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Telyavel - a Tzimisce?

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  • Telyavel - a Tzimisce?

    So, I just finished my re-read of DA-Clan Novel Gangrel and stumbled across a passage I found rather intriguing. Spoilers for DA-CN:Gangrel and Tzimisce ahead.





    "He then looked into the smith's eyes and was shocked to see they contained swirls of stars set against utter darkness - just like the eyes of the strange Cainite Qarakh had encountered outside of the monastery." (p. 272)

    The smith is Telyavel, a pagan god (and Earthbound, according to some speculations) and the "strange Cainite" is no other than the Dracon, visiting a lone Obertus monastery in Lithuania in disguise.

    So why should there eyes be the same? There is no description of Alexanders eyes matching the "stars and darkness"-stuff here - and he is a Methuselah in the same book. There is no connection between the Dracon and Demons/earthbound asf., he is known to hate Koldunic Sorcery.

    Is there another connection between the Dracon or better the Tzimisce and Telyav, the pagan god of Lithuania, of blacksmiths and death, which the Telyavelic Tremere worshipped?

    I found a couple of reasons why my answer - at least in head-canon - would be: yes.

    1) The power his Tremere-followers wield are quite similar to Koldunic Sorcery, which is even an in-game accusation of the main-branch of House Tremere against the Telyavs.
    2) The power Telyav grants to Qarakh may have been simply thaumaturgic in nature - but eating soil, becoming connected and bound to the soil aso. sounds quite Tzimisce to me.
    3) The most powerful Vampire of Lithuania - which is never mentioned in the whole novel - is Byelobog, an known and mighty Koldun and Methuselah of Clan Tzimisce.

    So my hypothesis would be that Telyavel is actually another persona of Byelobog, which he used to "convert" the Tremere around Deverra that later became the Telyavelic Tremere.
    Is there another connection between Qarakh and Byelobog?

    4) This is a stretch, but bear with me: So Quarakh get's bound to Telyavel and Lithuania in the novel to be able to defeat - and diablerize - Alexander of Paris. There is some strong speculation of him being the original identity of Jalan-Aajav (and/or Karsh). As far as we know, Qarakh disappeares from history after 1232 - much like Jalan-Aajav allegedly vanished from history after Gengis Khans raids in the 13th century. And Jalan first appears in Romania at the dawn of the Anarch Revolt, where he meets Lugoj - who diablerized said Byelobog roughly 150 years ago. So maybe they revived their alliance of 1232, when they both had not yet changed their souls through Diablerie?
    (5 - this is for fun - there is also a minor point, the strong parallels between the original CN-Gangrel and its Dark Ages counterpart: A gathering of Gangrel, summoned by (or through the actions) of a relatively young Gangrel (Ramona/Qarakh), to fight a mighty adversary (Leopold/Alexander) in which fight the use of Sorcery determines the victor (for Leopold/Qarakh).)

    I know that it's not bulletproof, there is some speculation, and Telyavel talks as if he was NO Vampire at all - but it's a fun thought - or what do you think?
    Last edited by Athanasius; 01-15-2020, 06:28 PM.

  • #2
    Most probably a powerful spirit, possibly a demon

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    • #3
      I like your theory! I've heard a theory that Telyavel could possibly be the Eldest himself. A creature so old and powerful could easily present itself as a God. Also, the fact that the God is a blacksmith but he beats the human form on his anvil seems pretty damn Tzimisce. And the deal that Qarakh sealed with the God just seems as he was cursed with the Tzimisce clan flaw. I don't know if Byelobog would be powerful enough to hand out clan curses or even give Qarakh the power to defeat Alexander.
      I never understood the Qarakh/Jalan Aajav/Karsh theory. It totally ignores the last thing we know about Qarakh, and that is that he can't leave Lithuania. I think otherwise the glove fits but skipping that detail makes his pact with the God pretty... well shit. The price Qarakh had to pay was to be locked in one place, kinda heavy price to pay for someone of his Mongol ways. If that was ignored then what was the price? To move around freely and become 2 of the most powerful vampire leaders in the world? For someone like Qarakh I can't see that as a punishment.

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      • #4
        Whatever happened to Sielanic Thaumaturgy anyway? Did they flesh it out more? It only had like 2 paths.

