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  • wyrdhamster
    started a topic [Dark Eras fan] Byzantine Empire

    [Dark Eras fan] Byzantine Empire

    Like topic title suggest, I want to talk here about historical events and fan ideas for playing stories in Byzantium. I want to incorporate it to my Viking Era chronicle of Werewolf, but I see this as very promising for Mage also, at least. Lancea Sanctum difference in worship could also make it intriguing setting for them. Logiclly, this fan topic will expand materials from both chapters Wolf & Raven from Dark Eras 1 ( Vikings raids on Europe ) and 1001 Nights from Dark Eras 2 ( Golden Age of Islam ).

    Of course, it’s also a good topic to point great documentary or sources for the period. For this, I started to listen ‘History of Byzantium’ podcast, connecting my interests in Roman Empire, early Medieval Times and Vikings. Byzantium – called Rome of East – or often as Constantinople was successor of antiquity Roman Empire by over millennium. But not the pagan city of predecessor – but rather first Christian empire of the world, now being called Istanbul in Turkey.

    Introduction of podcast - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-f8vtm-15817ca

    Change from Roman Empire to Byzantine Empire - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-5ik7s-15817c9

    Constantinople \ city of Byzantium description – and how it’s citizens lived there. https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-u359k-ffa585

    Plague of Justinian of 542 A.D. – most important event for the fan setting I build for CoD below - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-zqmb4-15f05ec

    Preparing the play setting and listening to History of Byzantium podcast – I understand I cannot cling to one Dark Era setting for the whole Empire stretch. So I will divide it into 4 smaller periods subchapters, with proper settings ideas, based on general divide on Wikipedia of Empire. Because of historical implications, each new Era will be based on information from previous one.

    Mini-Eras in topic:
    1. Dawn of Byzantium - End of Western Empire and Justinian dynasty (480 – 626)
    2. Shrinking Empire - Shrinking borders and Macedonian dynasty (626 – 1025)
    3. Broken Eagle - Komnenian dynasty and the Crusades (1025 – 1204)
    4. Fall of Byzantium – Up to conquer by Ottomans (1204 - 1475)



    Some opening thoughs on topic for gamelines…

    Vampire: Lancea Sanctum of Constantinopole are known to enforce the rule of seperating worship of Sanctified from humans. Also, local Church Ethernal is known to enforce Traditions in the Empire.

    Werewolf: Byzantium is direct heir of Western Roman Empire – is it means that Roman Protectorate model from Forsaken by Rome Dark Era– i.e. Council of Eagles and Lightning, Concilium Aquilarum et Fulminum – is valid in Byzantine Empire? Or local Uratha would have different model?

    Mage: It’s Byzantine Empire Consilia that are probably the first greater force in Diamond to recognize Tremere as their sister Order in alliance. It’s also the place of first official banishment of Tremere from Diamond at the end of 11th century.

    From History of Awakend topic, based on Left Hand Path book:

    '8th century AD: Tremere join Diamond - In Eastern Europe, one or two Tremere demanded hospitality at Diamond wizards’ towers. Quickly follow them whole cabals, showing carcasses of monsters they fought to assure good intentions. Tremere were warrior-sorcerers and students of the soul who promised to lead the Awakened to a new age of splendor, built on the ashes of burning enemies. They hunted Seers and Scelesti, but demand selected Reapers and vampires as tribute for the balance of their wrath. They preached that Atlantis’s faithful willworkers were the natural lords of souls. Anyone who challenged their crowns deserved to burn. '

    '1099: Banishment of Tremere - Silver Ladder lictor Caterine Bedlam told the Convocation of Antioch what many now suspected: the Tremere was a Legacy of Reapers who hunted their own kind. It labeled them as Nefandi by Convocation, with banishment and ‘forgetting’ of Tremere Order members – their magical tools were destroyed, as any grimoires, soul stones, or imbued items they created. Their Shadow Name becomes illegal to utter and were replaced in all Consilium records by “Nefandi:” the name that is not a name and cannot be spoken. As other Convocations followed move that of Antioch done, within few decades Tremere were officially excommunicated from Diamond be every European Convocations, becoming target for Reaper hunters they ones been.'
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-29-2019, 05:53 AM.

