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  • Rosencroft
    started a topic Chronicle Idea: Rise and fall of a Dynasty

    Chronicle Idea: Rise and fall of a Dynasty

    Evening everyone,
    I apologize in advance for any bad grammar or typos, currently writing this on a phone from a hospital.

    I had an idea that passed my mind on several occasions and I wanted to ask for advice from players and storytellers here.
    Its about a vampire that flees burning Rome and destruction of Camarilla to Thracia ( moderm day Serbia ) where he establishes a dynasty that would see rise and fall during the Dark ages.
    Now, the question that i have is this: Can dynasties consist of many bloodlines or just one? Or can there be many members of different bloodlines in a same dynasty?
    My idea would be that this Founder would be joined by several vampires that would make their own subsections ( Houses/Families ) tjat would in turn make a greater Dynasty.

    The story would see them taking over a ruined castle, slowly rebuilding and eventually going to war with different clans, Plaguebringers ( tjat were mentioned in the core 2e ) and Striges/Strix.

    So, since I dont have the Invictus book on me here, I dont know much about dynasties, and would be gratefull if someone would explain them to me pr if could answer my questions about different clan/bloodline members.

    Thnakful in advace.

  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Im trying to upload a map but I can't get it to show...

    So, how are things going with this project of yours?

    Leave a comment:


  • Rosencroft
    replied
    Im trying to upload a map but I can't get it to show...

    Leave a comment:


  • Rosencroft
    replied
    Just a little work in progress...

    Venturius the Brute, whatever his origins may be, sired only 5 vampires, and each of them went on to establish their own houses within the Vennic.

    Still not sure on names, but houses for now are:
    House Mora - Slavic Witches
    House Pravda - Knights and Royal Guards of Vennic
    House Kob - Necromancers
    House Sen - Assassins and spies
    House Markov - Diplomats and Nobles

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    As an aside, came across an old post where someone pointed out what could be a stealth canon reference to the creature in one of the clanbooks and if so, a major hook into Requiem mythos.

    It has also crossed my mind today that the Zmai could be related to the Helminth, maybe an escaped/stranded relative of sorts, what could open room to all sorts of extra tie-ins/blurbs from MtAw: Summoners, the Land of Worms from Ancient Mysteries and maybe the Sta-Au bloodline from Ancient Bloodlines, Nightstalkers and the Nosferatu clanbook.
    Last edited by Baaldam; 10-26-2021, 11:55 AM.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Venturus?
    You mean the Venturus the Twice-Dead King of Venheim, Lower Domain of the Underworld? ;-)

    I love it!

    Edit: What I meant is that the Founder is now called Venturus.

    Since you liked, let me take it a step farther - Brutus Venturus ("Venturus the Brute" or Venturus the Simple-minded), once a savage, then a general of the Proquinpi and their successor.

    Never a Julii, but once their successor and secret ruin, through his alliance with the Nemeses, sacrificing the Founders that betrayed their ancient pacts with the Owls, for the sake of preserving their legacy in new forms, but closer to the roots forsaken even before the clans.

    The Strix are not enemies of his and his own, but honored patrons & guests invited into this world as per the renewed covenant made from the embers of the Camarilla.

    Brute and betrayer, the line's forgotten and most blasphemous secret shame.

    Also, what do you think of Lemuria, the Abode of the Restless for a domain name?


    Edit: Now let me backtrack a bit and discuss some of the references & inspirations you previously spoke about.


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    He flees to Moesia Superior, to Naissus to be exact. There's a cool battle that took place there (Battle of Naissus) that I will tweak a bit to suit the story. I'll connect it with the purge of Camarilla from the territory.

    So, Vendrick escapes further into the forests and mountains and stumbles upon the ruins of an old Empire fort. With outlying villages and towns, he has a steady supply of blood and proceeds to use it as a haven. Loneliness takes it's toll on him, and he slowly begins embracing.
    Based on this, i'm imagining the ruined fort located in lands once controlled by Rome but abandoned either before or soon after the battle, possibly in the parts of Dacia north of the Danube, that Aurelian would abandon in 271AD (2-3 years after the battle) in order to rationalize the defense of the Empire. Completely up to you and its perfectly possible that you already have some other location in mind, but sounds like a good enough extrapolation based on your description so far.

