move Jews there in order to trigger God's Final Judgement in what I believe technically qualfies as a magical spell.

          Re: Hazmiel and other Disciplines

          Under the old management of White Wolf, David Niall Wilson told me that it used to be forbidden to give any non-Clan Discipline to vampires in fiction. He was genuinely confused by this because it was not only something the rules allowed but plenty of the characters had different disciplines in their official stats. However, he was told that when writing Lucita and Anatole to only use their in-clan disciplines. He also couldn't use any non-V:TM supernaturals and it so frustrated him that he took his pitch for a Mage/Vampire novel and rewrote it as Vintage Soul, the "second" Donovan Dechance Chronicles novel (actually the first but delayed until he wrote another one ahead of it). That was before he got a chance to re-release the Grail Covenant books.



          In any case, I don't see a reason why a vampire as old and piowerful as Hazmiel can't have access to both Obeah as well as Vicissitude. It actually would be a good idea, IMHO, to have Indian versions of both the Salubri and Tzimsice bloodlines. Personally, I think we're getting a much more globalist and localized version of the Clans and that's a good thing.

          I'm looking forward to the Ravnos making a return in the Players Guide and will be including one in my version of THE SACRIFICE that I'm presently running as a guest character. I feel like the Revised edition of the Ravnos is every bit as good as the Revised Edition of the Banu Haqim. Here's hoping that they end up joining the Anarchs, where they belong.

          Re: Eastern Kindred

          I have overstated my dislike for the Wan Kuei/Kuei Jin over the months and years. I think they could be done well and while I had some bad experiences with them, in the end, just about any group can be revised to be better (see the Ravnos for example). The Giovanni, Banu Haqim, and Setites all started fairly one-dimensional but they were revised into things that were much better for it.

          In any case, they leave a rather big lore hole with their absence and doubly so because the basis for V5 and Vampire: The Masquerade canon going forward seems to be "Bloodlines" as both the most recognizable version of the property (certainly not Kindred: The Embraced as much as I love it) and the soon to be sequel.

          Kuei-Jin play a pretty big role in the game and La Croix's fall doesn't make much sense without Ming Xiao.
          Neither does the history of the Revised Ravnos.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-12-2019, 05:45 AM.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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          • I've got no problem with Hazimel having access to Obeah and Vicissitude (among other disciplines) but I am very interested in the implications.

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            • Chapter Twenty One: The Way of Three Eyes

              Beckett scribbles down a casual number of notes that could, any one of them, shatter much of the peace that vampires have come to possess in at least the more conservative Camarilla domains.

              * The Salubri are back, tell a friend
              * Saulot has many forms
              * The Inconnu is real (well, no shit Beckett--why else does no one visit Transylvania anymore)
              * Golconda is real (Beckett, I choose to believe, is actually irritated to write this)
              * Hunedora Castle is untustworthy
              * The Master of Ravens is a shitbag (I love how Beckett just eloquently sums up the guy)

              Beckett then says that we must make sense of his tale and its journeys even though it's not actually that complicated. Strangely, it's probably one of the more straightforward of his adventures. It's just Beckett doesn't understand any of it.

              We then go into Anatole to telling a story about how Beckett came across a Kindred's body in a pool that was horrifyingly infected with hordes of frogspawn-like amoebas living inside the Kindred and many more mortals. It's either Nosferatu, Baali, or something else. This is some definite Werewolf: The Apocalypse/Wyrm-like inspiration but could easily just be a natural phenomenon gone horribly-horribly wrong. It's not according to the adventures but it could be. Anyway, in the room with them is Rebekah of Chicago by Night.

              We have an internet conversation where they discuss the fact that Mithras once maintained a haven for Salubri in Britain back when he hated both the Tremere and Giovanni equally (but had a frenemy relationship with Doctor John Dee). We then have a discussion of a Salubri Antitribu helping the Sabbat in a Crusade in Toronto.

              Random factoid: Dracula was Prince of Toronto in my V5 games. He also had Tiamat staked in a coffin nearby until it all went to shit.
              Albertus Magnus then proceeds to stake a Salubri Healer and hand her over to Ailsing Sturbridge, which he speaks about with utter disgust, calling them soul-stealers and more. I'm of mixed feelings about this and will have more thoughts about it in the notes. But yes, either he's an idiot, seriously has misread Ailsing, it's a kind of reverse psychology, or Critias never told him the Tremere were full of shit.

