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  • Arikel

    I did say in the thread about the Tremere and the beckoning that I was going to do a thread on Arikel/Ishtar, and what this Antediluvian might be up to. After reading the Encyclopedia Vampirica, it seemed to me that Arikel might be following a strategy in the Jyhad totally different from the other Antediluvians, and hiding in plain sight. Full frontal, even.

    What we know of Arikel is scant. The first born and oldest of the Antediluvians, the Prodigals state that Arikel and Troile together invented the Humanity moral system. And I assume even the Antediluvians are not past the need to keep their beasts on a leash.

    We also know that Arikel is conflict-shy. When Ennoia sent her spawn after Arikel, the Toreador Antediluvian fled the Gangrel neonate. When Ennoia embraced Gilgamesh she fled again. This seems peculiar, although she may have been avoiding Ennoia herself and assumed that the spawn were stalking horses. Or Arikel may have tried to avoid collateral damage, if Humanity was actually important.

    Arikel vanishes from the world of the kindred after embracing Iontius, a very peculiar member of the Fourth Generation. His embrace date seems to be unknown, although it is after the Greeks became a people. He has painted the Dracon, so he is at least predates the final death of that Kindred. Iontius behaves differently from other methuselahs. He is active, he does not seem to worry in the least about methuselahs of the fifth generation seeking his potent vitae. He does not care to sit on a throne in the lands of the dead, stand in the desert and look up at the stars while smiling a cold and alien smile, sacrifice villages of innocents to dark gods, or any of the other hobbies members of his generation enjoy. Iontius goes to parties, falls in love and has his heart broken. In which he is very much like his sire who fell in love with mortal men.

    Iontius has also broken the curse of God.

    He has freed himself of the need to drink blood. He is capable of feeding on the breath of mortals when having sex with them. One would think this would be huge news, especially as kindred of his age and generation face tighter and tighter blood supply restrictions as Methuselahs Thirst overtakes them, and they spend more and more time in torpor. While Iontius just gets laid.

    In fact, even the Antediluvians cannot escape this curse. As the "Time of Thin Blood" states out of character, in the "This is what really happened in the WOD "section:

    As vampires age, they must feed on increasingly potent blood. First the blood of animals no longer sustain them. After several centuries, only the vitae of other vampires can satisfy their thirst. The true Antediluvians are more than ten millennia old. They passed the "Methuselahs Thirst" stage long ago. Did the Antediluvian utterly destroy its childer and grandchilder...
    Well, Iontius just gets laid.

    Curiously, this is well known, but no one seems to care or feel that it is important. Even kindred who suffer from Methuselahs Thirst seems to feel that this is unimportant.

    A well known theory, even printed in his biography, claims that there never was an Iontius. It is just an alias for Arikel. (Presumably to stop having to dodge Gangrel every so often). Strangely, no one seems to feel that this is particularly important. And the two does seem very similar in terms of personality, from what little we know.

    Currently, Iontius has taken the name Derek Zeel, and works as a porn star. Unusually, the Camarilla who tends to take a dim view of Kindred with high media profiles, can't seem to make itself care. Iontius has been doing this for a while (since before the first Toreador Clanbook) and the Camarilla has not been able to force itself to feel any particular concern. Now porn star seems a peculiar job for a refined kindred artist -but there are Presence powers that let a Kindred extend its abilities through media. And Iontius can feed on sexual release.

    Internet porn is very popular and reachable by a very large slice of earths over seven billion kine. And while there are a lot of small fish out there. the really big suppliers are surprisingly few. I think the really huge, monstrous kindred blood-orgies of Knossos and Carthage, Shaitans sacrifices seem to have involves thousands of people. Now if Iontius truly is Arikel and can feed through media, then while the other Antediluvians hides in the shadows and feed laboriously on the Fourth and Fifth generation... by my calculations Arikel could be taking in something north of a billion -with a b- blood point equivalents per year. VEUs as Dr. Netchurch called them.

    That makes the greatest amounts of blood any kindred has wielded look like a thimble besides the ocean. I have no notion what would require that.

