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Ceceya and Shadows of Mexico

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  • Ceceya and Shadows of Mexico

    For those who don't know, the Ceceya are one of the Lost Clans presented in Half Damned (which we may hopefully see in more details in Spilled Blood). In the book, the Ceceya are presented as a clan which ruled during the Aztec Empire, fighting "midnight wars" against the rest of the clans and conquering them as they believed the whole world was theirs to rule.

    Now, on the surface, it seems like that new lost clan clash against the material which shows up in Shadows of Mexico- according to it, there were only 4 clans before the coming of the Spaniards, with the Xotoli (which were Nosferatu like clan, only even more terrifying) being extinct event before that event. However, in the Ventrue section of the book, it does mention the existence of a fifth clan- a tyrant clan which was destroyed by the hands of their own mortal slaves.Now, when you think about it, it seems like the Ceceya could be a perfect fit for that nameless clan- a tyrannical line of undead monsters who believed themselves to be the kings of the night in ancient Mesoamerica? sounds like a perfect fit. Well, almost.

    The first problem is that according to Shadows of Mexico, the nameless clan was lost long before Spaniards came to ancient Mexico, long enough for all to forget their name. In Half Damned, however, the Ceceya were destroyed by the Spaniard vampires themselves (with the help of the oppressed local clans), and were later revived as a Dynasty by a failed Cruac ritual preformed by a dhampir carrying the blood of those ancient dead- so not that long ago. Now, we could simply say that this is a part where 2e change things from 1e, but it may have another explanation. After all, in SoM, the "nameless clan" story was mostly used as a cautionary tale, a warning. Saying that the Ceceya were not loved by the other clan would be an understatement. As such, it would make sense that the clans of that Era would do their best to erase the memory of the clan which they helped to destroy- especially since, as it turned out, by doing so they allowed the Ventrue to take over in their place- and calling that a "messing up" would big even bigger understatement. From here, we can see that the vampires of Mexico have enough reasons to try to erase the existence of the Ceceya- both for their hatred toward the tyrant clan, and both for the fact that it reminds them how they helped their own future enslavers to take over. As such, that only make sense for the Ceceya to be reduced to nothing more than a strange tale about undead vampires existing in a cursed city- that is, until someone was foolish enough to awaken the old blood back to undeath.

    The second problem is that the european vampires (a.k.a, the Ventrue), are presented as "new and strange" in the eyes of the Ceceya. That makes me think that the original tyrants of Mexico didn't had Dominate as their signature discipline. As SoM doesn't explicitly say that the lost clan had Dominate, it does say that the most common belief is that they were Ventrue like. Again, the modern Kindred have reasons to forget their history and mix truth with fiction, and the Ceceya does feel close to the Ventrue on a thematic level. Perhaps they did had Dominate, but only in some variant form (as some people have suggested to make the Pijavicia's Protean)? Or maybe their discipline was similar to Dominate, yet still different? Or maybe it was an whole different thing, and they simply occupied the same niche while having some truly distinct powers? And maybe, just maybe, the "new and strange" thing is not reference to the blood magics of the Ceceya at all, and the blood tyrant knew Dominate just as well as the invading Ventrue?

    So- what do you think?


    My Homebrew Signature

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    First, are the European vampires new and strange because of the Ventrue (and thus Dominate) or because of the Lancea Sanctum (and thus Theban Sorcery) - genuine question - I can't recall if it specifies, and don't have it to hand right now.

    If you don't want them to have Dominate, you could posit that there were two clans Nosferatu - while that would give them the same Disciplines (or perhaps one of them had Resilience instead of Vigor, the way I think the Julii ought to have had VIgor instead of Resilience), their origins and culture could still be very different. If the Xolotl were associated with the depths of the Underworld and the Ceceya with the terrors of the gods, they could have quite different roles among Mezoamerican vaampires. And perhaps the Ceceya exterminated the Xolotl because they wanted Nightmare all to themselves - setting the stage for their later tyranny.

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    • #3
      Your theory about the retelling of the Ceceya demise by mesoamerican vampires has value, and it has precedents in that region.

      Some historicians believe that the story about Moctezuma believing Cortés and the Spaniards being Quetzalcoatl and the gods is a later story. According this theory, the natives, AFTER being conquered, wrote that story in order to make sense of their defeat, and accomodating it to their ancestral beliefs.

      The same could have happened with aztec vampires: "NO! We didn't help the spaniards to destroy our ruling clan and to conquer us! Thise vampires were tyrants, so we destroyed them begore the arrival of Spaniards. We're victims, not accomplices."


      LAND OF THE DAMNED: SPAIN (Spanish): Land of the Damned: Spain, Kingdoms of Blood: Spain; Cities of the Damned: Barcelona, Valencia, Carthian Constitution (1812), Three Arrows Pact:

      OTHERS (Spanish): Demon: The Redemption, Bloodlines: The Forgotten

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      • #4
        Another possibility could be just the opposite: the Ceceya history is a fake and the true history is from Shadows of México.

        The Ceceya would be the lost clan exterminated by other clans before the Spanish Comquest because they were tyrants.

        When they were recreated ritually as revenants, they created a fake tale in which they were the victims from Spaniards, and the rest of clans traitors who helped the invaders.
        Last edited by Uxas; 02-09-2018, 09:47 AM.