    I think this might help with making some sense of things in a visual manner.
    And maybe for extra-dramatic localization possibilities....


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Lots of Darkest Dungeon inspiration ( sins and secrets of the Ancestor - Vendrick )
    Eldritch abominations, experiments and blood-starved vampires roaming the halls of Vennic Castle.
    Zlatna Krv ( Golden Blood ) - a book, murder mystery involving a gathering of vampires in Balkans. Not sure on the author or the english translation, I read it a decade ago, but it still stuck to me to this day in my mind with castle descriptions. In a way, the castle was a character in itself.
    Well, those two works - afaik based on summaries and reviews i snatched here & there today - do seem to share a theme on "the castle as an (un)living entity in itself" and that's a concept you could definitely build upon and expand, making the locale into something to challenge the players or them to interact with in a number of ways.

    You could even take things a (crazy) step farther by making the castle/genius loci not a mere gate or passage into underworld domain but an actual piece of the realm, something like an anchor/fetter of a ghost, that makes it materialize and make its presence felt into the physical world. Meaning that in certain occasions the lands around the castle become the underworld domain of Lemuria.


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Dracula ( the novel ) obviously ??
    Vampir - Tihomir Djordjevic ( an essay/book, a collection of historic alleged vampire sightings and vampire lore in Balkans )
    Well, the sightings in the collection could serve as the basis for a timeline of sorts, weaving some or all of the many unrelated events in an structured history of some of the dynasty's past actions.

    Ah, speaking of balkanic folklore, i just remembered something from the books:

    Originally posted by Predators, pg. 186-189
    The Zmai is a dangerously intelligent abomination, a thing of spirit-made-flesh that has great power over the weak and mortal. It may have appeared to humans before, perhaps many times. Legends of harmless serpent cults or earth-worshippers may mask periods when the Worm was awake. It hides its pale flesh from the sun, presiding over disgusting rituals enacted in its name.

    • Addictive Ichor: The Worm is capable of secreting a gruesome ichor that has a narcotic, addictive and ultimately mutative effect on human beings who consume it. The narcotic quality affects a drinker’s judgment; unless the character makes a Stamina + Resolve roll at a –2 penalty, all Social, Mental and Dexterity dice pools and Resistance traits such as Defense are reduced by two for (8 minus Stamina) hours. (See the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 176).
    The addictive quality is immediate. A person who has imbibed a portion of the Worm’s ichor finds it difficult to refuse another drink, and will begin feeling powerful cravings for another taste within 24 hours. Each day after the first taste, the character must make a Stamina + Resolve roll at –3. Failure means that the character suffers painful withdrawal symptoms, and is at a –2 penalty to all dice pools for the next 24 hours, at which time she must make another Stamina + Resolve roll. If the character makes three successful rolls on consecutive days, she has shaken the addiction.
    Repeated draughts of the ichor will, in time, transform a human drinker into one of the Worm’s thralls, granting her the traits listed below. The transformation is complete after the drinker has taken a number of doses equal to Stamina +2.
    The ichor’s addictive and narcotic qualities can affect supernatural beings, as long as they are part flesh (materialized spirits would not qualify, but Ridden would) and are capable of ingesting food or liquid (a vampire can assimilate blood, and would be vulnerable, but a zombie cannot). Supernatural beings may add the appropriate trait to their dice pool to resist (Primal Urge, Blood Potency or the like).
    At any time, the Worm likely has a number of thralls in attendance, usually one to five when it is resting or dozens during the culmination of a major ritual. The traits for these thralls are given below. Alternately, the rules for the Worm’s addictive ichor can be modeled after the rules for blood addiction and ghouls in Vampire: The Requiem (pp. 158, 166–168).

    • Sunlight Allergy: The Worm’s corrupt flesh burns at the touch of sunlight. It automatically takes one health point of lethal damage per turn of exposure to weak or filtered sunlight (such as light through thin drapes, being outside on a cloudy day, or the reflection of sunlight in a mirror). It takes two points of damage per turn of exposure to direct sunlight. The Zmai is well aware of this weakness, and phobic about the sun. It prefers to remain underground if it can help it, and will voluntarily emerge only on a dark night.

