- Oct 29, 2015
- Apparent Age
Erebos, the House of Darkness arose like a phoenix from the ashes. Its legacy was born of suffering, treachery, greed and disregard for the morality of its applications. A new era of understanding and enlightenment emerged, one that has expanded the frontiers of kindred potential into realms hitherto undreamed...
Each of these things possesses a kind of truth, informing the casual observer that the current state of things did not spontaneously come into being. Instead, the modern days of Erebos reveal a legacy of catastrophic mistakes, of plans within plans, of fantastic kindred evolution and of often terrible consequences precipitated by such events. Once you come to know the story it becomes a difficult one to forget.
THE GREAT REVOLT
Vindicta enacts the Zodiac Diablerie
One cannot hope to understand the rise to power and the perseverance of Erebos without first understanding one of the bloodiest events in its history of existence. To truly grasp this event, one must recognize the motivations behind it and its effects on the social and political development of the House of Darkness.
While the original Erebos organization had endured for centuries, its legacy - indeed, its destiny - was mired in corruption and stagnation, barely held together by the fragile threads of the Masquerade. With its five houses and leaders linked by a complex system of loyalties, paths and alliances, it was a time of complacency and stagnation.
Having grown increasingly dependent on their addictions to blood, power and greed, the Houses grew lethargic, losing themselves in the decadence and debaucheries that often accompany such decay. Their horizons exhausted, their goals eclipsed by the demands of their thirst, the Houses did little to stem the growing tides of dissent. Instead, they retreated even further behind the stale traditional barriers of their own devising.
In some areas of the world, the thirst and pursuit of power became a living instrument of terror. Manipulation of mind and matter through blood thaumaturgy allowed degenerate Tremere fledglings within House Maledictus to seize entire cities. It gave them the drive and the power to utterly dominate and oppress entire populations with little regard for the Masquerade. A reaction was imminent, and once begun it spread like a holy flame of inquisition throughout Erebos.
Eager to rid themselves of the increasingly renegade Maledictus, the Erebos Autarch, Marcus Julius Valerian called on the loyalists to stop the rebellious in their tracks. The call to punish the guilty was taken up by House Vindicta who took to the cleansing of cities with feverish zeal. Where the Maledictus exerted influence, they would be overthrown or expelled, and a wholesale 'cleansing' of an area would commence. The leader of Maledictus and his entire noble bloodline - many of whom had existed for hundreds of years - were simply wiped out, diablerized by the irate Vindicta fanatics. This period in Erebos' bloody history is often referred to as the "Zodiac Diablerie".
Although a handful of Maledictus survived, their House was considered nearly extinct. In addition to the guilty, many innocent perished in the widespread destruction spawned by the house-wide Blood Hunt. The Great Revolt changed the fabric of the House of Darkness, plunging Erebos into a new dark age from which it would not soon recover.
THE CONCORDIA SECESSION
What is Commonly Known as the "Final Division"
Following the bloody vengeance unleashed by the Vindicta military upon the renegade Maledictus, there arose an outcry for the grave injustice that caused a near-genocide of the blood mages via Vindicta-led mass diablerie. The outcry came from the usually quiet and pacifistic House Concordia, whose elders sent forth a delegation to the Autarch, asking for reassurances that what happened between Vindicta and Maledictus would never happen again.
Valerian did not receive the petitioners. Instead, he sent forth his own courier, bringing forth a message to the peacemaker faction. Upon opening an ornate coffer with great care, the Concordia discovered within, three heads of former Tremere mages, preserved in jars of formaldehyde. On each of their faces was a frozen grimace of ultimate terror. Properly horrified, Concordia kindred took Valerian's gift as a warning unto themselves. After a prolonged deliberation, the House came to a near-unanimous decision to secede from Erebos and seek greener, kinder pastures.
Their separation incurred the general fury of most loyalists who remained. When the Autarch called upon the Council of the remaining three houses to convene and pass judgment on Concordia's act of 'betrayal', only the enigmatic House Tenebris exercised its right not to vote for the Blood Hunt. With or without the latter's approval, centuries of bloodshed ensued and the fate of the peaceful Concordia became not unlike that of the warlike Maledictus. Again, some would survive - but it would take many upcoming decades to replenish their dwindling numbers.