              Mind you, he was Embraced in 1248 so Albertus Magnus knows with 90% certainty the Tremere are full of shit about the Salubri firsthand anyway.He's also a Catholic saint.
              We then explain that Beckett, Anatole, and Lucita are in Africa hunting Infernalists. This is a pretty damn huge detour from their usual efforts and I suspect this puts it around the time of the Black Monastery but I don't know when Beckett would get it in his head to hunt the original Anathama. I'm going to assume this is Beckett repaying a Boon (what he'd call friendship) to Anatole since randomly hunting enemies of God is the Malkavian's bag.

              Maybe it's also potentially after Lucita meeting her sister since hunting Infernalists to prove your bonafides is something that Lucita might do to win the Inquiisiton's respect but I'm inclined to think both this and the Black Monestary story take place well before the rest of the book--maybe even around 2004. It's here they met Rebekah. Given Beckett doesn't mention his recent Chicago experiences, I think it's quite possible this chapter immediately precedes the Milwaukee/Chicago ones.

              Beckett is strangely interested in Rebekah's insights ito Chicago more than Golconda (which she explains as something she's fallen from), the Inconnu (which she's been banished from), and more. Notably, this is the biggest tie-in to V5 I can see as she basically says that Kevin Jackson will be Prince.

              We then meet the Master of Ravens who has gathered a bunch of Tremere and Salubri to massacre one another, egging both on. The Healer Salubri hold the Warriors back until the Master of Ravens offers the Tremere help and they leap on it--I choose to believe the Tremere were horribly slaughtered at this point but Beckett indicates most weren't fooled by the man's sudden reversal.



              Beckett spends some time in Hunedoara Castle and is eventually kicked out before they do their yearly ritual. They talk about how the Master of Ravens hates Saulot and is seeking a petty revenge by publishing his "One True Way" as a way to lure Kindred to damnation and doom. I have some more thoughts on this. Apparently Saulot or some fragment of Saulot or an actual Lawful Good Kindred of the 4th Generation (a Saulot disciple who is the source of the "Saulot isn't a bastard" legends) lives here.

              FYI - Hunedoara Castle a.k.a Corvin Castle is a tourist destination in real life, so apparently in the World of Darkness, the Inconnu just took it over and never gave it back.

              I kid as its explicitly a tourist trap in this chapter--it's just there's a magical set of corridors and another castle like Castlevania SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT here. Possibly upside down above it or a Horizon Realm the vampires have taken over.

              Note the Corvin family is also important to the vampires of Underworld.
              The Saulot manifestation that appears in LOTH (and Gehenna, though it was in a cloned body there) heals Beckett of his animal features and then he is kicked out. The Master of Ravens hunts Beckett all the way across the border.

              Crazy chapter.

              Adventures

              A lot of the adventure hooks here deal with the Salubri having a resurgence. Some of them in Bath have emerged from Torpor with Monty Coven possibly raising them or simply the looming Gehenna. They've found out the Tremere are around and they're almost extinct. We've also discovered the Salubri are still around in Asia and the Middle East (as well as possibly Africa).

              The Master of Ravens is set up as a super-villain similar to the Tick Tock Man in that he's doing a bunch of EVIL deeds as well as doing theatrical EVIL like trying to get the Tremere as Salubri to slaughter to one another. However, I think the implications are the Master of Ravens probably has a legitimate reason to hate Saulot--either being Embraced by Saulot, realizing he founded the Baali, or some other nefarious secret (true or not). Beckett is able to fight him long enough so that he's probably not a Methuselah--more like Lucita's level of competence.

              One thing that I am interested in is the possibility that the Master of Ravens is the guy responsible for Adonai joining the Sabbat. Given Adonai is a Warrior Salubri from 1000 A.D. this is probably not true but could easily have a connection somewhere. But yes if you like SAINT SAULOT (like me) then a lot of the stories about Saulot being an evil bastard could be entirely fabricated as libel and slander by the Master of Ravens. It would be an excellent excuse for all of it and explain the craziness of them.

              Thoughts

              We're cooking with gas in going through the book here. Well more than halfway through it now and we've covered massive numbers of storylines, plot hooks, NPCs, twists, turns, and surprises. It is amazing how THICK this book is as well as just how much lore it manages to update to the 21st century.