    THRALLS OF THE WORM
    The narcotic ichor that the Worm bleeds is not simply addictive — it’s transformational. As its puppets continue to imbibe the stuff of its impure body, they gradually become something more — inhuman.
    The thralls of the Worm gradually grow paler as they fall deeper under the spell of the Zmai. A thrall might even pass for a vampire, but for the carcinoma-like black growths that gradually appear on her skin. These rough patches tend to arise on the body first, later spreading to the limbs or face. A thrall of the Zmai can usually keep these unusual lesions hidden and continue to interact with society for a time. Eventually, though, the growths become too numerous and obvious to hide, and the compulsion to return to the Worm is too strong. Such thralls can no longer leave the Worm’s den. Some are kept on as favored
    thralls, bodyguards or pets for a time. All are eventually devoured.
    The transformation into thralldom has no known cure. That doesn’t mean the cure is impossible, only that werewolves know so little about the Worm itself that they are scarcely prepared to reverse the effects of its powers.
    What could it be - a familiar/genius loci (snake and cornucopia both could be metaphors for the worm) grown fat in the blood, flesh and gore of centuries? an alternate patron adopted as safeguard of sorts against the unpredictable malice & unreliability of the Strix? The evolved/transcedent form of (Brutus) Venturus, metamorphosed into the vessel of something more than vampire? A bit of all those things?

    As an aside, i'm imagining those thralls that die without being devoured by the Zmai raising again as revenants still in its service - and hungry to raise into full vampires by consuming any kindred intruders that are not of the "family lines". Those that are devoured might still remain, as ghosts with the creature as its anchor/fetter and ichor with qualities similar to vitae.

    That might be also a good hook for the "mad scientist" bloodline, a blood cult/cabal dedicated to exploring the mysteries of the Zmai, its ichor and the many varied transformations and influences it may impose upon those beholden to it, some of the weird critters peppered through the region being the unholy fruits of their experimentation on its qualities.
    Last edited by Baaldam; 02-01-2021, 01:44 PM.

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  • Rosencroft
    replied
    Venturus?
    You mean the Venturus the Twice-Dead King of Venheim, Lower Domain of the Underworld? ;-)

    I love it!

    Edit: What I meant is that the Founder is now called Venturus.
    Last edited by Rosencroft; 12-28-2020, 08:04 PM.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    I'll write more I have the time, but one of the lineages of Vendrick would fall back on body experimentation, blood magic and all sorts of weird science.
    Think Ordo Dracul before Ordo Dracul, but on a more demented, smaller scale.
    I think there might be some faction like that in the Invictus book, but would have to check out to say for sure.


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    So, Strigoi would be special experiments, blood hounds of sorts. Artificially made experiments that, in modern nights, got loose and began causing havoc for the vampires for their treatment of Strigoi.
    Devolved draugr, with rudimentary sense of self, indiscriminately attacking both humanity and kindred.
    ( So more of antagonists than anything remotely playable )
    They sound, and not to a small degree imho, like the Larvae, from Night Horrors: Wicked Dead, a sort of early instalment of the "failed embrace/incomplete" conceit we would see in 2e in the form of Revenants. In fact the book as a whole is great for antagonists/proto-vampire kind of entities for a ST to mine ideas on. The Jiang Shi clan in Requiem 2e are pretty much the ur-example of the devs themselves doing that.


    edit: And back on previous post stuff, any feelings on Venturus as a latin/roman alternative to Vendrick?
    Last edited by Baaldam; 12-28-2020, 01:45 PM.

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  • Rosencroft
    replied
    I'll write more I have the time, but one of the lineages of Vendrick would fall back on body experimentation, blood magic and all sorts of weird science.
    Think Ordo Dracul before Ordo Dracul, but on a more demented, smaller scale.
    So, Strigoi would be special experiments, blood hounds of sorts. Artificially made experiments that, in modern nights, got loose and began causing havoc for the vampires for their treatment of Strigoi.
    Devolved draugr, with rudimentary sense of self, indiscriminately attacking both humanity and kindred.
    ( So more of antagonists than anything remotely playable )

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Actually Macellarius are also listed as both a Julii and Ventrue bloodline, so that gave me the inspiration for Vendrick's clan mystery.
    Well, Macellarii are made to blatantly stradle the "are Julii Ventrue or not?" riddle, so calling hybrid or mixed is kind of sketchy, but fair.

