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Bloodline: Tregarthen

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  • Bloodline: Tregarthen


    With thanks to NeoTiamat for writing the background.

    Background

    “Pull up a chair, mate, don’t be shy. I don’t bite.”

    A smile.

    “This face? Don’t let it worry you none. I spent a little too long in one spot, old Quetzalcoatl had a laugh at my expense, mate, you know how it is.”

    A pause.

    “Now there’s an interesting story. Better back up, though, cause this is a tale that takes some telling. Grab a drink, maybe. No, I don’t want anything. Yet.”

    “So, where to start. I figure the story starts with old James Tregarthen himself. He was a bit like you, you know. Always asking questions, always snooping around. He was a proper thief, he was, a pirate and scoundrel and blackguard and all sorts of other words like that. Ended up stealing some damn powerful books, though I never heard tell from where. Some say he got them from the Moors, others from the Irish. Some say he bought them from the Devil himself, though I don’t believe that.”

    Another pause.

    “…cause there’s no such thing, you daft idiot. What, vampires not enough for you, you need Satan in the story? Now keep quiet and listen.”

    “Anyway, old James studied those books, and he figured out how to bind spirits and ghosts and ghastly things like that. Figured out how to stop aging too, even if it does mean he stopped seeing the sun much. Started doing some serious black magic, got some students.”

    “Thing is, old James thought he was the cock of the walk, but he wasn’t ever what you might call the subtle sort, you see? So when the neighbors started wondering about the cries in the night and the vanishings, they talked to the priest, and the priest talked to another priest, who talked to the Bishop, who talked to the Archbishop, and all of a sudden there’s some men from Rome with fire and axe and Bible.”

    “That little war didn’t end too well for old James, so after the old pirate was burned at the stake, some of his smarter students looked around and figured Cornwall weren’t none too healthy for them. They’d heard that the Spaniards discovered some new lands across the ocean – weren’t a snail that hadn’t heard about it by then – so they bribed some Hidalgo to take them over. Weren’t easy, but they did it.”

    “They landed in Central America, and there was heaven for the Damned. That’s what they figured, anyway. Rome’s an ocean away, no king’s men here, no priests. It was a place you could be a monster, that’s the right truth, and no one was going to say a word. Plenty of human monsters back then, what was a few Damned ones?”

    “Course, old Tregarthen’s students still weren’t too good at the whole subtlety thing, and wasn’t too many years before some of the locals fought back. Now, Tregarthens, we’re good at the whole loose and bind thing, but these locals, they were half-man, half-spirit. Got their own little god riding alongside, Nahualli they call them, and the bloody things worked together.”

    “Things got exciting then. The humans, they’re like cockroaches. Smack one, two more crawl out. Things didn’t look too good back then. But back around… oh Lord, Seventeen-hundred-and-thirty-one, it was, Anne Tregarthen tried something new. She couldn’t bind spirits like the humans did, but she could drink from humans who’d bound their own Nahualli, and that was a bigger magic than old James ever had. Genuine theophagy, it was.”

    “…I know lots of big words, mate. I know defenestration too, if you keep gabbing.”

    “Anne’s childe, William Tregarthen, he was the one who figured out the last trick. If you drink from a Nahualli-bound human, you get power, and you can summon a bigger spirit and bind it to another human. Then drink from that spirit… get more power… bind a bigger spirit. See where I’m going with this, mate? Go far enough, dare greatly enough, and smash all those damned humans with a single strike from the fist of a god.”

    “William Tregarthen tried it in eighteen-seventy-two. He summoned a god, and he tried to put the bite on it. I’ll tell you this much, after he was done, the humans didn’t bother us for a long, long time. Won’t say there weren’t side-effects, like the damn dreams of feathered serpents, or the sun that follows us, but it was worth it.”

    A silence.

    “Of course we won, ye jelly-boned buffoon. We’ve got power, don’t we? And if we have to keep on the move, race the sun, then to hell with the sun. We summoned a god. We’ve got power. It was worth it. And don’t you dare say differently.”

    Interaction With the Danse

    The Tregarthen are forced into a life of perpetual nomadism by their Bloodline curse. They unlive their Requium on the high seas, feeding upon a crew of blood bound thralls and studying their unholy wizardry.

    When they desire something they appear like the pirate raiders of old. They strike without warning, hitting hard with wizardry and a fanatical crew led by spiritually enhanced officers. Or they strike with their reputation and possession of more secrets than any stranger should have, secrets ferreted out by spiritual spies. After they’ve stolen, traded or intimidated their way into possession of what they want, they vanish like fog under the midday sun.

    The spiritually aware Circle of the Crone are the covenant best placed to predict and react to a Tregarthen raid. Their prophets and witches can spot the spiritually modified scouts and spies of a Tregarthen captain long before he lands.

    For their own part the Tregarthen, when they join a Covenant, avoid the Circle, as well as the Sanctum. The Bloodline claims to have defeated gods, more likely they were cursed by one, and either way they have little interest in worshiping any deity. The Ordo Dracul’s belief in fighting god sits well with the Bloodline’s own beliefs and experimentation fills those long hours at sea, making it the most popular Covenant. But most Tregarthen are unaligned, the sea is a lonely place.

    Clan: Mekhet

    Nicknames: Vampirates

    Bloodline Bane: The sun is the enemy of all vampires, but none more so than the Tregarthen. The Tregarthen must always be travelling, for if they don’t the sun will find them, and it will kill them.

    After remaining in place for three days, a column of sunlight one hundred yards in diameter appears centered on the Tregarthen. This column remains at night and penetrates any amount of solid matter. It will follow the Tregarthen until final death. Make no mistake, once the sun finds a Tregarthen final death is quick and inevitable.