              I'm trying to think of things it doesn't cover and I've got to say there's not much that I can remember getting glossed over. I think the only things that don't get a mention are probably The Ahrimanes, The Children of Osiris, and The Masquerade of the Red Death trilogy. I'm also trying to remember if they mention the Kiasyd or Nagaraja at any point. There's even a reference to Diablerie: Mexico as an adventure hook at one point.

              Anyway, this chapter dealt with the Inconnu. I feel they are one of the sects that have most amounted to nothing despite being one of the foundational sects for the game. I admit that fully I was underwhelmed by Lair of the Hidden and have never gotten a chance to run it because as fascinating as I like the idea of a social-based "locked room" mystery, it feels like a game better done as a LARP.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-12-2019, 09:09 AM.


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              • Notes

                1. Re: The Natural Phenomenon of Parasite Ghouls Like, imagine if you got an intestinal parasite somehow as a Kindred and it started feeding on Kindred blood--you could have tapeworms beyond imagination. I'm now inspired to write up this story with a Flash Gordon reference, "NO, NOT THE BORE WORMS!"

                2. One bit of evidence against my time placement is Beckett tells Rebekah of Mahtiel. Which would mean this takes place after the visit to Hong Kong. However, the indications are that this is before his visit to Chicago.

                3. Beckett also tells her about Huendoara Castle--which is not something you'd think she'd be unaware of since LOTH implies that the vampires at said castle ARE the Inner Circle of the Inconnu and there's not many other members other than Dracula, Dominic (RIP), and a handful of Old Clan Tzimisce. They may have hundreds of Monitors, though, which is weird as that's a lot of powerful Kindred doing jack. Is it all just a way of keeping them busy and not focused on eating people or taking over the world?

                4. Rebekah also mentions Sir Walter as a potential candidate for Prince. I don't know who this is supposed to be and I double checked multiple Sirs. Sir Edward Scott and Sir Henry Johnson aren't who she meant (I briefly thought it was "Sir" turning out to be alive). There's also no Walter listed in the White Wolf Wiki. I really want to know who the hell this guy is. Oh and Anatole picked Neally for Prince. Interestingly, Joseph Peterson wasn't even mentioned. So, jokes on Rebekah.

                5. The Master of Ravens is a useful potential antagonist for player characters but his motivations remain a bit too nebulous for me. I mean, shitting on Saulot is a pretty weak-tea motivation when a good half of the fanbase believes he's entirely correct about it. I am interested in his "One True Way" to Golconda, though. Is it just him giving people a bunch of gibberish, a secret to infernalism, or something even more insidious like a shitty prank?

                In Chicago by Night V5, there's an adventure hook with a Gangrel who believes he's achieved "oneness with the Beast" and hits wassail right before the player characters. It's possible that could be used to introduce The One True Way as a sick joke.

                6. Weirdly, I'd also potentially make the Master of Ravens an alternate identity of Harold Zettler after he leaves Pentex (and survives the purge of the Executives by the Wyrm that happened in the Apocalypse supplement). Why? No reason, I just really love Harold Zettler and he's a guy I could easily see as the antithesis of Golconda.

                7. I *really* like Rebekah's statement that Golconda could be more like alcoholism and you could have a functioning version of Golconda that allows you to stay off the Beast but not actually completely remove the PointTM of the game with Personal Horror. You could easily do it as a Loresheet you'd have to buy as well.

                GOLCONDA

                * Bonus resistance to Frenzy
                ** Remove Stains Easier
                *** You get 2 blood points for every normal blood point you take.
                **** You remove one kind of frenzy you suffer.
                **** No Frenzies as long as you maintain a Humanity of 7 or higher

                I think it would make Golconda infinitely more practical and actually work wonders for the game as a whole. Make it a process rather than an on/off switch.

                8. I think Rebekah is ironically one of the few Kindred who could probably kill Helena if she wanted to and maybe protect Maldavis from her (or Anita Wainwright since Maldavis is getting to be more of an asshole by V5). She's presently out of Chicago, though, so both of the Anarch leaders are screwed.

                9. I choose to believe Anatole and Rebekah had an affair while they were together despite one being very Christian and the other very Jewish. No other reason than it just amuses me. Rebekah was also the love interest of my Transylvania Chronicles character, Lord Sirrius. Kupala killed her and he was very sad.