    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Yeah, the name is from the Dark Souls, but as I mentioned, I use the game for inspiration and VENdrick suites me fine with the Ventrue/Ven naming.
    So, how about Venturus?
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    These Strigoi/Falmer - how different would they be from the subterranean Vermes or the possibly related Telamones, or a subterranean bloodline/blood cult of Mekhet (Auspex would go well with Falmer uncanny hearing/echolocation, i guess), perhaps?

    Speaking of ruined empire forts, something for a little extra historical fun.
    Also kind of related things (not really, but a fun bit of inspiration).
    Last edited by Baaldam; 12-28-2020, 12:39 AM.

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  • Rosencroft
    replied
    Actually Macellarius are also listed as both a Julii and Ventrue bloodline, so that gave me the inspiration for Vendrick's clan mystery.
    Yeah, the name is from the Dark Souls, but as I mentioned, I use the game for inspiration and VENdrick suites me fine with the Ventrue/Ven naming.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    Vennic legends would say that Vendrick ( still thinking on Roman version of his name ) was a part of Senex, while I had in mind that it's a lie, and that he was only a bodyguard/childe of an unknown Senex member.
    Well, as far i know, Vendrick is a totally made-up name out of Dark Souls, what may make finding equivalents complicated.


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    He flees to Moesia Superior, to Naissus to be exact. There's a cool battle that took place there (Battle of Naissus) that I will tweak a bit to suit the story.
    I'll connect it with the purge of Camarilla from the territory.
    A curious choice to mark the decadence of the Camarilla, considering the battle was a great roman victory, at least from what i could quickly gather online.

    As an aside, do you have Requiem for Rome and/or Fall of the Camarilla? Even if your focus is in late antiquity/early medieval Serbia and its environs, they might offer hooks and ideas to mine in flashing out the Founder and its particular circunstances.


    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
    So, Vendrick escapes further into the forests and mountains and srumbles upon the ruins of an old Empire fort. With outlying villages and towns, he has a steady supply of blood and proceeds to use it as a haven. Loneliness takes it's toll on him, and he slowly begins embracing.
    Now, I'm still thinking of keeping the clan Vendrick belongs to a secret and dance constantly between Julii/Ventrue mystery.
    Well, there's the Licinii, a "cursed" bloodline of Julii - that are actually the descendants of the childer of a strix-possessed Nosferatu. Even if you don't use them in particular, i doubt they were the only example of the Strix trolling the Jullii's patrician pretensions of lineage.

    More comments, suggestions & etc i'll leave for later when they do come up. Hope these bits do make a bit of a start.

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  • Rosencroft
    replied
    What I had in mind is as follows.
    Camarilla collapses, and kindred flee from the wreckage of the once great Necropolis.
    Vennic legends would say that Vendrick ( still thinking on Roman version of his name ) was a part of Senex, while I had in mind that it's a lie, and that he was only a bodyguard/childe of an unknown Senex member.
    He flees to Moesia Superior, to Naissus to be exact. There's a cool battle that took place there ( Battle of Naissus ) that I will tweak a bit to suit the story.
    I'll connect it with the purge of Camarilla from the territory.
    So, Vendrick escapes further into the forests and mountains and srumbles upon the ruins of an old Empire fort. With outlying villages and towns, he has a steady supply of blood and proceeds to use it as a haven. Loneliness takes it's toll on him, and he slowly begins embracing.
    Now, I'm still thinking of keeping the clan Vendrick bel9ngs to a secret and dance constantly between Julii/Ventrue mystery.
    Every childe of Vendrick's would go on and make a separate bloodline/Bloodline, and I will probably fall back on local folklore on vampires ( Upiri, More, Psoglav, Zduhach, etc. ) as these unique vampires/progeny of Vendrick and his children.

    Eventually, whether or not Vendrick is Julii, everyone thinks that he is and that information eventually reaches Striges ( Strix ) and owl-possessed kindred and they decide to attack.