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        • #5
          Doubtful Byelobog had the juice to power up Qarakh enough to defeat Alexander. If Telyavel was a vampire then the Eldest is the most likely candidate imo.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by anda View Post
            I like your theory! I've heard a theory that Telyavel could possibly be the Eldest himself. A creature so old and powerful could easily present itself as a God. Also, the fact that the God is a blacksmith but he beats the human form on his anvil seems pretty damn Tzimisce. And the deal that Qarakh sealed with the God just seems as he was cursed with the Tzimisce clan flaw. I don't know if Byelobog would be powerful enough to hand out clan curses or even give Qarakh the power to defeat Alexander.
            I never understood the Qarakh/Jalan Aajav/Karsh theory. It totally ignores the last thing we know about Qarakh, and that is that he can't leave Lithuania. I think otherwise the glove fits but skipping that detail makes his pact with the God pretty... well shit. The price Qarakh had to pay was to be locked in one place, kinda heavy price to pay for someone of his Mongol ways. If that was ignored then what was the price? To move around freely and become 2 of the most powerful vampire leaders in the world? For someone like Qarakh I can't see that as a punishment.
            You forget that Qarakh's bond with the land of Livonia had a condition, it would last until Qarakh's bond with Deverra was standing. IIRC Deverra was killed by the Tremere, so Qarakh's bond with the land should have been erased, and therefore the Qarakh/Jalan Aajav/Karsh theory stands. Also it's stated pretty clearly that Telyavel was a god of the land of Livonia. For the Eldest posing as him makes very little sense, as does another vampire. The WoD has gods: they are basically very powerful spirits and is presented as such.
            Last edited by Haquim; 01-16-2020, 05:54 PM.

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            • #7
              While I do know that my theory is no more than that, I don't see your point here. The Dracon is posing as Nikita, Triglav was a god/Tzimisce, Byelobog was a god/Tzimisce, why than "very little sense" in this case?

              Moreover, what does the Dracon want with Telyavel? He never had any kind of relationship to pagan gods. He had a relationship with his methuselah brothers. (What doesn't add up though, is that he is said to hate Koldunic sorcery)

              The DA-Novel-Series mentions a few non-vampires in passing, lupines, wraiths, but never in a central capacity. Telyavel would be the only one that is essential to one of the books. Not bulletproof, as I said, but certainly not so easily dismissed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                For the Eldest posing as him makes very little sense, as does another vampire. The WoD has gods: they are basically very powerful spirits and is presented as such.
                There's actual precedence of kindred posing as or being confused for mythological deities. Set himself comes to mind as the most obvious example. There was a Dark Ages book with plenty of kindred taking on mythological viking names and/or roles. Kindred posing as gods is well established, regardless of the existence of actual spirit-gods.


                Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                  You forget that Qarakh's bond with the land of Livonia had a condition, it would last until Qarakh's bond with Deverra was standing. IIRC Deverra was killed by the Tremere, so Qarakh's bond with the land should have been erased, and therefore the Qarakh/Jalan Aajav/Karsh theory stands.
                  That is something that I've missed, nice point.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Athanasius View Post
                    While I do know that my theory is no more than that, I don't see your point here. The Dracon is posing as Nikita, Triglav was a god/Tzimisce, Byelobog was a god/Tzimisce, why than "very little sense" in this case?

                    Moreover, what does the Dracon want with Telyavel? He never had any kind of relationship to pagan gods. He had a relationship with his methuselah brothers. (What doesn't add up though, is that he is said to hate Koldunic sorcery)

                    The DA-Novel-Series mentions a few non-vampires in passing, lupines, wraiths, but never in a central capacity. Telyavel would be the only one that is essential to one of the books. Not bulletproof, as I said, but certainly not so easily dismissed.
                    The key word here is “posing”, as vampires are spiritually stunted creatures in the WoD. But that’s behind the point to an extent. The telyavelics Tremere were a bunch of mortals worshipping a god of the land of Latvia. A few of them were their priests and received power in exchange. The Tremere embraced a few of those priests and the telyavelic Tremere were born, adapting the gifts Of Telyav to their new condition (I.e. they forged a secret thaumaturgical path stressing their link to the land). Your theory implies that these Tremere and the mortals before them were given power by a vampire but that’s simply not what seems to be going on here and it makes little sense for other vampires to give power to the Tremere. And btw the Telyavelics were introduced in Libellus Sanguinis II, the DA clan saga just used them as part of the plot

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                      The telyavelics Tremere were a bunch of mortals worshipping a god of the land of Latvia. A few of them were their priests and received power in exchange. The Tremere embraced a few of those priests and the telyavelic Tremere were born, adapting the gifts Of Telyav to their new condition (I.e. they forged a secret thaumaturgical path stressing their link to the land).
                      Yeah, see, and that's just not true:
                      „Unable to recover from the original horror of their transformation into Cainites [!], a small group of Tremere left Ceoris […] they desired only to search for some means of reversing the catastrophic change they had undergone.“ (Libellus Sanguinis II, p. 62). They became shamans and priests oft he local pagan God Telyavel, because the local populace saw them as incarnations of their god. They developed their Thaumaturgic paths using vitae and a "mystical emanation from the land, forest, spirit, i.e. vis of the lithuanian soil. „In addition, their deliberate closeness tot he vis-rich soil itself enables them to draw upon the metamorphic aspects of their Tzimisce [!] blood.“ (ibd.)

