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[2E] Slavic Covenants

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  • #16
    Returning to topic as my players can finally venture in to Slavic lands region. I plan to make them encounter with vampires - and probably some story about it - but I cannot decide if I want more to use Wołosożary or Krąg Wiedźm. Both looks promising and both can work with great stories. But I need to decide on one thing over another - and I simply cannot in my head.

    Giving my games background, PCs are Uratha werewolves from Sweden in year 800 amidst of Viking expedition that want to find route to Constantinople ( let's silence a reasons for now ). At the time they are near Lake Ladoga and they will go (almost) straight on South on two ships sailing on rivers, on direction of Kiev. I was thinking about making vampire story near now days Smolensk town, in forests near the edges of Great Steppe - typical Slavic culture location. If you can point me what protoCircle-of-Crone or proto-Ordo-Dracul vampires would like more this locations - I would be greateful.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-07-2018, 10:12 PM.


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    • #17
      You know, as a point of curiosity and interest that might not actually have any bearing:

      What if you hybridized your proto-CIrcle and proto-Ordo? Mix the two up in the Slavic stew?

      Might be cool, and it might even fit the culture better.


      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
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      • #18
        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        You know, as a point of curiosity and interest that might not actually have any bearing:

        What if you hybridized your proto-CIrcle and proto-Ordo? Mix the two up in the Slavic stew?

        Might be cool, and it might even fit the culture better.
        Such as "Self improvement through mysticism/ritual/embracing the Beast"? Or applying the Ordo's internal organization to the Circle's belief structure?


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

          Such as "Self improvement through mysticism/ritual/embracing the Beast"? Or applying the Ordo's internal organization to the Circle's belief structure?
          Either or. I just think Wyrd might get some interesting results chopping up the pieces and frankensteining a covenant for the era out of the two, possibly dodging his question of which of the two to go with.

          That and a Swedish group of vampires with Coils and Cruac Rites sounds appropriately terrifying to me. I would angle the Ordo's "become a better class of monster" into the Circle's pagan expression of monstrosity as the approach and find a cultural vein to tie it all up messily up with.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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          • #20
            Thinking more on the story - I would go with Wołosożary as story antagonists. Krąg Wiedźm is looking more as standard 'preCircle of Crone' cult, where Wołosożary are more prone to some heavy hacking and alien them from standard Kindred of modern nights. ( Even if game is in early Middle Ages. ) Especially as I want them to be only from Pijavica Clan, as in those 800's nights there are still no Roman Ventrue, Near East Daeva or Gemanic Gangrel in nearby.

            So taking in account I want to make Wołosożary rather cult-ish in demeanor and highly about Blood – and as ancient Slavs treated cattle as both wealth and sacrifice animal – I present expansion on their covenant idea.

            Wołosożary - Practices

            Blood is death. Blood is life. Blood is sacrament. Our lord Veles is ruler of Death, and by this – ruler of life. The life is precious. Life has price. Our undead existence also. We pay a price of life in Blood – and by this – we become enriched by Veles with Błogosławieństwa. As Wołosożary we spill Blood for our Father and so he bless us.

            Cult is known from things other vampires would call ‘blood orgies’. In sacrosanct ritual, Sons of Veles are taking life and consume it collectively, till the last drop, in the name of Lord of Darkness. Their ever empty bodies are small portals to Underworld, where they are consumed by ancient beasts called ‘Zmok’ ( Dragons ), servants of Veles in his deathly domain. Most rites are performed on fine examples of cattle, even if they are very valuable in local communities of Slavs. On rare annual festivities one of local villagers that have gone missing in the woods is sacrificed. But true celebration is when the sacrifice is made from other, unnatural beings – werewolves, witches, undead ( also other unknown vampires ) or ‘old ones’ ( called fairies in other parts of world ). Their blood is blessed with magic so they are closer to Veles. Especially if they are sent to Underworld as sacrifice to Lord of Darkness. The newly consumed Blood in this way grants visions to participants, whispering secrets from Veles himself.