                10. As mentioned Albertus Magnus, if he's actually the historical Catholic Saint, is very weird in his desire to see a Healer Salubri sent off to the Tremere to be tortured then killed. Critias, certainly, would be happy to tell people the Salubri are victims of the Tremere if an annoying bunch of monotheists. My assumption is that he's probably not the actual one who founded Theurgy according to the Society of Leopold (they actually have an order named after him) and is just using the name. Either that or there's a heck of an irony.

                I also think he assumes Ailsing will accept the "gift" and the Tremere will owe him a favor. I, by contrast, assume Ailsing will let the Healer go just because she wants nothing to do with the whole sordid business.

                And said Healer will probably try to kill her anyway because it's Vampire: The Masquerade.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-12-2019, 08:18 AM.


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                • Oh and welcome back Grumpy RPG Reviews


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    Notes

                    4. Rebekah also mentions Sir Walter as a potential candidate for Prince. I don't know who this is supposed to be and I double checked multiple Sirs. Sir Edward Scott and Sir Henry Johnson aren't who she meant (I briefly thought it was "Sir" turning out to be alive). There's also no Walter listed in the White Wolf Wiki. I really want to know who the hell this guy is. Oh and Anatole picked Neally for Prince. Interestingly, Joseph Peterson wasn't even mentioned. So, jokes on Rebekah.
                    Sir Walter Nash is the Ventrue Prince of Chicago according to the early editions of the V:TES card game. So an old school throwback. I don't know if Sir Walter Nash appeared in any V:TM supplements, as the original V:TES vampires weren't 'canon' in the context of the published V:TM material. I think Etrius was the first canon vampire to cross from V:TM to V:TES.

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                    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      Maybe it's also potentially after Lucita meeting her sister since hunting Infernalists to prove your bonafides is something that Lucita might do to win the Inquiisiton's respect but I'm inclined to think both this and the Black Monestary story take place well before the rest of the book--maybe even around 2004.
                      "Giovanni Chronicles V" takes place defenitely after "Shadows Coalesce" since Lucita talks Beckett about "Sejanus is too occupied with his own grandstanding."

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                      • Originally posted by MalleusXXIII View Post

                        Sir Walter Nash is the Ventrue Prince of Chicago according to the early editions of the V:TES card game. So an old school throwback. I don't know if Sir Walter Nash appeared in any V:TM supplements, as the original V:TES vampires weren't 'canon' in the context of the published V:TM material. I think Etrius was the first canon vampire to cross from V:TM to V:TES.
                        *owes Malleus XXIII major boon*


                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                        • A chapter that didn't really work for me, tbh. While I enjoyed the opening in Jo'burg and seeing Rebekah again the Master of Ravens just leaves me, flat I guess? Didn't really get a sense of what he wants or what his One True Way actually means in practice.

                          Lair of the Hidden is one of my least favourite sourcebooks so probably unsurprising this one left me a bit cold.
                          Last edited by Zorin001; 08-12-2019, 11:40 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            One thing that I am interested in is the possibility that the Master of Ravens is the guy responsible for Adonai joining the Sabbat. Given Adonai is a Warrior Salubri from 1000 A.D. this is probably not true but could easily have a connection somewhere. But yes if you like SAINT SAULOT (like me) then a lot of the stories about Saulot being an evil bastard could be entirely fabricated as libel and slander by the Master of Ravens. It would be an excellent excuse for all of it and explain the craziness of them.
                            I play him as both.

                            Yes, he did sire the Baali. Saulot is a vampiric saint, and he needed to provide the Cainites with an enemy that they could unite against and attempt to destroy. He used this to "purge" his evil and bestial tendencies, and thus the Baali were born. Unfortunately, things didn't go as expected.

                            So now, Saulot is a bastard. He actually doesn't really care about his fellow Vampires and is actively working against them. He understands that when Gehenna comes...the final Gehenna...that the resulting carnage will destroy EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. So, to prevent Gehenna and protect the kine, he is working to destroy his fellow Antidiluvians and their descendants. A few select Kindred who have achieved Golconda will continue to exist once the vampiric purge is complete.

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                            • I liked the means they used to fix the inconsistency with Salout. If you look at the Transylvania Chronicles it is pretty clear Salout is the ultimate villain. He creates the Baali and writes down his master plan to become the Demon Emperor and rule over the next age (a document the PCs can find). Then when you look at Lair of the Hidden and the Gehenna book; Salout is portrayed as a vampiric saint/savior. Which never made any sense compared to what was written before.