  • #2
    It surprises me that a Methuselah of Clan Toreador would lower himself to working as a porn star. Can't he maintain lovers at various locations, or seduce people on the spot (especially with the help of Presence) as he needs to feed? Even if there would be some possibility of feeding through media ( which sounds even more ridiculous now that I type it), I expect there would be some kind of diminishing results on this.
    And surely Arikel herself wouldn't lower to this.

    In regard to Methuselah's Thirst, I like to think that most Antediluvians are deathless in the sense that they require a relatively small amount of normal blood.
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-27-2020, 03:41 PM.

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    • #3
      If he indeed can feed on the release through media, combined with todays technology, he would net an amount of blood that is simply beyond comprehension.

      But I feel this appeal to me on several levels: Iontius was introduced in the original Toradeor Clanbook. (Same book as the power that lets a Toreador extend its presence through media) Hiding in plain sight since then is kind of fitting for an Antediluvian.

      All the Antediluvians (except Absimilliard) seems to seek some kind of transcedence where they transcend the vampiric condition. It is fitting for the strategy of Arikel to be seeking it through humanity. Not in returning to humanity but through gorging on an unimaginable amount of human pleasure.

      Also...

      Absimilliard: I hide in the shadows, hunting my clan to appease Caine.
      Malkav: I have cast off my madness by becoming the cobweb, existing in the minds of my clan.
      Saulot: I am the warlord of the Jyhad and walk hidden in many guises, at the head of many clans and bloodlines.
      Cappadocious: I will learn the mysteries of death and diablerize God.
      Arikel: Look at ME everybody I am NAKED! Look at my PENIS! Don't I look GREAT!? Orgasms for everyone who thinks I look good! How can I make even more people see me naked?

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      • #4
        You mentioned in a previous post you think arikel is in san Fran? Why is that

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Trollroot View Post
          Arikel: Look at ME everybody I am NAKED! Look at my PENIS! Don't I look GREAT!? Orgasms for everyone who thinks I look good! How can I make even more people see me naked?
          Well, I'd think she'd be more like this, but everyone has their own views.



          As for Derrick Zeel, there's several things we should keep in mind.

          The idea of a childe of an antedeluvian being active in the modern night and working as a porn star is a very gonzo 1st edition type thing. It's exactly the kind of thing that got eliminated in Revised and going forward, sometimes retroactively. So everyone's mileage will vary. Was he ever mentioned outside the first edition clanbook?

          Even in the first edition clanbook, this may not be true. Things are written from an unreliable narrator perspective. We're specifically told "No one knows Zeel's real identity." We're then told many "believe" he's a powerful generation Toreador. And that "one thaumaturgist" believes he's a fourth generation Toreador. Then we're told the legend of Iontius along with a list of wildly improbable things Iontius did. So we have a lot of speculation - and even if one of these are true, it does not mean the others are. If you want to say Derrick Zeel is Iontius who is a fourth generation childe of Arikel, who has all these strange powers and fantastic history, based on that write up in the clanbook, you can. If someone else says he's just some tenth generation Toreador making porn in Los Angeles (or wherever), she has just as much canonical evidence as you and you as her. So not necessarily wrong, but it's not definitive even from "canon" - which means less and less with every metaplot retcon introduced.

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          • #6
            Going back to your original point, I do agree that Arikel has acted very differently from other antedeluvians in terms of the Jyhad.

            From some of her names and activities in the ancient world, she seemed to be going for the archtypical "Great Goddess" trope (she possibly invented it in the WoD). This implies may have had some kind of public persona in order to cultivate worship of her. This is something many of the antedeluvians did, but she seemed to push it harder and longer than others. And in the cosmology and metaphysics of the WoD, this is something that can eventually become a means of transforming you into some kind of deity. That's a stretch, but it is consistent with known facts about her. In the meantime, it also gives you control of entire cities, empires, armies, etc. So she likely had a lot of temporal power at certain points in her existence. (It also makes you a prominent target which is likely why she disappeared at some point, and she has the reputation of running from fights.)

            If we assume that's her strategy, then how could she pull it off modern day? She wouldn't be able to be worshipped directly (though who knows what is conceivably possible once Gehenna begins and the world as we know it breaks down), but there may be different things she'd be able to do - infiltrate various neopagan religious groups, undermine established religions she couldn't corrupt, maybe masquerade as a vision of the Virgin Mary, build on celebrity culture and lifestyle brand companies to get people (especially women) to emulate her (jewelry, perfume, luxury goods, beauty and wellness) either directly or through controlled proxies. That can be expanded upon (including... porn).