            After rituals, participants find they may develop new Błogosławieństwa that they can share with their brethren by ‘blood sharing’ ceremony. Leading priest is pouring his Blood with the ingredients that are uncovered to his mind by Veles, mix it with other blood source ( like cattle or human ) and this potion makes Wołosożary drinking it to lift a bit Banes of their existence, based on the particular Błogosławieństwo. Mystical properties of potion are sustained up to seven days after ritual.

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            So story idea is simple - Wołosożary wants to steal one of werewolf to sacrifice him and his Blood to Veles. And once you steal one of the Wolf-Blooded of the pack...
            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-08-2018, 09:06 AM.


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            • #21
              I like it.

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              • #22
                I agree with the ritual magic approach - it is much more appropriate thematically for the period. While mixing it up with Ordo Dracul practices may be interesting, it applies much more to the Enlightenment and beyond. What I can propose instead is designing nique Devotions, which can add a lot of local flavour. I have the impression that Devotions are being understimated, though they can offer a lot of variety in exploring Kindred nature.

                Another suggestion - you may consider a more Clan-based division in the cult than usual. For instance, you could have local Kindred prists be primarily Gangrel, thus including a lot of Protean in their Devotions. Meanwhile, Nosferatu could be cult enforcers, spreading horror among the populace, and so on. Of course, you don't need to go full detail if these are going to be only NPCs, but the more flavour you add, the more your players will enjoy it.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                  You know, as a point of curiosity and interest that might not actually have any bearing:

                  What if you hybridized your proto-CIrcle and proto-Ordo? Mix the two up in the Slavic stew?

                  Might be cool, and it might even fit the culture better.
                  Rites of the Dragon speaks of Dracula's encounters and studies under a society of witches somewhere in Eastern Europe, i think, so nothing to stop you from getting that kernel and tinkering from there. If they are the Vedma or some other group entirely, i have no idea whatsoever, but might be worth playing with either way.

                  Speaking of slavic things...how about Koschei as a misplaced Burakumin?

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                  • #24
                    Ok Wyrd, you have something working toward interesting. Just to throw out some ideas that I've been digesting, briefly:

                    1. Most non-Roman, non-Persian regions can have mystery cults instead of Covenants. Covenants smack of two things: organization and a counter to other organization. You get a king because the other tribes/clans neighboring you have gelled under one. Ditto to vamps and their organization. Otherwise, they'll tend toward smaller social clubs to tease out how to adjust to the vampiric experience.

                    2. The regions bordering the old Roman and Greek empires are the best places to find proto-Covenants or mystery cults that are looking more like the Covenants we know. Otherwise you have to do as in this thread and tailor an older set of practices to the vampiric idea of "life" and how they might find their place as dead-ish things with the same cultural foundation.

                    3. I've theorized elsewhere that there should be a "transit"-focused Covenant that either became or was formed as a subsidiary to the Legio Mortus [sic?]. And would tend to networks of tunnels and hiding places running throughout Europe, which knowledgeable "friend" might use to travel and hide during the day. Traveling as vamp sucks without modern conveyance or lighting.

                    4. I'm also blocking out a translation of Tremere to CofD that makes them members of the "Ordo Illuminatus"--a mystery cult if a widespread one especially in the east. That would interface with the story of Dracula by making him rebel against them, destroy them from the inside, and reform the dregs into the Ordo Dracul. Mix a Tzimisce bloodline in there with bonuses to a "coil" of fleshcrafting. It's still mostly a mental draft.

                    5. Keep in mind that the Slavs of Europe were pushed west and north of the Carpathians by the waves of migratory invades that culminated in the Avars. It was after the Avar Khaganate was destroyed just before 800 that the Slavs stopped being, well, slaves--even if armed ones sometimes. So, if you keep this in mind it's not quite as hard to understand why the Slavs of the northeast decided to invite in noble rulers from Sweden (Rurik dynasty, from which the Rus are descended). Anyway, the point is that in the Transcarpathian region you had Slavs who moved in with the Avars and Bulgars, and then those groups, Greeks, Romans, Goths and other bits left over from Attila's horde. They all moved about, and except for the Slavs used horses and had pretty good metalworking traditions.