  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    As we have Dark Eras 2 PDF, look over for new stuff in Byznatium here in coming weeks.



    Oh, where those are in 1001 Nightmare era in Dark Eras 2 text? I would love to read more on it, as I'm diving into text of it...
    Scattered throughout the Where We Are Now and What Is to Come sections. The Refrain itself is mostly in Playing The Game.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    As we have Dark Eras 2 PDF, look over for new stuff in Byznatium here in coming weeks.

    Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
    Okay, I can come back to this now. The Blood Talon could be descended from a rite master al-Ma'mum summoned to study the Refrain. The family and tribe have been part of the Rosetta Society ever since, hunting the Pure – and the Contagion – in Cairo.
    Oh, where those are in 1001 Nightmare era in Dark Eras 2 text? I would love to read more on it, as I'm diving into text of it...

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
    *Hears NDA ninjas land on the roof*

    Or [REDACTED]. I'll circle back to this when I can talk about it.
    Okay, I can come back to this now. The Blood Talon could be descended from a rite master al-Ma'mum summoned to study the Refrain. The family and tribe have been part of the Rosetta Society ever since, hunting the Pure – and the Contagion – in Cairo.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    When you uncover that Game of Thrones is great inspiration for stories in Byzantium! Here is new Inspirations sum-up I added to Dark Era drafts and sidebar on eunuch in Empire.

    Game of Thrones TV series / Song of Ice and Fire books series – Epic fantasy series that have a lot of common themes with Byzantine Empire history. Multinational medieval country that is successor to great empire that conquered half of then known world. The state undergoing constant trial from plague that can easily be God’s Judgment ( Plague of Justinian / Black Death and hordes of undead ), torn apart by struggles of noble families that could practically be independent kingdoms (dynasties of specific provinces) or rebels taking power from a ruling dynasty - and then clearing the country of the descendants of the previous one. There are also eunuchs possessing powerful influences in the palace, an unusual substance that allows you to burn every enemy (Greek Fire) or barbaric peoples of the Great Steppe that you have to tame - or get along with them. In this Dark Era we go a step further and say that among real world Plague victims is new undead threat. Both TV series and book series nicely show us what can happen then to protagonists.

    Eunuchs

    One of unusual traditions of the Byzantine Empire was more and more important role of eunuchs in day-to-day life. Banned practice of castration in early centuries in country itself, it was very popular to get one slave for your nobility household, from the boarders outside of state. Sometimes, poor families inside the empire made the illegal procedure to ensure better life for boys not fit to live from field. Eunuchs were valued as not aggressive, sexual safe servants, with no family and work driven. With coming centuries, more and more respect was given to them. Narses ( 476 to 573 ) was eunuch important to ruler Justinian – he was one of his closest advisors, later general and province governor ( exarch ). It was official that Emperor Chamberlain position could only be for them.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-04-2019, 12:01 AM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    First, I want to thanks users that helped me on this project! Many thanks to: nikink, Khanwulf , LostLight , Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll , Second Chances , nofather and Spencer from The Hills - without you guys, we would not have all we have now in it. I want to hear from you what do you think about now ready text.

    Second, I finalized First Draft of 1/3 of the Dark Era - Introduction and Dawn of Byzantium chapter. It's probably the most informative and rest half of mechanical and setting changes will be in next chapter - ( so if you don't see your idea, it will probably be in next part ) - but it lays groundwork for the setting and points to main elements like Sworn, False, new Covenants, new Protectorate or new Orders. I also analyze life in Byzantium in 6th century, hoping to show how it was different from Western Roman times of official Dark Eras to this date. I hope that you like what you read - and point me where it should be improved.

    Here is first part of First Draft -
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nkr50m0h3n...20PDF.pdf?dl=0

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    And here is first version of Introduction subchapter...