            So it is one option though definitely not the only one.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RadioFreeDeath View Post
              You mentioned in a previous post you think arikel is in san Fran? Why is that
              I seemed to remember that that is where Zeel did his filming. But when doing a readthrough for the Arikel post, I could not find it anywhere, so I may have misremembered.

              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

              As for Derrick Zeel, there's several things we should keep in mind.

              The idea of a childe of an antedeluvian being active in the modern night and working as a porn star is a very gonzo 1st edition type thing. It's exactly the kind of thing that got eliminated in Revised and going forward, sometimes retroactively. So everyone's mileage will vary. Was he ever mentioned outside the first edition clanbook?
              Yes, Zeel/Iontius pops up through the editions. He wrote the "Anatomy of the Blood" which is a lost text. He has a big part as one of the authors of the "Encyclopedia Vampirica" recently, which is where the opinion that he is the founder of the Toreador comes from.

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              • #8
                I hold the belief that Methuselah's thirst is a myth, or like one of those -if I believe the myths they might be true- kind of things. It's largely used by ancillae to get neonates to go against their elders, or by elders to discourage neonates from diablerie. Lowering your generation is all-benefit, no cons, except in the case of thinbloods, but no sane ruler would ever arm their treacherous subordinates with such a knowledge.

                As for -The book wrote this out of character-
                Well, yeah, the books write a lot of absolute bullshit "out of character". Authors are often selling the lie, or they're flat out wrong (perhaps because the lie was sold too well).

                Some less controversial examples:
                -You lose path if you use Diamonion unless you're on the path of evil revelations, nevermind the existence of path of the hive or the road of sin or...
                -Riot gear provides more dice of protection than a ballistic vest.
                -warhammers do bashing damage.
                -Various historical inaccuracies for DA games.

                There'd be a lot of things if I were to go for some more controversial things...


                Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                • #9
                  I actually feel that, of all the Antediluvians, she would be the one most likely to try to become human again. Not necessarily a plain old human, but human. I have had this theory that each member of the third generation was embraced to try to find a means to escape the curse. Now, not each one knew about why they were embraced or what their expected goals were to be, but that they would accomplish such things regardless. For instance, the Gangrel founder was embraced to find a cure through the shapechangers and the spirits of nature. (As an aside, I don't think she was an actual Lupine, more likely a Kinfolk of a proto- Black Furies/Shadow Lords tribe.) She has since at least partially merged with the planet, and is well on her way to becoming the new "Gaia." Others, not so lucky. Tzimisce was supposed to hunt for Dragons, and wound up finding Demons instead, or something else. Now, I'm not sure what it is, but it is somewhere beyond a vampire. In this manner, Arikel was embraced to find a way to surpass the curse with just being human. Simple, but the solution closest to what the curse is calling for. In one scenario I had planned for Gehenna, Arikel becoming human marked the start of the end times. Now, if a vampire that powerful could find a way to keep some of that power, and still be human more or less, that one would win, no matter what the others would do.


                  THWarted

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                    Even in the first edition clanbook, this may not be true. Things are written from an unreliable narrator perspective. We're specifically told "No one knows Zeel's real identity." We're then told many "believe" he's a powerful generation Toreador. And that "one thaumaturgist" believes he's a fourth generation Toreador. Then we're told the legend of Iontius along with a list of wildly improbable things Iontius did. So we have a lot of speculation - and even if one of these are true, it does not mean the others are. If you want to say Derrick Zeel is Iontius who is a fourth generation childe of Arikel, who has all these strange powers and fantastic history, based on that write up in the clanbook, you can.
                    I didn't remember that. Later books don't seem as if they did either. Iontius showed up again in Encyclopedia Vampirica, which treated him as a fourth gen sex god and also fleshed out his background a little, giving him a Giovanni lover killed by the Sabbat.

                    I always figured he was a methuselah dwelling in San Francisco who simply hid his identity. The tenth gen porn producer is his public persona, much like Portia is Helena's.