                    --Khanwulf

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      3. I've theorized elsewhere that there should be a "transit"-focused Covenant that either became or was formed as a subsidiary to the Legio Mortus [sic?]. And would tend to networks of tunnels and hiding places running throughout Europe, which knowledgeable "friend" might use to travel and hide during the day. Traveling as vamp sucks without modern conveyance or lighting.
                      That would make lots of sense indeed, considering how engineering was a big part of roman military culture. A branch of the Legio that moved with the mortal legions, helping, protecting and guiding them as ancestors are wont to would make a most interesting addition and is something that became the focus of a story arc or two in my own games. Making hideouts under the roads or convenient barrows close by should fit nicely, go well with the Verrmes social role in the Camarilla and even add some twisted credence to later tales where they became haunted "fairy roads" and such.

                      As an aside, the idea of a "transit"-focused Covenant got me thinking of the old Nomads book, but also of the Silk Road and its network of trade connections across the ages harkening to an era lost in history but centuries or millenia before the silk that give its name was even domesticated....

                      "Trade is life. Where there is life, there is blood. Commerce must flow."'

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                        3. I've theorized elsewhere that there should be a "transit"-focused Covenant that either became or was formed as a subsidiary to the Legio Mortus [sic?]. And would tend to networks of tunnels and hiding places running throughout Europe, which knowledgeable "friend" might use to travel and hide during the day. Traveling as vamp sucks without modern conveyance or lighting.
                        Small point of order: timeframe and Legio Mortuum tie-in aside, this covenant existed and was called the Gallows Post.


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                        • #27
                          Good stuff!

                          I like the idea of some vampyres bringing in some ancient Norse into the Slavic lands with/before the Vikings. Hinting at the connection between Perun and Thor, and the whole idea of the Bogtyri get their name from Tyr. I’m thinking like old witch’s maybe worshiping Angroboda at some point travelled and mixed with the stories of Baba Yaga.

                          But love the Veles covenant!


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                            Small point of order: timeframe and Legio Mortuum tie-in aside, this covenant existed and was called the Gallows Post.
                            And my notes have said Roman/post-Roman Covenant becoming the Gallows Post as it sheds Mortuum ties (the latter dying out or being absorbed). It's the period between, oh, 410 AD and 813 AD that would be its prime.

                            I won't multi-quote, but were said Covenant to expand beyond the limits of the Roman Empire, devoted to safe vampiric travel and havens, it probably received a death-blow from the Mongel Horde circa 1200s. Another reason the Gallows Post in the West was on the long slide to irrelevancy by the time of Regina.

                            --Khanwulf

                            PS. Oh here, look at the file if you want. https://drive.google.com/file/d/117x...w?usp=drivesdk

                            PPS: Not going to make a new post, but... any "new" regional Covenant or similar social stand in should be considered in light of the rather complete spread of VtR modern's social groupings. In other words, what role does the new social organization serve? For whom does it stand in? Invictus? Circle? Ordo?

                            Ideas in this thread, thankfully, tend to take this aspect into account. For my sake, the Gallows Post and predecessors serve as a stand-in for the Carthians, attract "lower-class, mundane" vampires, and draw their power from agreed, collective custom (i.e. the same source as Carthian Law--mystic weight of social norm). The interesting power hinge for a travel-focused Covenant would not just be "getting around easier" (best done through Merits and Devotions) but would work off of the universal and exceptionally powerful human custom of hospitality toward accepted guests. Invictus has, IIRC, an oath for this, but a "Custom" (read, Law) on the subject would blanket a community, versus applying between individuals.

                            I haven't developed this thought further, yet.
                            Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-26-2018, 12:20 PM. Reason: PPS!

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                            • #29
                              wyrdhamster I like it! Mind if I borrow this concept for a Mystery Cult? (With attribution of course.) I've got some ideas…

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                                wyrdhamster I like it! Mind if I borrow this concept for a Mystery Cult? (With attribution of course.) I've got some ideas…
                                It's in this topic to be used. Just write later how you used it, so maybe we will hammer better next interation of this groups.


                                My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
                                LGBT+ in CoD games

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