Thrice-damned Tzimisce bastard. I apologize for the language, Dear Readers, but as you know, I only put pen to parchment now when something of a twist comes along in our unlives, and the twist this time was a most unwelcome one.
As if I did not already loathe this thrice-damned mission enough as it was, handling a favor to pay off accounting for a fake sire, and insodoing, performing a favor for the bloody Tremere High Council in the process?? While in contested Tzimisce-held Romania? Madness.
But I put my spine into the effort, as did Ansem, as did the others, though they were much more literal about working than I. Despite Ansem and I’s consistent attempts to set up and use trade routes in this area and get this task done with, we found no one willing to trade, no one willing to sell. Nowhere in this entire Godforsaken place in Romania were we able to find anyone – what’s the likelihood of this occurring in a vacuum of Cainite interference?
The servant of the Vovoide, Vykos, arrived today at the head of a Caravan of slaves, and announced that he and the Tsimizsce, of course, have seized control of all trade in the region as well as all labor, and if we wished to continue establishing this Tower, we would ‘need’ him. He knew of our deadline, knew of our backs being against the stone walls, knew the entire score.
We were his puppets.
And this, dear reader, is why I hate owing favors to someone I never chose in the first place. Because scum like Vykos can easily find out what favors are owed and prey upon them. How? Vykos admitted to having had ties to the Tremere chantry of Mages prior to his embrace, which explains what he knows. As such, Vykos negotiated us up to “Major Boon” for this task.
Suffice it to say, whilst Ansem worked out the details of this boon, I hid away Emilie quickly in the area downstairs.
To Vykos’ credit, his men worked quickly once contracted, and suddenly all sorts of avenues of trade shipments and valuable goods were available to us over the next few days.
Enough of the Fiend. Emilie seems to be acclimating very well to time with us, given that she’s a Mage and not really one of our kind. Some of the Kuldunic Sorcery and Thaumaturgy of our group seems to resonate within her, though my own Necromancy decidedly does not – but no one is perfect.
It should also be noted for the record that a Nosferatu of apparently some Repute – I have never heard of this creature, but he’s supposedly exceedingly famous in Occult Architectural circles – which, apparently, is a thing of which I knew nothing. He refers to himself as Zelios, and apparently he’s designing this tower to focus all of the magical power in this area into a nexus point. I’m certain this will be of great benefit to Emilie, possibly Ansem and Adria too, though I know of no Necromancy that utilizes or functions based off the Fae Lines – or Dragon Lines as they are referred to around these parts. (I blame the Fiends).
Regardless, I’m sure he’ll add value to the place, and he was willing to work with us for a very minor boon (unlike Vykos), and in exchange for a copy of the map of the “Dragon” lines we located in the sub-basement, near to the Nod fragments mentioned in my previous entry.
While I am certain we’ll now make deadline, I do not have to be pleased with how it came to this.
April 2nd, 1205
Well, Dear Readers, the first level and basement reinforcements of the tower are now completed in full with work on several other stories well underway! These months have been duller than normal (and witness to many, many occasions of me stating aloud that we’d need far less slave labour if Lameth had just taught me how to properly create Zombu!!). We have, despite all hardship, at long last accomplished something worthy of note, and as if on cue, our “Sires” arrived to congratulate us on a job well done.
In fact, oddly, they’re so pleased with us, they’re offering us the potential for a Barony of some kind in the nearby area. The Tremere apparently have quite a firm grasp on the area now, and will need help holding, and we’ll get to run our fiefdom in any way we choose. This… could be very fascinating, but dangerous.
At any rate, this also means that our trip to Ceoris cannot be put off any farther. I suppose in many ways, our Reckoning is at hand.
Dear Reader I find myself, for once, at a distinct lack of words. We met with the Council today, and while I expected some level of power play, my concept for ‘scale’ has been, shall we say, re-set.
As we walked to Ceoris, the Way became more and more confused, and I felt certain we were lost. But soon we walked into the building itself, and were escorted by a hulking Gargoyle through paths that seemed to be larger on the inside! Regardless of that, however, our Human friends – including, I should note, Adria in her human guise, were escorted to a waiting area while we were ushered directly into the Council chamber – though, being that we saw it, I can only assume there is a ‘real’ Council chamber elsewhere in the fortress.
