On the Becoming
by Simon St Croix
Good evening, class. I am pleased to see most of you still present. I regret to inform you that several of your number have failed to pass the outer circle exams, but those of you still present have, at the very least, sqweaked by withan 'acceptable.'
Today I thought I would give you a congratulatory break in routine. Rather than continue with basic ritual background I thought I'd tell you the history ofour becoming.
Sometime in the mid 10 hundreds, 1045 or 50, Tremere was one of the very few elite masters of the world, arguably the most powerful man of his era. His voice in council carried the weight of the entire Order of Hermes. He was rarely reqwired to actually call a vote to do anything he actually wished to have accomplished, but he saw his time coming to an end.
There was a wealth of 'tass' in those days. Magic was as easy as directing the will. But those of us with the trick of it were beginning to notice that our group efforts were getting harder and harder. Our 'top end' was declining. There was still more than enough tass around for even the most powerful among us, but our researches revealed that that would only last a few more centuries, then magic would have mostly left the land.
This bothered Tremere more than most; his entire empire was founded on subtle manipulations of these mystical forces. Having acheived immortality through his works, he now wished to acheive it in fact, and time was running out. Having been informed of the existence of Vampires by Goratrix, he ordered them observed in an attempt to isolate what exactly made them so long-lived.
Goratrix, realizing the great prestige he could earn, captured two foul Tzimisce bodyshapers and interviewed them. The vivisection of the first revealed a great deal of information. Its flesh was truly dead. Long since atrophied beyond the Sphere of Life. The subject endured only a little pain before it broke through the metal clamps that held him to the operating theatre. Fortunately, Goratrix and his assistants were vigilant and held him in place while cold-forged manacles of greater strength were summoned.
It was also discovered that through manipulation of its blood, the creature could heal itself, and when out of blood, it's thoughts were clouded over by raw hungering instinct of a beast. It would even drink drug-tainted blood that it refused to touch when in control of itself. It's claws carried small amounts of Prime, as did the creature's fangs. It also had a rudimentary command of the Spheres of Life and Energy or Entropy, for it could change its flesh, crafting it as easily as we mold wax. Unfortunately, they drew their magical powers from internal sources, the blood they gleaned from humans. Had they drawn it from the tass of the world as we did we would have been able to study them directly, rather than by effect.
We also discovered that they were far more numerous than we had initially projected, as well as the rudiments of their clan structure and their heritage as linked to Cain (written by Malk either before (as was commonly held) or after (as we think might be closer to the case) his insanity began. (cv 'Book of Nod')
In any case each clan of 'Cainite' had its very own curse linked to their blood. It was no time at all before the researchers lead by Goratrix came up with a great rote that would grant the practitioners similar 'vampirism' without their distinctive drawbacks, but as a few of you know firsthand, the general negatives concerning feeding and sunlight were a necessary part of the process.
Tremere and his closest advisors cast the ritual that irrevocably changed history for us all: they became Kindred. Sacrificing his magery at the height of his power because he forsaw its lessening, preparing the way for a new era of Power, becoming what we are now so that we may weather the future. Remember this: We are Kindred by dint of will, not accidental Cainites. That is why those of you who have been embraced were done so through the ritual of the Chalice and not through a coarse 'death' as prefered by the Cainites.
In any case, over the next couple of decades Tremere had half of the rest of the House embraced. At this point we were at our strongest: magi and vampires acting in concert.
When Tremere sought to meet with the elders of the clans, they ridiculed him as a powerless upstart. This did not anger him overly, as he expected it of their immature heirarchy. Instead, he had used these meetings to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each of them.
Saulot was chosen as the weakest of the eldest. Tremere laid his plans and in a move as politically risky as his strike aginst the Diedne, of which I taught most of you a few days agone, he assaulted the stronghold of the Salubri and drained the power of the elder, reducing his 'generation' permanently. As an aside, we who follow Tremere do not subject ourselves to the 'laws' of the Camarilla; the Code of Tremere is our oath. Perhaps I'll expound upon this next month after your next battery of exams.
The news of this was carefully released to the rest of Kindred society and this redoubled the fury of the Tzimisce who had yet to let up their violent assaults on our chantries.
Our conflict with the Tzimisce will not be resolved as long as they live. They dislike us as much as the Assamites do. As tass continued to wane, we needed better measures to slow the weeding process our external attackers brought upon us, to this end we used the remaining Tzimisce Goratrix captured along with a couple of Nosferatu and assorted caitiff and Gangrel. In the end, what we managed was an amalgam creature: the Gargoyle. If any of you have met any of our Gargoyles yet, you can see their heritage written across their visage, no?
Our time seems to be up, so let me recap. We follow in the footsteps of a man who has let no Power or individual stand between him and that which he wants. He has worked unceasingly to further an environment for the expansion of our power so that we may study the secrets of the Tellurian. Remeber this when dealing with the Cainites: we are not the same as they, we have not the same goals as they, and we certainly do not consider them our eqwals.