    Introduction

    This book is work of heart from fans of Chronicles of Darkness and history. It’s fan expansion of canon of CofD gamelines as Dark Eras setting in times of great empire on the East – Byzantium, the Rome of East. All shown here materials are not CofD canon – but they derived and are based on canon sources. Many times I point to official materials from what those ideas spring. Here is short list of those product that maybe needed for you to use some of concepts inside this book.

    Chronicles of Darkness products
    • Contagion Chronicles – One of most impactful struggles that Byzantines needed to confront was Plague of Justinian that returned to Empire for over two centuries, shaping its history to what we know today. However, there were also other hazards for the peace of nation – one of them was Iconoclasm conflicts inside of Empire. Both of those events were having supernatural repercussions as two Contagion strains that worked on the Empire. Contagion Chronicles will let you better understand those phenomena – and aspects of many monster races fighting with repercussions of those in Eastern Roman Empire, in cross-races factions, known as Sworn and False.
    • Dark Eras products – List is a bit long, as this fan setting connects them in Byzantium times, stretching over 1000 years of history:
    • After the Fall, Dark Eras 1 – DtD era about Byzantine Empire after Ottomans defeated it, from 1453 AD
    • Forsaken by Rome, Dark Eras 1 Companion – WtF era about Roman Uratha in 1st century.
    • 1001 Nights, Dark Eras 2 – VtR and BtP setting about Abbasid Caliphate in Islamic Golden Age (750 to 1258)
    • Requiem for Rome: Fall of Camarilla – Precursor to Dark Eras settings line itself, it marks vampires society from the time of fall of Rome to rules of Justinian in 532 AD.
    • VtR: Ancient Mysteries – Book for Vampire: The Requiem, full of historical settings.
    Inspirations

    History of Byzantium podcast – One of best source on constant narrative of Byzantine Empire, from its start as Eastern part of Roman Empire in 4th century – till it’s fall under Ottomans in 15th century. Great journey that will show you all the Byzantine history, intertwined and in context of previous and later events. I highly recommend it to you! Source - HoB on Podbean

    Mini-Eras

    Byzantium Empire history is too much for only one Dark Eras setting. In order to encompass it all, we need to divide it into 4 smaller periods subchapters, with proper settings ideas and materials. Because of historical implications, each new Era will be based on information from previous one.
    1. Dawn of Byzantium - End of Western Empire and Justinian dynasty (480 – 626)
    2. Shrinking Empire - Shrinking borders and Macedonian dynasty (626 – 1025)
    3. Broken Eagle - Komnenian dynasty and the Crusades (1025 – 1204)
    4. Fall of Byzantium – Up to conquer by Ottomans (1204 - 1475)
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-30-2019, 05:38 AM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I start to do First Draft of proper PDF product. Here is opening Table of Contet for the book.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied

    Preparing the play setting and listening to History of Byzantium podcast – I understand I cannot cling to one Dark Era setting for the whole Empire stretch. So I will divide it into 4 smaller periods subchapters, with proper settings ideas, based on general divide on Wikipedia of Empire. Because of historical implications, each new Era will be based on information from previous one.

    Mini-Eras
    1. Dawn of Byzantium - End of Western Empire and Justinian dynasty (480 – 626)
    2. Shrinking Empire - Shrinking borders and Macedonian dynasty (626 – 1025)
    3. Broken Eagle - Komnenian dynasty and the Crusades (1025 – 1204)
    4. Fall of Byzantium – Up to conquer by Ottomans (1204 - 1475)
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-27-2019, 12:52 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I started to listen ‘History of Byzantium’ podcast, connecting my interests in Roman Empire, early Medieval Times and Vikings. Byzantium – called Rome of East – or often as Constantinople was successor of antiquity Roman Empire by over millennium. But not the pagan city of predecessor – but rather first Christian empire of the world, now being called Istanbul in Turkey. 8-)

    Introduction of podcast - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-f8vtm-15817ca

    Change from Roman Empire to Byzantine Empire - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-5ik7s-15817c9

    Constantinople \ city of Byzantium description – and how it’s citizens lived there. https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-u359k-ffa585

