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Tal'Mahe'Ra -like faction in Vampire the Requim

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  • Tal'Mahe'Ra -like faction in Vampire the Requim

    As the names says, I'm trying to find out if there is a faction or even covenant similar to the Tal'Mahe'Ra from Vampire the Masquerade. By this I mean the whole 'ancient order working in the shadows of the covenants to protect humanity from the worst of the predation of their own kind'.

    Now, I know that the Carthians (and even the Invictus) have members and maybe multi-city corteries that have such an aim, and the Carthians are considered the covenant most inclined to protect humanity. However, none of these have the right feel to them. The correct near religious fanaticism and ancient struggles embodied by the Tal'Mahe'Ra.

    For backstory I am thinking of having a character be a part of suh an organisation as he and his branch of Annunaku long ago took their roles of 'guardians of their territory' very seriously and lead them to join.

    So, people of the forums, is there such a faction or is this just a case of 'insert your own ancient conspiracy and hope your ST runs with it'?

  • #2
    Rules they have not!
    Government they know not!
    Prayers they hear not!
    There are seven! There are seven!
    Twice over there are seven!


    • #3
      Indeed, VII (Seven) can easily be re-skinned into fitting your needs.

      Oh yeah and lets not forget the obvious. The Septemi bloodline, while entirely different from the default VII covenant, comes really close to what you're looking for!

      You could even do a weird mash-up of these two and have a faction of VII with only Septemi members, trying to save humanity from the All-Night Society by assassinating their fellow Kindred.

      If you plan to use the Septemi, feel free to check my own version of them. It's more than just a 1e conversion, I basically redid the bloodline to suit my players' needs. If you like it, feel free to use it:
      Last edited by Ventrue Life; 01-21-2019, 07:37 AM.


      • #4
        In addition to the above:

        I'd say you don't have to be so quick to move past the Carthians. Yes, the general attitude is that they are more a secular / political faction, but the Covenant book also makes clear that religion is an important aspect for many members. It's just the religious Carthians aren't a huge universal power block like the Sanctified, and aren't super-focused on religion as the communal thread like the Circle.

        But the Final Civilization faction fits very nicely I think. They are the secretive group of Carthians that forsees the overthrow of Kindred Society by humanity itself, and plans to join in.

        The biggest hurdle there will be injecting the religious theme into it. Not because it's overly difficult, but because it will take some legwork to make the religious aspects feel as robust as the Circle/Spear. I'd probably take a shortcut and adopt another sub-faction's religious tones to save some time. Personally, I'd choose the 2E Sethites, as their protect-Kindred-against-the-Strix philosophy is easily ported, and you've got the Dynastic Egyptian theme right there. But plenty of other factions/bloodlines would work too. (A Mara offshoot could be interesting, you could flesh out one of the non-mechanic'd Hindu bloodlines, etc.)

        Assuming you can get that religious feel in there, though, I think you've got an interesting three-way dynamic. You've got the members who are there for the religious aspect - the rituals, the connection, the righteousness. You've got the Humanists - who believe that Humanity is something to be protected and nurtured. And you've got the Militarists, the portion who are focused on taking out their fellow monsters. Most people will be some combination of those, but I think those are natural fault lines which should generate a lot of hooks and motivational conflicts even within the group itself. Plus, it gives natural outreach for connections to to other Covenants if you want to play up the spycraft angle of informants and double agents.


        • #5
          One thing about the Tal'Mahe'Ra, at least in their portrayal in the V20 supplement - they aren't just one thing, but a gathering of interests and cults that have shared overall aims but different focuses (or, from the other angle, a group that has a lot of compartmentalization that would appear completely disparate if you didn't know better). So, it's possible that an equivalent wouldn't be one thing, but a group of the various mentioned parties. VII could be focused on taking down vampires in general, drawing on elements from any or all three versions of the book (using all three gets complicated, but could be interesting, with each representing a separate cult inside the group); the Septimi could be the antagonist focused on the Lancea et Sanctum, who see the other Covenants as abettors to the false Church and deceivers of the world (possibly in alliance with Semeonovic from the second version of VII from the book, or even as a bloodline of them instead of the Daeva); and the Final Civilization could be a group focused on grass roots efforts among the mortals to help topple Kindred Society from the ground up as the others attack them directly.


          • #6
            A few more options to add here, depending on how broadly you choose to interpret the term "their own kind":

            The Khaibit bloodline might work, here. They were pretty much conceived as a protective bloodline, though their powers focus more on the Strix than anything else.

            The Cult of Set (in Clanbook: Mekhet) fosters chaos but with the explicit goal of preventing worse things than Vampires from taking over.

            Thousand Years of Night has the Cerberus Pact, which is likewise a cult meant to fight the Strix wherever they appear. Since the Strix prey on Humanity just as badly as Kindred do - and they don't have any Humanity getting in the way of doing whatever they want. It is, however, an Elder pact, so you may want to reskin it a little for use.

