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The Tremere Clan: Arbitrium Vincit Omnia

on Tue Oct 10 2017, 19:57

The true magus is one with the power to act. Blood is our power, and the time for action is now.

Faced with undeniable signs that the power of magic was fading from the world, a small group of Hermetic magi sought to revitalize themselves through other means. In 1022, under the leadership of Tremere, they discovered the elixir of vampiric blood that gave them their desire.

They became the first truly new clan: self-created, obligated to no one but themselves, and ready to carve out a place for themselves in the society of the Damned through their arts. They were not welcomed. Plunged immediately into conflict over lands and strongholds with the Tzimisce, the fledgling clan worked rapidly to develop new spells and rituals to protect themselves.

The speed with which they created their new Discipline, Thaumaturgy, shocked other vampires. They accused the Tremere of gaining their power through diablerie and blasphemous experimentation, and even of being re- sponsible for the destruction of the Salubri Antediluvian, Saulot. Few in number and with no true allies, the Tremere must rely on bargains with other clans and their own close-knit hierarchy. The Ventrue have proven especially receptive to trading protection for magical services. The Tremere guard themselves first and foremost, but even within their ranks, factions, and cabals struggle with each other to seize what meager influence the clan has in the world. Younger vampires are made to carry out their elders’ schemes, all while maneuvering themselves into positions of greater authority.

This is the paradox of the Tremere: They have gained the immortality that their founder searched for, but they still act with the rashness of mortals who believe their time is limited. They carry out many of their schemes for immediate benefits, not considering how their decisions might change their destinies in the centuries ahead. The enemies that they make now will haunt them in the future, as will the bargains that they strike and the sacrifices they make for the sake of security. For all of their vaunted self-discipline, their position is still a fragile one.

Sobriquet: Usurpers, Tremores (“the trembling ones”)

Appearance: Tremere vampires favor simple and practical attire for whatever location they find themselves inhabiting. In cities with universities, that tends to mean presenting a scholarly appearance, either as students or professors. In the countryside, donning the robes of wandering monks (like those of the Franciscans) allows them to move undisturbed through many areas.

Haven: Most Tremere gravitate toward cities, especiallycities with universities or cathedral schools. Depending on their relationship with the vampiric authorities in those cities, they may dwell near the scholarly centers or be relegated to the slums and ghettos. Tremere who do not live in cities tend to construct small, secure lairs in which to conduct their research undisturbed, often near sites of magical power.

Backgrounds: The Tremere fill their ranks with individuals who hunger for both knowledge and power: occultists, alchemists, theologians, philosophers, and scholars of all kinds. Neither age nor religion are any hindrance, although they do expect those they Embrace to accept their Hermetic-Neoplatonic theories if they wish to learn Thaumaturgy.

At the same time, the clan is pragmatic in its choice of members when need arises. Tremere Embrace warriors to lead their forces against the Tzimisce and Embrace courtiers to represent the clan in the domains of the noble Damned. Such vampires face a difficult existence, however. Without the lure of magical power to keep them bound to the Clan’s designs, they are kept under close watch by their superiors and rarely afforded the opportunity to advance.

Character Creation: Most Tremere follow the Road of Humanity simply because, due to the clan’s youth, other possibilities have not occurred to them. Mental Attributes and Knowledges are usually primary, and even those Tremere with a less scholarly focus are expected to be open to learning. For those who practice Thaumaturgy, a high Willpower is a must. Mentor is the most common Background for individuals.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy

Weakness: The Tremere’s rush to exploit the powers of vampiric blood comes with its own disadvantages: they are particularly vulnerable to blood bonds when they drink the blood of other Damned. The first draught of blood that a Tremere consumes counts as two for the purposes of establishing a bond, meaning that the next drink will complete it. Furthermore, all newly Embraced Tremere must surrender a vial of their blood to the Council of Seven, who stores it in a hidden vault in their Carpathian chantry. That blood, they warn, can be the means by which they exact thaumaturgical punishments on any who disobey, no matter how far they run or how well they hide themselves.

Organization: The leaders of the Tremere are the Council of Seven, who issue commands through successive and rigidly structured ranks of vampiric underlings. In theory, each rank — Council Regent, Domain Regent, Chantry Regent, and Chantry Apprentice — is made up of seven vampires for every superior, but in practice, the numbers vary wildly in these uncertain times. Rising through the ranks requires patience, demonstration of occult power, and the ability to survive the internal politics of the clan.

Assamites: They know secrets of the blood that we do not. This must be remedied.
Brujah: A pity we did not meet them before their descent into degeneration.
Cappadocians: Worthy of respect, although their focus on the dead means that they neglect other sources of power.
Gangrel: Their animal vitality makes them excellent subjects for experimentation. They can endure so much.
Nosferatu: Look beyond appearances at what they can offer: knowledge that the other Clans do not think worthy of their attention.
Salubri: The world cannot be healed, only mastered. They forget this lesson at their own cost.
Tzimisce: Their grotesqueries are nothing but masks to hide the fears of a Clan whose time will soon come to an end. Their crude sorceries keep them bound to territory we will soon make our own.
Ventrue: Let them believe that they rule and that we are eager to serve. They will be the path by which we ascend to prominence.
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