    Plague of Justinian of 542 A.D. – most important event for the fan setting I build for CoD below - https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-zqmb4-15f05ec

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Vampires Government – Night Emperor, Patriarch and Prisci Council

    Kindred society of Constantinople is governed like that of mortal – just much more stable. When in living Empire, ruler can be change for complete stranger in one, two decades – undead are much more certain in their choices. Mostly because they are virtually immortal. If he is clever in his politics, new Dominus Noctis Imperator ( Great Night Imperator ) is chosen once in few centuries when previous one is going to Torpor, from Prisci Council – leaders of Clans in city, and by this, in Empire. New Imperator is appointing now Stratoegoi ( sing. Strategos ) – generals in the field, to look over his matters for him in Empire, under sacred Oaths to him. All other them are watched if they making will of God by the Patriarch of the Damned, Vicar of Longinus, Archbishop of Constantinople. Sanctified Patriarch and Imperator rule almost as co-princes, with Imperator taking matters of world and Patriarch those of souls.

    Within city, Kindred are divided into thema, administrative groups (usually divided by lineage) with specific responsibilities to the Kindred government who gained specific rights in return, usually in regard to where they might haven and feed. The Mystikoi, a line of Gangrel monks, serve as scribes and historians, for example, and are given the right to feed from the city’s monastic population.

    Nowadays rules of Imperator and Prisci Council ( 700-1000 AD ) is result of Justinian Plague of 541 ( with it’s repeated resurgences till 750 AD ) – called centuries later Black Death. With as high as 40% mortality rate in Empire, it took many of humans supplies and networks of older Roman Elders – leading to their downfall or even Final Death. With humans dying en masse and normal dead returning to ‘life’ – Kindred needed change of rules. With old Patriarch lost in tumult and Prisci Council finally dead, vampires looked for new leaders. It came with Ventranis – previous barbarians hordes leader from West that became general in Days Emperor armies. He with few others Ancillae helped new appointed Patriarch Ivonius enforced order in Plague stricken Constantinopole. Following traditions of living Eastern Roman Empire, he was anointed Dominus Noctis Imperator by Ivonius – and start it’s rules as King ( or rather, Emperor ) of Night in Reigning City. He appointed his helpers as Prisci that now advise him in ranks of Athanatoi. Researchers in Imperial Library whispers that they found legend about Imperator’s name giver – Ven – being connected to stories of Troy and creation of Julii Clan of old…

    Dominus Noctis Imperator – Ventranis
    Clan: ‘Ven’ ( future Ventrue )
    Covenant: Athanatoi ( future Invictus )
    Embraced: 482 CE ( same as birth of Emperor Justinian )

    Centuries ago, Ventranis was commander of one of next barbarian armies that lead siege on Constantinople. What was not known – he already was vampire of ancient noble and leaders Clan spread inside ‘uncivilised’ lands. Some rumours said he is related to Julii, somehow. His strategic mind and acumen lead him to become Day Emperors Justinian general, helping, in the end, to defend Byzantium. He hid his vampiric condition as ‘foreign customs of his people’ – and led small politics in Empire. Then came the Plague and everything changed. Without Prisci Council and with old Patriarch missing, there was chaos. Ventranis took matters in his own hands, helped new Archbishop Iovinus, collected willing and able to bring order with him in the City. It took half century, but they done it. They become next Prisci Council and in next 50 years, Ventranis is crowned first Dominus Noctis Imperator. ( Circa year 650 AD. )

    Patriarch of the Damned – Iovinus
    Clan: Daeva
    Covenant: Agía Lans ( gr. Lancea Sanctum )
    Embraced: 532 CE ( Start of building Hagia Sophia )

    Iovinus was mesmerizing Roman priest of Greek heritage. He was observed by previous Patriarch, Alexander, from his teenage years. Vicar of Longinus even tried to romance and tempt young cleric – which he succeed. But only after Nike riots in 532 AD Alexander understood that he need a Child to take after him. When the Day Emperor in same year started building of Hagia Sophia, Alexander knew it was sign. On his 33rd birthdays, just like his Sire, Iovinus died to be reborn in Longinus. He only had 9 years of his undead existence when Alexander disappeared with first wave of Plague. Confused and unready to rule, he probably would lose the power – if not help from Ventranis. Together they lead order and stability – and controlled Plague in Constantinopole Kindred society. They’re alliance lead domain to prosper – and let Patriarch to look over the matters of soul – so, Ivonius crowned Ventranis as Dominus Noctis Imperator.