                              Personally I think that the Master of Ravens is an attempt to rectify that continuity issue. What I took from it was Salout went to the east and learned to awaken his Po (something that is hinted as a thing vampires could theoretically do in Sunset Empires). He then separated himself physically into his Hun and Po. Thus Saint Salout is his Hun self, the Master of Ravens is his Po. This lets you effectively have 2 Salouts that explain in the canon the large differences between the two.

                              Thats the version I prefer personally.

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                              • The Master of Ravens is a canon character from Lair of the Hidden,and he is not Saulot, but a member of the council of twelve.




                                MALKAVIAN
                                DEMETRIUS OF ANTIOCH, THE GOLCONDITE

                                Childe of Pashedu of Thebes, childe of Panehesy,
                                childe of Malkav

                                Background: Demetrius the Greek had spent a
                                long, full and enjoyable mortal span traveling the
                                globe as a wandering scholar. His only regret, as he
                                admitted once after a particularly enjoyable debate
                                with a chance-met stranger, was that even at 62, he’d
                                still only scratched the surface. Life, he complained —
                                never expecting his companion to take him seriously
                                — was simply too short to learn all there was to know.
                                Pashedu of Thebes, an ancient childe of Malkav,
                                agreed and inflicted upon Demetrius the curse of
                                ppointment at being cut off from whatever wonders
                                the daylight world still might hold) he took up his
                                quest for ultimate wisdom with new resolve. Over the
                                years, he tried many different approaches: the logic of
                                Aristotle, the mystery-cult of Mithras, even the simple,
                                passionate faith of the Christian martyrs — for anything
                                that led mortals to accept torture and death
                                rather than give it up must be of great worth indeed. He
                                followed them all, yet he still felt he was missing some
                                vital point.
                                And then he met Saulot. In the space of a few
                                hours, the angel of enlightenment laid all of the
                                wisdom of the ages at his feet. For the first time in his
                                entire existence, Demetrius felt complete, whole in
                                himself, even the need for blood fading from his soul.
                                The following evening, however, he rose to find himself
                                alone. Saulot had gone, as mysteriously as he’d
                                come. And of the great truth the angel had shown him,
                                Demetrius could recall only a few phrases. But since he
                                now knew beyond a doubt that such truth did exist,
                                even for a creature such as he (since the unnaturalness
                                of his state was something he rarely admitted to), he
                                could not allow himself to despair. The truth would
                                come to him again some night even as he groped
                                blindly along the unmapped road.

                                Getting into the Pact: Demetrius is not the intriguer
                                that others in the castle are. He naturally
                                assumed that Cret and the others were all as sincere as
                                any seeker of Golconda should be. If no one had agreed
                                with the Ventrue, he might have been more suspicious,
                                but everyone else seemed prepared to go along.
                                Surely it had all been meant for the best… he believes
                                this even now.

                                Since Then: Demetrius spends his present nights
                                in perfect bliss and serenity, of course. How could he
                                not? He has, after all, finally achieved Golconda. Less
                                than a decade after the Pact began, Saulot himself
                                came to Demetrius in a dream and personally guided
                                him through his Suspire. Unfortunately, few in the
                                castle seem willing to let him share his spiritual bounty;
                                some even tell him that he hallucinated the whole
                                thing. He’ll continue to work on them patiently,
                                leading by example just as Mokur did. In the meantime,
                                he reaches out into the world for those more
                                willing to listen, taking great comfort in the inspiration
                                his eager students provide.