                    Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Trollroot View Post
                      Arikel: Look at ME everybody I am NAKED! Look at my PENIS! Don't I look GREAT!? Orgasms for everyone who thinks I look good! How can I make even more people see me naked?
                      So you think Arikel would go for this?
                      I think the closest that a mortal might get to Arikel's intimacy is being leashed, whipped to blood, and then drunk from to at least half dry.

                      Originally posted by Toby Weingarten View Post
                      I actually feel that, of all the Antediluvians, she would be the one most likely to try to become human again. Not necessarily a plain old human, but human. I have had this theory that each member of the third generation was embraced to try to find a means to escape the curse. Now, not each one knew about why they were embraced or what their expected goals were to be, but that they would accomplish such things regardless. For instance, the Gangrel founder was embraced to find a cure through the shapechangers and the spirits of nature. (As an aside, I don't think she was an actual Lupine, more likely a Kinfolk of a proto- Black Furies/Shadow Lords tribe.) She has since at least partially merged with the planet, and is well on her way to becoming the new "Gaia." Others, not so lucky. Tzimisce was supposed to hunt for Dragons, and wound up finding Demons instead, or something else. Now, I'm not sure what it is, but it is somewhere beyond a vampire. In this manner, Arikel was embraced to find a way to surpass the curse with just being human. Simple, but the solution closest to what the curse is calling for. In one scenario I had planned for Gehenna, Arikel becoming human marked the start of the end times. Now, if a vampire that powerful could find a way to keep some of that power, and still be human more or less, that one would win, no matter what the others would do.
                      Maybe Arikel indeed cares a lot about Humanity - but it is just around Humanity 4-6?
                      There is this illustration from the Gehenna book (the Nightshade scenario), that has many 3rd Generation Founders in it. It has giant wild-beast Ennoia, 'stared into the Abyss' Lasombra, desiccated Set, 'several-little-girls' Malkav, and Nosferatu looking as expected. And of course Arikel, who seems to be the only one who cares about looking presentable and maintaining impressions (there's also Nosferatu, not like he has a choice). Though I have to say that she does not look like she minds her company.
                      Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-01-2021, 02:53 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Honestly Trollroot, I think it's brilliant, absolutely brilliant!
                        All the ways Iontius is downplayed really seals the deal for me. It's just as you write; that him breaking the curse of god sure is no biggie.
                        It's the perfect way to justify them keeping this 1 Ed madness in EV, and it´s the most intresting I've ever read about the Toreador antediluvian....well ever!
                        Well done!

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                        • #13
                          Trollroot, I love this headcanon!

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                          • #14
                            It is important to consider the source here I think.

                            While Iontius has been around since the 1st ed Clanbook, as far as I can determine, the idea that there never was an Iontius and that it is an alias for Arikel originated in the Encyclopedia Vampirica by his fellow authors. They include Bindusara, a sixth generation methuselah who has seen 23 centuries worth of nights and been a contemporary of several active Antediluvians, Aristotle de Laurent who complied the modern version of the Book of Nod and Albertus Magnus said to be one of the wisest sages of the Cainite race. These are some of the premier noddists among the Kindred, and the last two have known Iontius since the renaissance, and may be the people who know him best. Those are the Kindred who felt that this may be rather more than a "normal" ancient member of the fourth generation.

                            It should also be said that Iontius feeding method is unique in another way besides just breaking the command of God. As far as can be determined the Kine suffers no ill effects from it. Rather the opposite. Iontius has gone so far towards humanity that he is no longer parasitic, but more symbiotic. Whatever else might be said, that is very like what we might expect from Arikel.

                            Finally, Iontius illustrated the Encyclopedia Vampirica, it says, under considerable time pressure and from memory. The kindred he chose to sketch include Baba Yaga, Caine (several pictures), Ur-Shulgi, Malkav, Shaitan as he looked before Caine struck him down, and the Aralu Loz who is "assumed to be another name for Toreador". As well as a large number of other kindred, but those are the ones who stand out in my mind as somewhat peculiar people to be able to sketch portraits of from memory.

                            The only one of the authors he did not include a picture of on the biography page is himself. But his description does fit the picture of Loz.
                            Last edited by Trollroot; 01-31-2021, 08:32 PM.

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