    Prisci Council
    Gangrel Priscus – Vigilius
    Clan: Gangrel
    Covenant: Athanatoi ( future Invictus )
    Embraced: 585 CE ( Slavs invasion of Constantinopole )

    Vigilius was one of defenders of City before Slavs. He died with name of the Christ on his mouth. And later awoken to the night. He was resurrected by one of ‘barbarian demons’. He slew his original pagan Sire and drove to the Legions of Damned knight order. However, seeing as Legion is too much theological fanatics and much less real army – he looked for inspirations. It came when Plague once more hit the Constantinople, and Ventranis gone to organise help and fight with returned dead. Vigilius joined future Imperator and advised to him creating more secular forces of knights to defend Queen of Cities, with Legions being less and less real force. Together, they started what would become Athnatoi, laying Oaths to new appointed Imperator of Night.

    Mekhet Priscus – Eugenia
    Clan: Mekhet
    Covenant: Athanatoi ( future Invictus )
    Embraced: 543 CE ( Justinian Plague )

    Eugenia was daughter of Byzantine noble. She could not go to Church run university, but learned all she could as independent Roman noblewomen. She devoured ancient scrolls and books on medicine and anatomy. If she was not women, she could become doctor. And then Plague came. She tried to fight it on streets. She tried to save her family when father brought sickness from the next military campaign. Finally, she did not save them - and she was dead. She awoke in the mass grave of Plague victims, from what she crawled up. Her Sire has prepared her and pointed her to save human and Kindred from Plague. And so she started to fight it, with all her knowledge and might. When Ventranis called for help, she gladly joined him. For the good of Empire – and it’s people!

    Nosferatu Priscus – Skolikas ( Worm )
    Clan: Nosferatu
    Covenant: Athanatoi ( future Invictus )
    Embraced: 541 CE ( Justinian Plague )

    Man called Skolikas was on of first victims of the Plague. The so called ‘King of Beggars’, he was finest fixer in the low strata of society. Of course, he was one of first to come in contact with sick and leppers. He was dying by days. Then his Mother give him choice of dying in pain – or too live forever with marks of disease. He choose later. He bears his Plague marks with pride – but he really want to end suffering of poor and outcast. He helped Ventranis – and now make sure that people on the low end of social ladder will also have voice. His voice.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I started separate topic for the Constantinopole proper setting - it's here.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Great sum up and funny video on the history of Byzantine Empire - from year 300 till 700 AD. It's generally the summary how Byzantium come to being and how it diverged from original Rome. I suspect follow up in the few weeks.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    I create second Byzantium Contagion Outbreak - Iconclasm, Contagion of Being. It's creation is formation of 700s and onward Sworn factions. Here are early drafts of Jeremiad and Athantoi in them.

    The Sworn

    Sworn see Iconoclasm Contagion as possible end of their living – or at least history. They strife to not forget about their comrades and their own secrets.

    700-900s

    In first years of Contagion, newly founded Sworn in Byzantine Empire did not even noticed it. It fell between the cracks, as the whole alliance was looking for the signs of next Plague of Justinian outbreak in that time. Unfortunately, disease has settled within Eastern Roman Empire. From then, it was mostly crisis management and hoping to cure the patients. However, each of Sworn groups tried, from time to time, some revolutionary way for stopping the disease. After few decades they observed that because the Contagion was sourced from Iconoclasm and destruction of the visage – the way to stop it was to created many visages of the patient and then to mark the worship of image on it. To say that those practiced seemed to look heretical, even to eyes of Iconludes, was to put it mildly. And then Sworn still looked for other ways stopping this outbreak.

    Jeremiad

    Connected most with the Easter Church itself, the Penitents are in the centre of Iconclams Contagion.