        LAND OF THE DAMNED: SPAIN (Spanish): Land of the Damned: Spain, Kingdoms of Blood: Spain; Cities of the Damned: Barcelona, Valencia, Carthian Constitution (1812), Three Arrows Pact:

        OTHERS (Spanish): Demon: The Redemption, Bloodlines: The Forgotten

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        • #5
          I would enjoy seeing either options. I wonder if we'll get more in Spilled Blood :P


          My Homebrew Signature

          "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

          I now blog in here

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          • #6
            Both directions sound pretty interesting as setting fodder. As an aside, i get this idea that the Ceceya might have used something like a version of Nightmare gone awry with weird devotions as a tool of domination/terror, as an alternative of sorts.

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            • #7
              So, where you decided to go with this LostLight? I got kind of curious on the subject of the Ceceya again of late...
              Last edited by Baaldam; 02-08-2019, 04:13 AM.

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              • #8
                Maybe they took up a new name and were essentially a new and fledgling clan right before the Conquistadors shows up.


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                  Both directions sound pretty interesting as setting fodder. As an aside, i get this idea that the Ceceya might have used something like a version of Nightmare gone awry with weird devotions as a tool of domination/terror, as an alternative of sorts.

                  I was just thinking this exact idea: that their flavor of Dominate worked by terrorizing the subject into action, inaction or memory loss. It would be, in other words, a horrible and tyrranical way of ordering people around, but rather fit the tone of Mesoamerican rule.

                  "Better to be feared than loved" taken to extreme, if you like.

                  As for the stories? That's a mystery to explore during play, no? I mean surely there's a pyramid someplace that a hapless explorer will stumble into and awaken something really, really bad to set the record right. That's... now a well-worn trope. But as for CofD itself? Offering multiple contradictory stories/theories is exactly the approach that fits the line best. The uncertainty is a feature, not a bug.

                  --Khanwulf

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                  • #10
                    I was just thinking this exact idea: that their flavor of Dominate worked by terrorizing the subject into action, inaction or memory loss. It would be, in other words, a horrible and tyrranical way of ordering people around, but rather fit the tone of Mesoamerican rule.

                    "Better to be feared than loved" taken to extreme, if you like.[/QUOTE]

                    Considering Shadows of Mexico has that crazy "i cut your heart off and yet it still beats as i forbid you dying" Majesty devotion among its samples, i imagine precolumbian kindred with advanced Nightmare could come up with some terribly twisted stuff indeed to show their power for the sake of dominance.

                    Or, for something completely different, one could riff from the "Red Jack is Tezcatlipoca, the Smoked Mirror" seed from Mythologies and make Ars Speculorum (with a different name, obviously) the Ceceya's proprietary discipline. That could be interestingly eerie and paranoia inducing, i think.


                    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                    As for the stories? That's a mystery to explore during play, no? I mean surely there's a pyramid someplace that a hapless explorer will stumble into and awaken something really, really bad to set the record right. That's... now a well-worn trope. But as for CofD itself? Offering multiple contradictory stories/theories is exactly the approach that fits the line best. The uncertainty is a feature, not a bug.
                    True, true, the more uncertainty and contradiction, the better.

                    Though on the matter of reveals, personally i might be tempted instead to make a cenote that leads into Xibalba or a related underworld realm, just to lead tropes into somewhat fresher terrain. Hmm, maybe i could mix such a cenote/underworld gate with the "Swimming Hole" from Mysterious Places. Have to reread that.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 02-09-2019, 01:38 PM.

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                    • #11
                      What is the "Swimming Hole" from Mysterious Places? I haven't heard of that, but it sounds intriguing.

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                      • #12
                        The 'Lost' Ventrue clan-type in Shadows of Mexico were associated with Teotihuacán and the Toltec.
                        The Ceceya don't call any of that out but it could still work.

                        Of course, I don't much about the region. Does anyone know where the name 'Ceceya' came from?


                        Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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                        • #13
                          It's a Nahuatl verb: "to cool [something] off". I'm not sure why it was chosen as the name. (It might also be a noun, but the dictionary doesn't list it as one, and my Nahuatl skills are not great.)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                            What is the "Swimming Hole" from Mysterious Places? I haven't heard of that, but it sounds intriguing.

                            Basically, a limestone quarry that formed a large depression (over 70 feet deep, with nearly a quarter-mile circumference), until at some point in the digging they hit some kind of underground lake or cavern, that filled everything and the mining operation had to abandon work for budgetary reasons.

                            While closing up thing, a worker discovered a message/poem about "bleeding for one's desires", written in a small cave that should have been inacessible to any human being up to that point. That finder, in a moment of desperation, made a wish to the hole, bled into the waters and eventually his wish came to be, at a price. Other wishes would be made, with ensuing colaterals and from that the secret eventually spread and the ball started rolling. It's a sort of wishing well, that charges a price on the wisher's own blood and usually have extra complications (going from "kind of pyrrhic victory" to "monkey paw" depending on wording, difficulty & etc). There's also a warning about how the city as a whole would pay a steeper price if the hole was ever emptied.

                            As mentioned, it can be found, along with other great locales, in the Mysterious Places book. Pages 13-28 to be precise.
                            Last edited by Baaldam; 02-11-2019, 07:36 AM.

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                            • #15
                              By the way there is some mythical reason to suppose that a vampire could merge with a pool of water as a long-term resting place. For example, the Morrigan supposedly turned a girl into a pool of water in, IIRC, the Cave of the Cats in Ireland. This real legend of course doesn't have to relate to vampires, but the "person becoming pool of water" thing is there to make use of.

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