            The Cryptocracy, in the Contagion Chronicle, could be an option, though it's not out yet. Likewise the Jeremiad, which definitely has the 'religious zealotry' angle down pat, and is fairly specific in that the treatment of humanity as a whole is the yardstick by which it measures itself. Both of those, however, are cross-splat groups, which may or may not fit with what you want.


            • #7
              First off, thank you all for your quickly replies!

              Stupid Loserman and Ventrue Life yeah I think I'll have to use VII. However I think I'll have to bring in what EndlessKng said because if I make VII too understandable it would ruin their whole feel (so a seperate entity that works for a similar goal, maybe in the Camarilla age we were united).

              Holy The Final Civilisation definately doesn't have humanity in their best intersts. They want to prepare for such an event so they can be the Kings of what remains with humanity as slaves.

              EndlessKng and Mirthless Yeah, I think you're ideas are probably gonna be the best for me.

              So in the end I think I'm going to go for the 'Joint-goal, seperate factions' approach with multiple semi-independent organisaitons operating seperately from one another united in the belief that we need to protect humanity from vampires. How I imagine it going is in ancient times they were much more united but not really more numerous as it would be a very particular type to vampire that would follow such a creed and have to strength of will to follow it through. As I see it the Cult of Seth and Khaibit would be ancient if uninterested allies as we all would want to keep humans and vampires alike 'healthy'. Maybe with the apparent destrution of the large-scale Cult has lead to a general merger with us for mutaul assistance. The Septemi would be a great 'modern' injection of new blood into what I would imagine to be an ailing covenant as they struggle with losses to Topor and the other covenants.

              Again, thanks for your assistance. I might make a more detailed description of this organisation and post it up. Current ideas are special rituals similar to Gilded Cage and Tenure that focus to two major elements of their ethos: Health and safety of mortals within their area of ontrol, and prventing the degredation vampires in the covenant from the ravages of time and Topor. Additionally maybe a real hatred for the Lancae et Sanctum who they see as exactly the mindset they want to remove from the Danse Macabe.


              • #8
                The mention of Gilded Cage gave me an idea. It may be a bit of homebrew, and if you have any Ordo players it may not be a good idea since it steps on the Coil of Zirnitria a bit, but...

                In the old Tal'Mahe'Ra, they often met in the Underworld/Shadowlands, at Enoch. It wasn't uncommon for members to have Necromancy, or at least know someone who does, so they could get to their base. In a homebrew LARP set in the Dark Ages, the True Black Hand was just the Black Hand (pre-Sabbat), and members could take a merit from the BNS VTM book that let you buy rituals without having to buy Thaumaturgy. It was expressly altered, however, to allow TBH/TMR members take a ritual to enter the Underworld.

                In a similar vein, perhaps they have a way to get the Citywalker supernatural merit. Normally it would only be for mortals, but perhaps they use it to gather from time to time in another city and meet. Possibly they have moving bases... or an ancient city that is still connected to the network through the use of Gilded Cage (or, perhaps, in a city in the Nightmare World between places). Of course, if there's a user of Zirnitria there, it could make them feel cheated, so perhaps doing it up as a Gilded Cage ritual may work better.


                • #9
                  Interesting! I'd make that a Gilded Cage ritual, yeah, or even take Zirnitra away from the Ordo (it's not a great Coil tbh) and give it to this new sect as their own shiny.


                  • #10
                    Well, the Coils as such are a later thing. If you have a True Black Hand you're making it a kind of Mystery Cult (consider that for special abilities), and one far older. Who's to say that the inspiration for the Coil of Zirnitra isn't something like this? Or the inspiration for Gilded Cage?

                    Nothing new under the black sun, or something like that.

                    Let me inject a few ideas into the discussion, by quickly (I hope) sketching my own campaign conspiracy elements:
                    I'll have a group presently penciled in as the "Illuminati" opposing a "serpent cult". The former think the best way to handle chaos is to manage it, which means managing civilization and thus the people who make up civilization; they'll be delighted if humans can be made more predictable, biddable and productive. They are also fragmented, by-invitation-only, and my excuse to introduce the vampiric Tremere clan as one of the predecessor elements to Dracula's Coils. Their nominal head is "Abaddon" the "Black Dragon" of the Illuminati. Another figure is the "Red Dragon", who is based in Britain.

                    The serpent cult is driven by one figure: "Lilith" the "White Dragon". She in fact has many names, befitting a being who is defined by chafing under rules and restrictions of any kind. She wishes to be free to do whatever she wants, whenever, with whomever and using any method. She will accept (directly or indirectly) allegiance from taggers-on for this (hence the "cult" part). As you can see from the motif involved, they were once on the same side. To her, humanity is an means to an end: her end.

                    I'm looking forward to involving the Contagion in this as well.



                    • #11
                      The Kerberos come to mind since they’re looking for something to be and defenders of humanity is an option.


                      • #12
                        The simple answer to your question: No.

                        Requiem doesn't have global conspiracies and super ancient Elders who manipulate all the vampires in the world from afar, it's more tight, focused on the city by city politics.