                                Relations with Others: The others think
                                Demetrius is mad (which goes without saying), but
                                none of them have ever punctured his unfailing belief
                                in himself. Even so, his previous good humor fades now
                                far more swiftly than centuries before. If pushed, he’ll
                                snap out verbally and stalk off to sulk, a fact the rest
                                make good use of whenever he becomes too annoying.
                                Demetrius feels most at ease with Eshmunamash,
                                Abdalkutba, Danika, Hill and Cret — though due to
                                their mutual antagonisms, he prefers to deal with them
                                one-on-one rather than as a group. He finds Pentweret’s
                                arrogance more than his patience can bear and sees
                                almost nothing in Anastazi worth encouraging. He has
                                little in common with Bufo, Zamra or Drenis, but
                                treats them all well enough. His efforts to befriend
                                Zamra are especially notable, as he’s the only one who
                                still tries. Demetrius doesn’t hate any of his fellow
                                denizens. He forgives, and indeed outright forgets,
                                their insults quickly. He does, however, feel sorry for
                                them. After all, he succeeded where they couldn’t.
                                The one exception to this is his sleeping angel,
                                Mahtiel. He will not forget a threat to her. His affection
                                for Saulot’s orphan is both reverential and paternal.
                                While he knows her for what she is, he also recognizes
                                her great sorrow and pain, and does all he can to ease
                                her rest. (Abdalkutba’s occasional attempts to rouse
                                her have fortunately failed so far, and in such a way
                                that Demetrius couldn’t quite determine what was
                                responsible.)
                                As for whether any of the Twelve believe in
                                Demetrius’ “attainment”: On any given night, some
                                will acknowledge it possible. Drenis feels him to be the
                                closest of anyone there. Eshmunamash doesn’t usually
                                think it’s Golconda, but in any case it certainly gives
                                Demetrius a peace the old Brujah envies. Cret assumes
                                that it can’t be Golconda — because how can one be
                                mad and in Golconda? — but the old Lunatic does
                                seem to hold some valuable piece of the puzzle. If he
                                could just be made to explain it logically…

                                Outside Influence: Demetrius long ago gained
                                the rank of Master in the Ordo Aenigmatis, the mysterious,
                                half-mythical order of Malkavian mystics.
                                Even from Hunedoara he’s continued to teach his
                                willing juniors, always employing metaphor and riddles
                                to do so, rarely calling anything by its correct name. He
                                believes that words, especially names of people and
                                objects, can lose their power if over-used. Over time
                                his influence has spread somewhat beyond the Ordo,
                                and now he essentially conducts a Golconda cult by
                                correspondence. Through letters (and through judicious
                                use of his Malkavian gifts) he’s created a persona,
                                the Master of Ravens,
                                who reaches out from his solitary
                                hermitage to share the peace of Golconda. His pamphlet,
                                Traveling the Unmapped Road, has been translated
                                into several languages, often credited simply to “Anonymous.

                                Unfortunately, something in Demetrius’ soul is
                                less deluded than his mind. While the advice he gives
                                is usually sound enough, he can’t bear seeing others
                                achieve what some part of him knows he hasn’t. He
                                guides his students conscientiously, but if they appear
                                to be too close to achieving the goal, his own disavowed
                                bitterness induces him to lead them astray, all
                                without his ever realizing it.



                                The Deal: Nikanuuranu reinforces Demetrius’
                                delusion of Golconda, and has all but suppressed
                                Demetrius’ Beast. While the old Malkavian can lose
                                his temper or have fits of pique, he never shows even
                                the slightest hint of frenzy. Demetrius also labors under
                                the delusion that he doesn’t feed (he does; he just
                                doesn’t remember it afterward, and usually neither
                                does his vessel), but that’s entirely his own doing.

                                Image: A kindly, affable, stooped old man.
                                Demetrius has white hair that falls in tangled curls to
                                his shoulders, a scruffy white beard, deep brown eyes,
                                and a continually bemused expression. He wears the
                                same style of long, short-sleeved tunic and mantle he
                                wore during his life, and straps his knobby feet into
                                sandals year round. Around his neck he wears a silver
                                pendant bearing the three eyes of the Salubri clan, a
                                gift Mahtiel gave him years ago. An inscription on the
                                back, in Greek, reads, "For the one who sees most
                                clearly when blind." Demetrius uses a staff to walk, as
                                the Embrace did nothing for his arthritis, and he won’t
                                let Danika touch his old knees.

                                Roleplaying Hints: Be insufferably cryptic. Use
                                creative riddles and metaphors to illustrate your points,
                                and just smile knowingly if nobody understands you —
                                obviously, they aren’t as ready as they think. Never
                                refer to anyone directly by name, lest you inadvertently
                                cause them harm. Even the nicknames you
                                devise for people must be changed periodically, or else
                                they will begin to bear the weight of reality. Perform
                                little kindnesses for guests and treat them with utmost
                                sympathy. If they rebuff you, go off to meditate until
                                your irritation fades and approach them again just as
                                gently later.

                                Self-Destruct Button: Demetrius steadfastly believes
                                himself to be an honest man and a true teacher
                                of Golconda. Should he ever realize the truth he hides
                                from, his shame and remorse will likely drive him truly
                                mad, and into the jaws of the Beast.

