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[Dark Eras] Byzantine’s Empire Kindred

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  • wyrdhamster
    started a topic [Dark Eras] Byzantine’s Empire Kindred

    [Dark Eras] Byzantine’s Empire Kindred

    As I (finally) coming close to running my crossover plots in Werewolf/Contagion Chronicle circa year 800, and as moving action to the Constantinople – I need more information on the Kindred society in them around 7th till 10th century – or invent fan stuff for it. We have long general topic for crossover fan Dark Era in East Roman Empire – but I need info strictly about Kindred. I read Vampire the Requiem corebook 2E, Ancient Mysteries and Fall of Camarilla appendix about Byzantium and know this info from those:
    • Lancea et Sanctum at the start of 6th century is de facto ruling society of Kindred in East Roman Empire.
    • LeS is enforcing Traditions as we know it. Church Ethernal on East is also spreading it’s dogma of separating worships of mortals from that of Kindred.
    • LeS rules using first Prisci Council, with Clan leaders and LeS Patriatch siting in it, where Patriatch is ruling council ‘morally’ from it. There is official seat for the defunct Senex, but it’s vacant then.
    • In 4th till 6th century Legio Mortuum is evolving into Legion of Damned, de facto military faction inside of LeS. But LoD works more or less like LM before it.
    • Cult of Argurs was banned in Byzantium in year 370. That means there is no canon ‘pagan’ faction from Fall of Camarilla, at least till 10th century ( see later ). I wonder if Mother of Bones cannot replace them from 6th century. ( Will return to this later on. )
    • Peregrine Collegia is de facto destroyed with the fall of Camarilla. Faction never truly recovered, leading just to becoming Unaligned bands in Byzantium.
    • Great test of strength of new political dynamics was Plague of Justinian in 541 AD. Vampires were starving when humans lay dead en masse. Now it’s also part of CoD canon, as creation event of Jeremiad Sworn against Contagion ( that is suspected to be spread by the 541 AD Plague ).
    • Ancient Mysteries is pointing that Camarilla in Byzantium survived until 1095 as Adamantes Athanatoi - the Unconquered Immortals - Easter Roman Empire off-shoot of… Senex? Secular Legio Mortuum? Details are not so important, cause it’s structure is clearly inspired by human Athanatoi, special unit of aristocracy army that also being governors of Byzantium provinces.
    • It seems that Ancient Mysteries in Crusades Flashpoint are implying that Circle of Crone was created in late Middle Ages. I must say I much more like this idea of CoC creation than late 19th century one in Scotland from VtR 2E. ‘Through such discussions it was decided that the cults would band together for their continued survival, forming a protective orbit against their enemies. Many of these cults called on mother figures to protect them and to bring an end to their enemies. By the rise of Das Heiligen Nacht Reich, this combined Kindred front was known as the Circle of the Crone and was considered anathema in most god-fearing domains.’
    • And there it’s small numbers of pagan vampires in famous Varangian Guard, in Vikings bodyguards of human Emperor from late 10th century: ‘Ironically, one of the largest unmolested populations of Circle cultists existed in the heart of Christendom, Constantinople. The Imperator allowed occasional nomadic Kindred from northern Europe and similarly barbaric lands to remain within the city so long as they demonstrated a strong capacity for combat and were willing to serve. This Tagma ton Xenon (“Foreign Guard”) protected the Kindred of the city in exchange for feeding rights among the city’s non-Greek population and a small amount of coin from the Imperator’s coffers. While each member of the Guard was baptized upon induction, the Sanctified largely left the warriors to their own devices, only chastising them for their worship if they behaved in a manner deemed disruptive to the larger population.’

  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    An NPC from the Era, I create for my interpretation of Plague of Justinian as Contagion event...

    Christophoros Diogenus – Vampire – Venture Legion of Damned ( Lancea Sanctum ) – Sworn: Jeremiad – Christophoros was one of leading generals in East Roman Empire wars with Arabs. When he was finally pierced on the battlefield by the blade of unfaithful, he started his descent from the world of the living. Seeing merits in his devotion and strategy skills, he was Embraced by his vampiric sire, in his tent, barely living. He quickly returned to the Army of the Night, fighting in the Longinus name. Now, fighting with the heretics, Chirstophoros found out that dead do not stand dead long enough – and some of the killed are returning to unlife, to fight them once again. Diogenus started campaign against those undead, in the name of God and Unholy Emperor.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Athantoi Covenant ( fan version )
    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.

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

    Nitpicking, but Legio Mortuum joined not Invictus, but Athanatoi - even when Athanatoi, practiclly, is predecesor of Invictus ( and use most of mechanics for it ) - Athanatoi are much more militaristic in day to day outlook. Simply because they are composed of noble-soldiers intermixing groups and factions. ( See Themata province system. )
    Ok, fair enough. Invictus penetrated Byzantium later--much later--thanks to the strength of the Lancea there. I was thinking more holistically, however, and it was in the Western Empire that the Legio found allies in the young Invictus movement.

    Caveat: as best we can tell.