                      DA-CN:Gangrel introduces Deverra, a female witch/mage, who was basically a believer in Telyavel - NOT a priest - who became apprentice to a Tremere Cainite named Alferic, who later embraced her - somewhere outside of Lithuania. She even made the Order/House send her to Lithuania in order to conduct research about the Tzimisces Koldunic sorcery.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Athanasius View Post

                        Yeah, see, and that's just not true:
                        „Unable to recover from the original horror of their transformation into Cainites [!], a small group of Tremere left Ceoris […] they desired only to search for some means of reversing the catastrophic change they had undergone.“ (Libellus Sanguinis II, p. 62). They became shamans and priests oft he local pagan God Telyavel, because the local populace saw them as incarnations of their god. They developed their Thaumaturgic paths using vitae and a "mystical emanation from the land, forest, spirit, i.e. vis of the lithuanian soil. „In addition, their deliberate closeness tot he vis-rich soil itself enables them to draw upon the metamorphic aspects of their Tzimisce [!] blood.“ (ibd.)

                        DA-CN:Gangrel introduces Deverra, a female witch/mage, who was basically a believer in Telyavel - NOT a priest - who became apprentice to a Tremere Cainite named Alferic, who later embraced her - somewhere outside of Lithuania. She even made the Order/House send her to Lithuania in order to conduct research about the Tzimisces Koldunic sorcery.
                        Thanks for the quote. I didn't remember the exact circumstances correctly but I still don't see how you somehow deduced Telyavel must be a cainite rather than a spirit. The Tremere have Tzimisce blood simply because that's what Goratrix used to create the potion that turned them into vampires. And btw Tzimisce blood is connected to Kupala, an eartbound demon (before someone starts thinking it's just another vampire) whose "form" is the land of Transylvania and for the most part kulduns channel its power (once upon a time we had even creatures called "kuppalings"...).

                        To work your theory needs to explain how and why a Tzimisce would help a bunch of Tremere. Keep in mind that what Telyavel did was increase Qarakh's power so he could match a thousand years old 4th generation vampire in exchange for a pact. Even other 4th gens doing that seems unlikely. An ante could do it of course (because well, antes are plot devices so they can do anything the ST or author wants in order to get the story going) but Tzimisce acting as a protector of Livonia makes no sense and that being done through Tremere and Gangrel vampires seems even more unlikely. Coincidentally a "god" doing that is perfectly coherent with what "gods" in the WoD are (that or Telyavel is another earthbound).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                          Thanks for the quote. I didn't remember the exact circumstances correctly but I still don't see how you somehow deduced Telyavel must be a cainite rather than a spirit.
                          I never said, it "must be", I only suggested, it could be. I fail to see any evidence that Telyavel was a spirit, however.


                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                          To work your theory needs to explain how and why a Tzimisce would help a bunch of Tremere.
                          Because they worshipped him as a god? Because he "knew" Deverra when she was mortal? Because I don't know any Tzimisce methuselahs who actually hate the Tremere, because their so-called "blood theft" happened only "recently", at least from a methuselahs point of view. Because he can? Because he actually felt Alexander needed to go? Because he started to identify himself with the role of the "god of death" and saw Alexander as an entity defying death for too long?

                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                          Keep in mind that what Telyavel did was increase Qarakh's power so he could match a thousand years old 4th generation vampire in exchange for a pact. Even other 4th gens doing that seems unlikely. An ante could do it of course (because well, antes are plot devices so they can do anything the ST or author wants in order to get the story going) but Tzimisce acting as a protector of Livonia makes no sense and that being done through Tremere and Gangrel vampires seems even more unlikely.
                          It's Lithuania, not Livonia. There certainly is a connection between the Dracon and Tzimisce. But maybe there is a whole other reason, Quarakh saw similarities in both Telyavel's and the Dracon's eyes?
                          I think I'll have to finish the series, to get further evidence - or discard my little theory in doing that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Athanasius View Post
                            I think I'll have to finish the series, to get further evidence - or discard my little theory in doing that.
                            Finish the series...

                            :P

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by blackshade View Post
                              Doubtful Byelobog had the juice to power up Qarakh enough to defeat Alexander. If Telyavel was a vampire then the Eldest is the most likely candidate imo.

                              Why do you think a Tzimisce methuselah could not have the juice to empower Qarakh against a Ventrue methuselah? Seems feasible to me, specially if the 4th gen ain't really that old nor a combat monster (for his tier, younger kindred would definitely disagree), as has been my overall impression of Alexander...

                              That said, i'm personally much more in favor of Telyav being a spirit of the land, much like Kupala and others, than a vampire.
                              Last edited by Baaldam; 09-16-2020, 12:11 AM.

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