Tremere

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Playable, unrestricted.

Clan Tremere
Nickname Warlocks, Usurpers
Sect Camarilla
Disciplines Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
Canon Flaw Each step of a blood bond counts as 2 steps.
Dark Prospects Flaw One-step bound to Clan Tremere. Tremere override the Unbondable Merit.

Who are the Tremere?

Clan Tremere is a bloodline of Wizard vampires. Whether they are dreaded, distrusted, or despised, one thing the Tremere are not is ignored. Those who have heard of the clan's activities generally become suspicious, and with good reason. The Tremere have mastered a kind of vampiric witchcraft that many consider the most powerful.

One of the youngest of all clans, the Tremere only joined the ranks of the undead during the 11th century. The Tremere were instrumental in the formation of the Camarilla and are now one of the strongest supports of the sect.

Many Tremere consider themselves to be an evolution of the Kindred form because they have no true clan weakness. Instead, they have a self-imposed restriction that all Tremere are bound via a mystical ritual to the seven elders of the clan when they are created.

The Tremere are commonly untrusted by other clans due in parts to their strict internal hierarchy, secretive nature, and mastery of Thaumaturgy. Tremere consider themselves masters of undead magic and are loathe to share the secrets of Thaumaturgy with those outside of the clan.

History

The Tremere were originally House Tremere, a cabal of mages who followed their founder and namesake Tremere. Tremere found his hermetic magics failing and sought a new solution for extending their lives. One of his apprentices, Goratrix, created a ritual to convert 8 of them into Vampires, including Tremere himself. While this ritual was successful, it forever shut the door to their previous magical lives.

The group then began to learn all of the powers of their new condition, including the secrets of Thaumaturgy - a ritual magic based on the power of kindred blood. They also learned the secrets of Auspex and Dominate - both lesser aspects of magics that they were all inclined toward when they were mages.

Tremere bound his 7 apprentices to him, and formed what was then Clan Tremere into a pyramid structure. He placed himself at the top, and his 7 loyal apprentices would form the Inner Council of Seven, right below him. As each new member was added to the Clan, they were bound via a mystical ritual to the Council to ensure loyalty. Over time, Clan Tremere either embraced or killed all of the original members of House Tremere.

The Tremere soon found themselves at war with another vampire clan, the Tzimice. Inexperienced in the ways of Kindred war, the Tremere were fighting a losing battle until once again Goratrix came up with a solution. After experimenting on captured Tzimice, Nosferatu, and Gangrel for years, Goratrix came up with a method of creating yet a new bloodline of vampires: Gargoyles.

By 1125, the Gargoyles served as shock-troops for the Tremere and the war began to turn to their side, despite the Tzimice gaining Nosferatu and Gangrel allies.

However brazen the Tremere were to make themselves vampires in the first place, they were not immediately accepted by Kindred society. Indeed, they were mostly ignored by the traditionalist clans, and were often forced from cities by Princes who did not appreciate their presumption.

As the Tremere gained more vampiric lore, they discovered the history of Caine and the Antediluvians, as well as the benefits of diablerie. Knowing the respect they would gain if they were properly a clan, Tremere sought a clan founder to diablerize. They settled on Saulot, the founder of the Salubri Clan. In 1133, Tremere found Salout’s tomb, entered, and diablerized him. Shortly thereafter he entered torpor, leaving the Council to run the clan and eradicate the remaining Salubri.

Meerlinda, one of the other Council had made strong efforts to entrench the Tremere in the courts of Europe. Many Princes had come to rely on the magical skills the Tremere could provide. The Tremere began to be accepted, though often considered usurpers or diabolists.

The Tremere began a propaganda campaign against the Salubri, calling them infernalists and soul-stealers. The Salubri had many enemies and few stood up against the rallying cry to destroy them. This helped to cement the Tremere’s place in Kindred society as advisors to the crown.

By the time the Camarilla was formed, the Tremere had established themselves as a full clan, and an authority on things of a mystical nature. They had also worked hard to establish alliances with the Ventrue and Malkavian clans. When the idea of the Camarilla was proposed, the Tremere were strong proponents.