    Trying to understand this statemant - you mean that Legio Mortuum split in half? With first half becoming Legion of Damned, under Lancea Sanctum, and second creating Athanatoi? I get it right?
    The Legio disintegrated as a Covenant entity over time. Its purpose was the militant enforcement and guard arm of the Senex. Without the Senex they were just organized thugs, and found new purpose elsewhere. Gallows Post are a group that are hinted at descending from them, as well as various mercenary factions, Legion of the Damned, etc. You could have a lot of fun tracing the misadventures of the Legio through Europe's spasm of violence. I suspect that any last shred of their identity as Legio vanished when Constantinople fell to the Turks.


    Senex in canon material is pointed as blind to the fall of Rome and danger of Strix. And Byzantine Kindred society is build on the rebellion against words of Senex. Then, yes, it's that Senex thought 'let them those... Longinians.... have this Constantinopole - and we will have our glorious Rome'. Well, even ancient vampires can wrong bet.
    Vampires ruin everything. Especially their own clever institutions.

    --Khanwulf

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  • Spectre9924
    replied
    The Legion of the Dead/Grim Battalion presented in the 2e core book offers a mercenary offshoot of Legio Mortuum that could very realistically have had numerous pagans in their ranks in secret.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    What they turn into is more interesting: you get part of them joining the Lancea as it rises in prominence and control. You get part of them joining the Invictus--which makes sense since the Legio would be utterly infested with Mithraic adherents, whose oath-focus is carried into the Invictus.
    Nitpicking, but Legio Mortuum joined not Invictus, but Athanatoi - even when Athanatoi, practiclly, is predecesor of Invictus ( and use most of mechanics for it ) - Athanatoi are much more militaristic in day to day outlook. Simply because they are composed of noble-soldiers intermixing groups and factions. ( See Themata province system. )

    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    So the progression in Byzantine would follow as you've indicated: districts and noble factions under Athanatoi administrators around a core of Lancea control brought in by Constantine.
    Trying to understand this statemant - you mean that Legio Mortuum split in half? With first half becoming Legion of Damned, under Lancea Sanctum, and second creating Athanatoi? I get it right?


    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    On that point, the Senex probably let them have "Constantinople" as it 1. wasn't Rome, and 2. drew a lot of Lancea-aligned vamps out and away from Rome. They still thought their Rome was all that, even after the political capital shifted to Ravenna. How cute.
    Senex in canon material is pointed as blind to the fall of Rome and danger of Strix. And Byzantine Kindred society is build on the rebellion against words of Senex. Then, yes, it's that Senex thought 'let them those... Longinians.... have this Constantinopole - and we will have our glorious Rome'. Well, even ancient vampires can wrong bet.

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    wyrdhamster I'd like to call your attention to a missing piece of the Roman puzzle, which I've touched on in another post and document link (Cursus Mortuis).

    In any event, the Legion of the Damned is, paradoxically, one of the weakest Covenants of Rome from a mechanical standpoint. They offer the ability to learn weapon styles half-off and... that's it. So you join and in exchange for cutting yourself out of other power factions you get an XP cut.

    What they turn into is more interesting: you get part of them joining the Lancea as it rises in prominence and control. You get part of them joining the Invictus--which makes sense since the Legio would be utterly infested with Mithraic adherents, whose oath-focus is carried into the Invictus.

    Yet the Legio was probably more important in the East than the west, where barbarians pushed them to the sidelines and gave local Kindred other options for mercenaries. So the progression in Byzantine would follow as you've indicated: districts and noble factions under Athanatoi administrators around a core of Lancea control brought in by Constantine. On that point, the Senex probably let them have "Constantinople" as it 1. wasn't Rome, and 2. drew a lot of Lancea-aligned vamps out and away from Rome. They still thought their Rome was all that, even after the political capital shifted to Ravenna. How cute.

    --Khanwulf

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
    I like this a lot! I feel like it would be interesting to have a nascent Invictus replace the Legion of the Damned.
    In the end - it will be. Legion of Damned is radical fanatics 'knight order' ( based on real world historical radical Christian groups of 3rd till 6th century). Where Athanatoi are combaining (future) Invictus administrator and noble side with literal generals and army of Empire ( see Themata system of ruling). In coming centuries, Legion of Damned slowly from separate Covenant become simply large faction in Byzantine Lancea Sanctum.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-08-2019, 09:31 AM.

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  • Spectre9924
    replied
    I like this a lot! I feel like it would be interesting to have a nascent Invictus replace the Legion of the Damned.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Those were canon information from books. Here are my fan wonderings and musings on this Dark Eras stuff.
    • In VtR 2E corebook setting of Athenes ( Polis of Erabus ) is mentioning of chtonics gods vampiric priestess Despoina, Mother of Bones. She worship Echidna, mythological Mother of Monsters, so works as cult for proto-Circle of Crone in area. I would even more gladly use here, as I wanted to use some beasts crossovers – and worshipping Mother of Monsters certainly works here. 8-) So I would probably use Cult of Echidna as proto-Circle of Crone in setting, replacing Cult of Augurs, centuries before great unification. As I use Sworn from Contagion Chronicle, this cult will join probably Omphalos, predecessor to Rosetta Society, in place of CoC.
    • Athanatoi, as particular human unit idea, was created in year 970 AD. However, Themata Refrom, where Byzantium was divided between between military-administrative provinces – was done in 640s and spread as idea around Empire. By 700s it was popular model or ruling in Byzantium. By 750s there was created Tagma military units around Empire, that were de facto long arm of Emperor. I think that creation of Adamantes Athanatoi as Kindred Covenant on late 690s /early 700s is okay in that context.

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