    Vampires

    Lancea Sanctum is doubling down on separation of worship in Empire, leading to their members distance themselves from the center of infections. Seeing how this Contagion is striving from destruction of icons, Sanctified in Jeremiad are hoarding holy images and statues, persevering them, so the new sources of disease would not spread more. They also most ardently worship them, to undo existing infections.

    Werewolves

    Hunters in Darkness and Fire-Touched inside Church’s holy places are defending icons before destruction with their own claws. They know that once Contagion will set in area, they are first to get the worst of it. It also lead to unusual alliance – Hosts also do not want to be in area of this Plague. As both physical and ephemeral beings like Meninna and Izidakh – they know they are most venerable to the gruesome effects of it. Hosts separated from their species simply decomposes and die.

    Beasts

    Begotten in Church are trying to preach – by word and Nightmares they send – that you must see and confront what you are afraid off. And by this, images helps us prepare to life we lead. Often, it ends with unofficial, private visages of mythological horrors that haunts particular painter or sculptor – but it sustain particular beast from Contagion if she became infected.

    Athanatoi (Cryptocracy)
    Athanatoi, as predecessors of Cryptocracy we know now, try to fight with problem systematically. It’s their secret support in in the elites of society that lead to support Iconludes in stopping the destructions of icons. Whenever they can, Immortals try to hijack commands that leads to more damages and possible spread of Contagion. It’s Athanatoi influence on the Emperor’s Court that maybe ended Iconclams madness. Started from vampires Covenant mission to secure Empire, movement quickly spread to whole new Sworn faction.

    Vampires

    Themata province system was created in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and Muslim conquests of parts of Byzantine territory. It overturned older Roman system the strict division of civil and military offices. With new ruling system forming on their eyes, disciples of Ayzebel from Cathage went for power and to control Plague, for the good of Empire. New group stated they want to stable society and give victories with Contagion for the Byzantium. They become nation sensitive leaders monsters. At the dawn of year 700s. they called themselves Athanatoi, Immortals. New Sworn were created in Byzantium.

    Athanatoi Covenant of vampires is rising sect, building on the remnants of Senex that was powerful only 3 centuries earlier. They are following the Oaths of various Strategoi to Dominus Noctis Imperator ruled over a council of Prisci, the eldest members of each Kindred clan. Reconnecting old infrastructures of crumbled Senex to new conspiracy under Night Emperor, they usher new Vampiric Empire inside Easter Roman Empire, with moral support of Sanctified. Set on the idea of feudalism and securing the stability of Both Empires, after centuries of unrest in lands, many neonates are flocking to the new faction – counting also on the power and influence in coming centuries.

    Werewolves

    ( For the Uratha section of Athantoi, I use nikink idea for Themisine Protectorate of Pure. )
    Originally posted by nikink View Post
    In the late 3rd Century AD the Romulan Protectorate is stretched thin across the world, and the Magna Mater, huge, bloated and self cannibalizing, is raving mad. The Protectorate separates with the Roman Empire. This has the fortunate side-effect of quelling the Magna Mater's agony for a brief respite in the local hisil. The Eastern Protectorate is led by a more equitable arrangement of Fire-Touched and Ivory Claws, with the Poenii claiming authority over all matters spiritual, and the Claws over mortal affairs - much like in the Romulan Protectorate, but with more power and recognition granted to the Fire Touched.

    This new Protectorate is called the Themisine Protectorate. The Fire-Touched, with authority from the gods, and their Ur-Father, and Father Wolf himself, and touched with divine fevers and insight, guide the more mortal policies enacted by the Ivory Claws. Together they act in (supposed) balance. They have no Magna Mater to appease, or contend with - packs of Uratha squabble over territory until the Protectorate is threatened by packs of 'barbarian' Forsaken. The Themisines bargain heavily with the local Predator Kings, whom they dubbed 'Naturae', in order to combat the rising Forsaken threat, and the constant threat of rogue spirits bolstered by beliefs from dozens of nations and all seeing an opportunity to become the new Protectorate's 'Mater'.