    Fortunately, then, the Tregarthen can hide. If they travel 100 miles over water, 200 miles under the cover of fog, or fifty miles over water and under the cover of fog, the counter resets. The Tregarthen must end this trip at least 50 miles from anywhere they have stayed for over a day in the last year.

    After two and a half days in Torpor the Bloodline curse ceases to apply until the vampire wakes again.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Majesty, Resilience, Obscurification

    Bloodline Sorcery: Nahualli Wizardry

    The wizards the Tregarthen once were, and still are, could summon spirits and bind them to their bidding.

    The sorcerers that the Tregarthen stole from would dream their way into the spirit realm, to capture spirits and take claim their powers as their own.

    The Tregarthen do both at once. Like wizards, they summon spirits and bind them into human victims. Like the Nahualli sorcerers, well a vampire can’t bond with a spirit, but once the spirit is trapped in a ritually prepared living human: All it takes is a sip.

    Cost: A Nahualli Wizardry ritual has half the cost of a Theban Sorcery ritual of an equivalent level combined with half the cost of a Curac ritual of an equivalent level. A ritual’s Vitae cost is a net cost after any ritualistic feeding.

    In addition every ritual requires a blood bound victim who will host the summoned Spirit. They must have signals carved into their flesh, be anointed with toxic sacraments, fed ritually poisoned Vitae, or just fed upon. This costs one Lethal damage per dot of the ritual.

    Themes:

    With Evocation the Vampire summons a spirit with Influence over their target, then drinks deeply from the spirit’s host. Through an evocation ritual a Tregarthen can exert his will over objects, animals, and even the very forces of nature.

    With Invocation the Vampire summons as spirit into a person, then painfully binds the two together permanently. Invocation creates Claimed, but a skilled Tregarthen can control exactly how the Claiming manifests, creating servants for their needs. The first change is always to remove any protection against Blood Bonding that the Claimed might naturally have. By spilling the sacrifice's blood Invocation can also force Spirits to Claim inanimate objects, imbuing them with supernatural power.


    Devotions

    The following Devotions require a Tregarthen to use Nahualli Wizardry and then drink the victim dry, permanently imbuing themselves with some of a spirit’s power. To Asupex this looks similar too, but clearly distinct from, diablerie. What Vampire’s don’t know they fear, especially if it resembles diablerie. Fear often leads to violence, but with the Tregarthen, perhaps not often enough.

    Many of these rituals require feeding on the spirit of the ship, While the human victim is drunk dry only part of the spirit’s essence is stolen, and spirits can recover from most things, in short you may acquire multiple ship based devotions.

    Pulse of the Invisible: All spirits can see others of their own kind, and by ritually consuming a spirit the Tregarthen gains the ability to see spirits in Twilight. This ability costs one Vitae and lasts a scene.

    Pulse of the Invisible is free to all Tregarthen. All members of the bloodline are given the gift by their Avus.


    Dutchman’s Vessel: By feeding upon the spirit of their own ships the Tregarthen permanently bond themselves to their craft. Their undead resilience permeates the hull.

    The ship’s durability increases by Resilience, and it’s structure increases by Resilience + Blood Potency + Invocation. As with Resilience itself, this power manifests as a supernatural ability to ignore damage.

    Prerequisites: Resilience one, Invocation three.


    Captain’s Eye: By feeding upon the spirit of their own ship a Tregarthen may gain absolute awareness of of everything aboard her craft. The very timbers are an extension of her senses. She may reflexively shift her viewpoint to anywhere upon the ship.

    So long as the captain is aboard her craft, using Beast’s Hackles and asking if a vampire present is using Auspex five always says yes regardless of where the captain is focusing her attention.

    Prerequisites: Auspex two, Invocation one.


    Fog’s Loyal Protection: Through feeding on a powerful spirit of fog, and anointing their own ship as part of the ritual, the vampire gains a potent ability. They may activate Touch of Shadow upon their entire ship.

    Drawback: While their ship is hidden it will generate it’s own fog-bank. While fog is useful for hiding from the Bloodline’s Curse it is also distinctly unnatural in most weathers and can draw unwanted attention. The ship is protected by Touch of Shadow, the fog is not.

    Prerequisites: Obscurification five, Evocation three.


    Dutchman’s Fate: By summoning the spirit of their ship into the same body as a conceptual spirit of undeath then feeding on both a Tregarthen may permanently link her unlife to his ship. At the culmination of the ritual she cuts out her own heart, which transforms into beating wood.

    After acquiring Dutchman's Fate a Tregarthen will, upon falling into torpor or final death, crumble into ash to revive upon their ship the next night with all her Health boxes bar one filled with Aggravated damage. The only way to permanently kill her is to destroy her heart or her ship. She is also immune to staking, as she has no heart in her chest to stake.

    Dutchman’s Fate is no defence against the Bloodline’s curse. Should the sun find her once, then it will be waiting and strike again the moment she revives. Should the sun strike her wooden heart it will immediately burst into flames, so the second death is usually final.

    Drawback: It is hard to be away from ones own heart. If the Tregarthen is not on her ship she may no longer spend Vitae to activate her Resilience or to heal wounds, nor may she spend Vitae to activate other abilities that serve a similar function. Should she be on dry land (a pier or other artificial structure above the water does not count), she also loses the passive benefits of Resilience.

    If the heart is ever removed from the ship, a Tregarthen immediately suffers both drawbacks until it is returned. If she is destroyed while the heart is away from her ship she will not revive until it is returned.

    If her ship is destroyed the Tregarthen suffers Final Death.

    Prerequisites: Resilience five, Invocation five.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 01-21-2015, 04:35 PM.


    “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
    My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
    Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers
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