                                Sire: Pashedu of Thebes
                                Nature: Caretaker
                                Demeanor: Guru
                                Generation: 6th
                                Embrace: Circa 320 B.C.
                                Apparent Age: late 60s
                                Physical: Strength 6, Dexterity 6, Stamina 4
                                Social: Charisma 7, Manipulation 7, Appearance 2
                                Mental: Perception 7, Intelligence 7, Wits 6
                                Talents: Alertness 6, Brawl 2, Diplomacy 4, Dodge 4,
                                Empathy 7, Expression 7, Leadership 5, Subterfuge 6
                                Skills: Crafts (Scribe) 5, Etiquette 3, Meditation 7,
                                Melee 2, Performance (Acting) 4, Ride 2, Stealth 1,
                                Survival 3
                                Knowledges: Academics 6, Clan Knowledge
                                (Malkavian) 4, Clan Knowledge (Salubri) 2, Cryptography
                                3, Enigmas 6, Expert Knowledge (Theology) 4,
                                Finance 1, Investigation 3, Law 2, Linguistics (Greek,
                                Latin, Romanian, Arabic, Hebrew, Enochian — or so
                                he thinks — and others as needed) 7, Occult 3, Politics
                                1, Research 4, Science 2
                                Disciplines: Animalism 5, Auspex 5, Celerity 2,
                                Dementation 7, Dominate 3, Fortitude 7, Obfuscate 6,
                                Presence 4
                                Backgrounds: Allies 4, Contacts 4, Retainers 2
                                Virtues: Conscience 5, Self-Control 4, Courage 4
                                Morality: Humanity 8
                                Willpower: 8
                                Notes: Like Eshmunamash, Demetrius is short on
                                Traits going strictly by the Children of the Night
                                system. Up to 26 Ability dots and 7 Discipline dots
                                could be added before he would be considered “overpowered”
                                under that system.
                                See the Appendix for a description of Enigmatic Text
                                and Psychic Double, Demetrius’ special powers.





                                ENIGMATIC TEXT
                                (DEMENTATION LEVEL SIX)

                                The Malkavians’ familiarity with madness renders
                                them peculiarly able to extract information from sources
                                where it should not exist. Some elder Malkavians, including
                                Demetrius, can reverse the process and plant
                                information in hidden forms. They usually do this through
                                speech or writing, but Malkavians have planted hidden
                                messages in paintings, music, flower arrangements, trash
                                scattered around the haven or anything else that the
                                hand or mind could shape. A person who sees, hears or
                                reads the Malkavian’s work for an extended period
                                recognizes the hidden meaning, though he cannot say
                                exactly where the information comes from. Demetrius
                                writes his tracts about Golconda using Enigmatic Text.
                                System: Enigmatic communication requires a simple
                                success on a Wits + Expression roll. The difficulty depends
                                on the medium. Planting a hidden meaning in
                                words is difficulty 6; in a nonverbal medium that is
                                nevertheless a recognized form of communication, such
                                as a painting, is difficulty 7; and a form that does not
                                normally convey information at all, such as piles of
                                pebbles or a table-setting, is difficulty 8. The power does
                                not cost blood points. If, however, the Kindred wants to
                                store the Enigmatic Text in a permanent form so that
                                anyone can perceive the message later, this costs the
                                character two points of Willpower.
                                If someone receives an Enigmatic Text directly from
                                the Malkavian, no roll is needed; the target always
                                understands the message. Imparting an Enigmatic Text
                                directly takes a few minutes. “Reading” a stored Enigmatic
                                Text takes at least an hour, and a lengthy Enigmatic
                                Text may take nights or weeks to understand in full. The
                                character’s player rolls Perception + Expression (difficulty
                                6) to receive the hidden meaning. This is an
                                extended roll. The Storyteller decides how many successes
                                the player must accumulate to comprehend the
                                Enigmatic Text. One of Demetrius’ tracts, for instance,
                                typically requires five successes to extract his thoughts on
                                seeking Golconda.
                                Demetrius’ tracts also have a special power not
                                usually held by Enigmatic Texts. Anyone who reads
                                them becomes a beacon to the Malkavian’s far-traveling
                                spirit. Anyone who studies and understands one of
                                Demetrius’ tracts may, in time, receive a visit from
                                Demetrius himself, using his Psychic Double power
                                (see below).
                                Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-12-2019, 02:39 PM.

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