    Plaguebringers are mentioned once in the core Vampire the Requiem 2e, but I don't think it was elaborated whether they were Morbus or not, just that they were active in the region during Dark ages.

    Vendrick's children, now Vennic, ex0anded fort into a castle, and that would be their final resting place, as Strix descended on them.

    I planned the chronicle to constantly jump between past and present, where players would play their modern characters, and through flashbacks, their ancestors.

    Expedition to Vennic castle and troubles getting there ( sabotages, killings, mysterious occurances, somebody from Invictus and Ordo Dracul not wanting kindred digging up the history ) as well flashbacks that would include teoubles of repairing the castle, clash with local Strigoi ( proto-vampires I had in mind similar to Falmer from Skyrim, local werewolf packs and all sort of strange phenomena ).

    In the end, Vennic were almost all destroyed, with players left as their only modern day descendants, while leaving an epilogue of sorts ( post credits scene 😁 ) where somewhre in the local? Underworld, a Sin-eater would stumble upon a Lower Mystery domain of a Twice-dead king and his cohort of undead offspring living in an exact replica of Vennic castle.

    That's the general idea for a cheonicle.
    So, not much of Roman Empire lore, more local Slavic/Serbian/Romanian lore.

    Edit:
    Other inspiration would be something as a mix between Bloodborne/Dark Souls creepy/tragic lore.
    Lots of Darkest Dungeon inspiration ( sins and secrets of the Ancestor - Vendrick )
    Eldritch abominations, experiments and blood-starved vampires roaming the halls of Vennic Castle.
    Zlatna Krv ( Golden Blood ) - a book, murder mystery involving a gathering of vampires in Balkans. Not sure on the author or the english translation, I read it a decade ago, but it still stuck to me to this day in my mind with castle descriptions. In a way, the castle was a character in itself.
    Dracula ( the novel ) obviously 😁
    Vampir - Tihomir Djordjevic ( an essay/book, a collection of historyc alleged vampire sightings and vampire lore in Balkans )

    If I remember something else, I'll add it here.
    Last edited by Rosencroft; 12-27-2020, 09:16 PM.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post

    Sorry, my bad, Moesia Superior, not Thracia. My town is literally on the border but you're right. Aorry for mistake.

    It happens, pobody is nerfect.

    But back on the game itself, what do you have in mind? Is the founder a remnant of the Julii, Cult of Augurs or part of any other once great group that dies out bit by bit along with the roman empire?
    A member of the other clans and wings of the Camarilla trying to adapt to changing conditions and find opportunities amids the uncertainty?
    Or part of Lancea et Sanctum and other newer, strange groups that seem to mark the downfall of Rome and the new, dark ages incoming?
    What attracted him or her to this particular land as a place to hide and start anew? What circunstances led to this unbreathing man or woman to gather followers and/or childer to its banner, at least for a time?


    Also got this based on your last post. Thought it might be of use to help setting up the playing field, with potential locations & historical events to reference and riff story ideas and hooks from. Maybe also this one, not certain.


    Just read your post giving the dynasty's name and mentioning a modern nights game it ties into. Is that modern nights chronicle something you have already running or do you plan to make it after sketching out these ancient/medieval story bits? Asking since in the first case you might already have background and events to mine and rework stuff from for ideas to set up this "old nights" game.

    The "enemy clans" would be lineages from the core five, "anachronic" variants like the "Hollow" Mekhet or "Vermes" Nosferatu, VII, "dead" clans from other books (or your own imagination) or a little bit of everything?

    What are the Plaguebringers, are they kindred or something else? Is there any relation with the Morbus bloodline and the Cachexy discipline?

    And before i forget, any folklore, favorite novels, comics or films you might want to reference/insert elements from in the tale?
    Last edited by Baaldam; 12-24-2020, 01:39 PM.

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  • Rosencroft
    replied
    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

    Not wanting to be too much of a nitpicker, but i think Thracia has little to no relation to modern Serbia but Bulgaria and some parts of modern Greece and Turkey? Kind of confused here.
    Sorry, my bad, Moesia Superior, not Thracia. My town is literally on the border but you're right. Aorry for mistake.

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