As I somewhat guessed might happen, things in the Council escalated quickly. They had discovered Ansem had killed a Tremere (albeit, to his grace, a sloppy, incompetent, horribly idiotic one) and chose a rather… interesting way of showing it. The one known as Etrius elevated him to the height (I presume, I do not have education on their ranks) of Rank Magus, and when his Sire rose up to speak of the ludicrousness of him being promoted this quickly, Etrius cornered him into admitting that he knew Ansem had committed wrongdoing.
However, just as the punishment seemed about to be exacted, I felt… reality… bend somehow. And the head of the Council, Tremere himself, appeared there, claiming boredom with the politicks. (Which, frankly, I agreed with by this point!)
Tremere actually followed through – much to Etrius’ Chagrin, mind you – with the promotion of Ansem to whatever Lofty Heights Magus may imply. He then said that Ansem killing the incompetent fools in Constantinople was doing the clan a favor, and sent the Council out.
Tremere spoke to us of Fate, and of Destiny. At first, he seemed playful and open, and then he noticed that … someone was missing. He instantly transported Adria from the waiting area for our Humans into the room itself, and somehow – I still cannot fathom the how – changed her human fleshcrafted disguise into her true form and sat her down next to her sister. He insisted everyone be here to participate. I also took this moment to ask if the Twins were indeed mirror images of each others’ souls – if Tremere are the masters of Magick, then Tremere himself must be the master of all forms of it! He would surely be able to tell if she were one soul split to shards across one body. The reply he gave was cryptic, at best, that they are “Two sides of the same coin, two aspects of the same personality, given form.” I feel as if this answer reduced our knowledge of the Twins, and did not enhance it. He mentioned something about not wanting to spoil all the fun He was having.
It was at this juncture I noted that if The Father truly is in charge of our destinies, he would have wiped our minds of the entire experience and we would have no means of knowing.
I thought Tremere mad – in both Anger and the Malkavian sense of the word – when his voice suddenly lowered and he instructed me not to dismiss the hands of Fate so readily in a life as complex as ours.
The Great Truth of the Tremere clan was spoken to me in the next five seconds of my unlife.
It was then that his Third Eye opened atop his forehead. Then that it glowed with that purple fire of Salubri magick. Then, that he reached out with that hand, that hand that filled my vision, and placed it upon my forehead to my absolute horror.
That is correct Dear Reader – if you have any concept of the lore of the Cainites in the slightest, you only now begin to see the gravity of the Truth of which I speak – Saulot, the original founder of his clan, still exists within Tremere!
Normally, I would never commit such risky heresey to the written word, but in this one case, if anyone can find the truth of these journals from behind their wards, it’s unlikely that that person can effect any meaningful change on the Antediluvian True that resides within the head of Tremere, nor infact the false-Antediluvian himself, without bringing down the wrath of two ancient, powerful entities and, indeed, the combined power the Council of Tremere themselves, on their heads. I am unconcerned for Saulot’s safety, and if he’s beginning to own the body of the entity known as Tremere, then his days are likely numbered regardless.
Saulot’s hand scared me, but I do not know what he did to me. It did not feel harmful in the final analysis, and in fact I feel clearer now than I had before. Saulot then performed the same act upon each of us, wanting to know if The Father’s hand was in our lives, and he all-but confirmed The Truth of that matter – He has.
I took this brief moment – and what a rare moment indeed – to also ask Saulot about the Stone tablets of Prophecy we located within the Tower. Saulot seemed somewhat dismissive of the dark prophecies, saying he knew of the One who wrote those words, and he cannot do what he speaks of. He named him… Absimilliard.
The name holds no meaning for us, or if any in our Coterie know its meaning, they did not speak of it. But with a name, we can perform a search, and we can begin to learn the truth.
Saulot then provided me with a Ring which he assured me would be necessary for me to have. He said to keep the enchantment out of the sight of Tremere, and I did so. It was about this time that Tremere said his goodbyes – no doubt influenced by the shard of Saulot in him – and left us alone in the council room. Being that I felt I had little choice at this moment, I slipped the ring on – nothing occurred.
Perhaps it simply will simply ‘activate’ when needed. I do not know.
What I do know is – we now walk free of Ceoris, free to take a fiefdom, free to choose our path, and yet we appear to be the least-free Cainites on this entire planet. I … am unsure precisely how to react to this, except to continue walking.