    Over the decades the three tribes of Pure further divide the Themisine Protectorate among triadic councils - the Horae. Each council holds three Pure - one of each tribe - and each of the three councils is led by a different tribe.

    The First Council is led by a Fire Touched in the seat of 'Xarpo', with The Ivory Claw in the seat of 'Thallo' and the Predator King in the seat of 'Auxo'.
    The Second Council is led by an Ivory Claw in the seat of 'Eirene', with the Predator King in the seat of 'Dike' and the Fire Touched in the seat of 'Eunomia'
    The Third Council is led by a Predator King in the Seat of 'Orthosie', witht he Fire Touched in the seat of 'Euporie' and the Ivory Claw in the seat of 'Pherusa'

    These three councils shared authority over the Themisine Protectorate, supported by a Fourth Council of Nemeses. This council held limited authority - it was convened to lead Themesine packs to war, and membership was fluid. The Atropos seat was for the Predator King, the Clotho seat was given to the Ivory Claw, and the Lachesis seat was given to the Fire Touched. In times of great conflict multiple 'Fourth Councils' were created to cover different fronts, and only rarely was any 'Fourth' council completely filled. Most often, one tribe would fill their seat and take command of the local packs while another tribe would take command elsewhere.
    Themisine Protectorate is looking for the stability of Empire and spirit world. Iconoclasm Contagion is clearly threaten it, so it should be eliminated. With the help of few Iron Masters joining their ranks in Athanoi, Protectorate is trying to solve spiritual sickness by edicts and commands in Themata.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-01-2019, 04:14 AM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Reading more materials from Contagion Chronicle previews and Vampire gameline, I wanted to prepare semi-final sum up how various monsters organisations are fitting the puzzle in Byzantium. We start with Plague…

    Sworn of Justinian

    In 6th century after Christ, first Plague hit Byzantium. It started vicious cycle of sickness and death that took tall of almost one third of Eastern Roman Empire, across next three centuries. And it bring Sworn to fight it.

    At the rules of Emperor Justinian I, in one year, from 541 to 542 – pandemic of Plague killed 40% of population of Constantinople. What mortals did not known, was that (later called ) Black Death had also supernatural dimension. Some of those that died from illness, had return to life. And then died again. And return to life. And died again. Being locked in this miserable cycle, they still spread the disease, adding next to damned army of living dead. Numbers were not enough to call the open battlefield – but those of night-dwellers races known they need to respond or the secret of their existence will be broken. They need to eradicate this sickness.

    Lancea Sanctum ruling Constantinople - joined by newly formed Legions of Damned from previous Legio Mortuum regiments - is trying to solve epidemic on it’s own. Sanctified need to do this, because from over century Camarilla de facto is no more – even when few in Kindred society still use it’s name. Finally, sickness pass from Rome of East – was it workings of vampires, God Machine or mages – is to this day hotly debated. Most would agree it was will of God ( or gods ).

    Convention and Splitting

    Sensing that Death can return to Empire, Aelia Scaevola, a Nosferatu researcher with few others children of the night started secret convention of scholars to seek ways to stop the next outbreak. They found under city ancient tomb that foretold great disaster. And those researchers spill over Empire, to look clues for the secret.

    It was Aelia who remembered 25 years later that sigil found in tomb to come from times of Cyrus in Achaemenid Empire, twelve hundred years earlier. Mage from Cyrus times, Vishtapa, found first signs of Contagion in their country. As Scaevola was from Lance and Spear, she was versed in Scriptures – and instantly remembered the prophecy of Jeremiah about the Fall of Babylon. She spread the idea with her colleagues and soon joined by other of monsters believing that Plague of Justinian was God’s Judgment – and only faith, zeal and morality can save night-dwellers and mortals from next outbreak. They quickly infiltrated the Church and lesser cults in Empire – or rather were there from beginning - looking over ways to please the God ( and gods ). Jeremiad Sworn were created.