In more recent nights, it has been confirmed that the Tremere who have joined the Sabbat have been led by the great betrayer - Goratrix, the same apprentice who brought the Clan into vampirism has now betrayed the clan and is forming his own House Goratrix in the Sword of Caine.

Organization:

Clan Tremere is the most strictly organized clan. Each member understands the structure and their own place within that structure. This creates the illusion to those outside of the clan that they are in total unison.

The structure is a pyramid based on the number 7, with the Antediluvian Tremere himself at the top. He has not been seen by most members of the clan and is often considered to be a mythical figure - though all Tremere know that he resides in the Vienna Chantry - the Fortress of the Tremere.

Beneath him in importance are the 7 councilors of the Inner Circle. The Council are the true rulers of the clan. They are each responsible for a portion of the world.

Beneath them are the Pontifices, totaling 49. Each Pontifex is responsible for a large region, such as a country or group of countries.

Below the Pontifices are the Lords. Each Lord is responsible for a smaller region, perhaps a small country or group of states.

Under the Lords are the Regents. Regents are the most visible figures of authority within the Tremere. Each Regent is responsible for running a Chantry - a Tremere center of magic. They are also directly responsible for the Apprentices and Acolytes within their Chantry.

Apprentices are the lowest ranking Kindred members. They are the youngest and most numerous. Many Tremere never advance past the rank of Apprentice, either due to Sect politics or simple favoritism. Only those deemed worthy of running a Chantry will ever advance to Regent.

Acolytes are the term for the Ghoul and Mortal retainers in the Tremere clan’s service. Acolytes are rarely taught the secrets of Thaumaturgy, though many pick up bits and pieces over the years of helping the chantry with rituals.

In addition to the 7 ranks, each rank (except Councilor and Andediluvian) is further divided into 7 circles of Mastery. Each Circle denotes one’s precedent within one’s rank. The higher the circle, the higher the prestige and authority. However the higher you rise, the less tolerance is allowed for failure. Those of a fifth circle or above are often referred to as a “high” member of that rank (such as “high apprentice” or “high regent”.)

Opinions on Others:

Camarilla - We are the power behind the throne. While other clans may take credit, we are the glue that brought it together. In any strong Domain, you will find a Tremere pulling the strings. However, even as the Camarilla is our allies, we have some secrets they must never know. To defend the Camarilla, we must hide our true power and turn its every resource to our advantage, even as it blindly follows our lead.

Sabbat - Traitors and monsters, power without control. They are without discipline, a beast waiting to devour - and they will be destroyed by us.

Brujah - Lost to their past successes and failures, the Brujah are the perfect example of a well trained body with no discipline of mind. Properly led, they are an unstoppable force; left to their own devices they are just as likely to destroy their own home.

Gangrel - As we are masters of the mind, they master the body. As it is, they do not understand us. Best to leave them with their beasts.

Malkavian - Treat each Malkavian as a unique example of his clan. Nothing can be predicated of the clan as a whole, save their unpredictability. Be mindful of their oracles; their insights are often only clear in hindsight.

Nosferatu - Survivors and spies. They can be strong allies, but beware that they will be selling some of what they know of you. Use this as an expected price as part of all dealings with them. Just remember that when war starts, information must be controlled - or destroyed.

Toreador - Distracted hedonists, but perhaps the most adept at manipulating the Kine. They can inspire, or drag you into their insipid spats. Be respected by them, but maintain your distance.

Ventrue - Our first allies. Allow them the crown, and be ready as their advisor. Then they are the target, and you benefit from their rewards.

Assamites - Step warily - They have long knives and longer memories. They will not soon forget how we ended the war with them.

Ravnos - Fools, Tricksters and trash. Only slightly better than caitiff. Never allow one access to anything of value - you shall not see it again in your control.

Lupines - Incredibly dangerous. Avoid when possible, treat with respect and deference when not. While parts of lupines are useful for arcane study, the process of acquiring those parts are best left to more martial (and suicidal) allies.

Ghosts - We have very few direct dealings with the incorporeal dead. Always assume they have an ulterior motive.

Gaian Spirits - Who?

Additional information: These pages have great additional information on the clan: Code of the Tremere: http://www.panix.com/~justicar/trem/tremcode.html Minds Eye Player document: http://www.mindseyesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/TremereClanGuide.pdf

Article by Ralph