    But not every researcher from convention of the tomb agreed with Aelia. Some mystics were looking inside their own mind and souls for answers. Mages and beasts that seen discovery and sigil from tomb looked a lot like Omphalos Stone inside Astral Space they visit routinely on their journeys. They focused on understanding it’s meaning and how dreams can help cure the Plague. Both rivalry Orders of Awakened, Panscryptia and Keepers of the World, agreed ( for the first time ) on importance of Sacred Stone. Joined by Despoina, the Mother of Bones, chthonian vampires priestess of Echidna from Athens, adversary of Scaevola, they started their own group. Omphalos Sworn were created.

    Athanatoi

    Those two Sworn groups were unchallenged by few decades, where last remnants of Camarilla were trying to rise up in Night Society, however without success. Curse of Hasdrubal hanged on everything that originated from Rome itself. Ayzebel, sister-in-law to Carthages general that Curse take it’s name – the same women that became creator of those that in modern night we call Cryptocracy – was Embraced and joined Camarilla in Eternal City and strive to end Contagion in Italy with like-minded. She felt with the Senex itself, but her disciple went to Byzantium with Constantine The Great. Chaos in the city did not let them took their roots. Until Senex was no more. Kindred needed new system of ruling – mortals in Empire gave them.

    Themata province system was created in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and Muslim conquests of parts of Byzantine territory. It overturned older Roman system the strict division of civil and military offices. With new ruling system forming on their eyes, disciples of Ayzebel went for power and to control Plague, for the good of Empire. New group stated they want to stable society and give victories with Contagion for the Byzantium. They become nation sensitive leaders monsters. At the dawn of year 700s. they called themselves Athanatoi, Immortals. New Sworn were created in Byzantium.

    10th century, mortals elite military under this conspiracy would call themselves the same.

    Sworn and False of Byzantine Empire
    In brackets are names for modern counterparts of those groups. Historical factions use mechanics the same as their nowdays decendents.

    Sworn of this Era:
    • Jeremiad -
      Religious and morality-centred monsters. Connected to mortal ( future ) Orthodox Church. After 6th century and it’s Plague of Justinian – most influential Sworn faction. Typical members: Lancea et Sanctum, beasts, hunters, mummies and Prometheans. Joins them Integrators, Hunters in Darkness and Lucifuge.
    • Athanatoi (Cryptocracy) –
      Monsters sustaining government and rules in Empire. They are remnants from original Camarilla of Rome – and future part of Invictus. Connected mostly to Themata province system. Typical members: Athanatoi Convenat ( rests of Camarilla, future Invictus ), beasts, demons, mages and vampires. Join to them Adamantine Arrow, Blood Talons, Iron Masters, Storm Lords, Winter, Spring & Summer Courts, Maa-Kep, and Undertakers from Sin-Eaters.
    • Omphalos (Rosetta Society) –
      Researches of sacred and secret, they name comes both title for mythological stone letting to communicate directly with gods – and Astral Space barrier that many mages and beasts find in their journeys. Typical members: mages from Keepers of the Word and Pancryptiates Orders ( in 12th century they merge into modern Mysterium, but in this Dark Eras they compete inside Sworn ), beasts, demons, changelings, hunters and werewolves. Joins too them Bone Shadows, Circle of the Crone, Mekhet vampires, Sesha-Hebsu, Mourners from Sin-Eaters and Tammuz.
    False of this Era:

    ·Horde (Naglfar’s Army) –
    Literal ‘barbarians at the gates’ – and on the inside. Over centuries, Easter Roman Empire had many enemies – Huns, Khazars, Arabs, Vikings, Ottamans and many, many others. Each of this groups was coming with next war that could ‘end the world’. What was joining them was secret support of night-dwellers, wanting to tear down Empire, once and for all. However Horde was not only on the outside – but was infiltrating Night Society in the inside. From the times of Ancient Rome, at least handful of monsters were doing their own ‘Saturnalia’, preparing for the end of world. With enemies on the outside and inside – Byzantine Empire finally was no more. In 900’s Horde dogma mixed with Vikings legends of Ragnarok – and modern Naglfar’s Army was created from there.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-10-2019, 05:50 PM.

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