Berlin by Night
FULL DISCLOSURE - Tremere Plot Devices
Tremere Chantry and Hierarchy
Chantry location: Berlin Zehlendorf district,
The chantry, when one can actually find it through the maze of obstructing rituals, has been designed to appear as a retreat for an outlandish hermetic order, as described below.:
“As above, so below.”
“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing”.
The three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe: Alchemy (Sun), Astrology (Moon), Theurgy (stars).
There are two different types of magic, according to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Apology, completely opposite of each other. The first is γοητεια, Goëtia, black magic reliant upon an alliance with evil spirits (i.e. demons). The second is Theurgy, divine magic reliant upon an alliance with divine spirits (i.e. angels, archangels, gods).
Theurgy translates to “The Science or art of Divine Works” and is the practical aspect of the Hermetic art of alchemy. Furthermore, alchemy is seen as the “key” to theurgy, the ultimate goal of which is to become united with higher counterparts, leading to the attainment of Divine Consciousness.
In Hermetic religion the supreme Deity, or Principle, is referred to variously as ‘God’, ‘The All’, or ‘The One’. The absolute is the central focus of Hermeticism and therefore it is difficult to assign it a position among the traditional Theistic religions, or along the monotheistic and polytheistic spectrum.
Hermeticism encompasses both panentheism and Henotheism within its belief system, which teaches that there is The All, or one “Cause”, of which we, and the entire universe, are all a part. Also it subscribes to the notion that other beings such as gods and angels, ascended masters and elementals exist in the Universe as parts of the All.
Death/rebirth: the multiple occurrences of a being through the manifestation, before he gets liberated from any condition. As Hermes states:
O son, how many bodies we have to pass through, how many bands of demons, through how many series of repetitions and cycles of the stars, before we hasten to the One alone?
Morality: God brings good, while the demons bring evil. Among those things brought by demons are:
adultery, murder, violence to one’s father, sacrilege, ungodliness, strangling, suicide from a cliff and all such other demonic actions.
This provides a clearcut view that Hermeticism does indeed include a sense of morality. However, the word good is used very strictly, to be restricted to use to the Supreme Good, God. It is only God (in the sense of the Supreme Good, not The All) who is completely free of evil to be considered good. Men are exempt of having the chance of being good, for they have a body, consumed in the physical nature, ignorant of the Supreme Good.
The tale is given in the first book of the Corpus Hermeticum by God’s Nous to Hermes Trismegistus after much meditation. It begins as the ALL creates the elements after seeing the Cosmos and creating one just like it (our Cosmos) from its own constituent elements and souls. From there, the ALL, being both male (Divine Father) and female (Universal Mother), holding the Word (the logos), gave birth to a second Nous, creator of the world. This second Nous created seven powers, or deities, (often seen as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and the Moon) to travel in circles and govern destiny.
The Word then leaps forth from the materializing elements, which made them unintelligent. Nous then made the governors spin, and from their matter sprang forth creatures without speech. Earth then was separated from Water and the animals (other than Man) were brought forth from the Earth.
The Supreme Nous then created Man, androgynous, in his own image and handed over his creation. Man carefully observed the creation of his brother, the lesser Nous, and received his and his Father’s authority over it all. Man then rose up above the spheres’ paths to better view the creation, and then showed the form of the ALL to Nature. Nature fell in love with it, and Man, seeing a similar form to his own reflecting in the water fell in love with Nature and wished to dwell in it. Immediately Man became one with Nature and became a slave to its limitations such as gender and sleep. Man thus became speechless (for it lost the Word) and became double, being mortal in body but immortal in spirit, having authority of all but subject to destiny.
The tale does not specifically contradict the theory of evolution, other than for Man, but most Hermeticists fully accept evolutionary theory as a solid grounding for the creation of everything from base matter to Man
Dull and ordinary retainers and attendants stop visitors at the gates of the hermitage and speak to them endlessly of the organization, their beliefs and philosophies. If a listener seems interested, these retainers do what is necessary to amp up the dullness of the information they are sharing. Overcome with boredom, most visitors make it a point to never return to seek out this particular form of enlightenment. Those who seem unshakably interested, well, they might make a good meal or perhaps have a use to the clan in other ways.
Rosy Cross of the Golden Dawn
Much of the hierarchical structure for the Golden dawn came from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was itself derived from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross.
The Tremere of Berlin use the hierarchy of this order to play up to their public camouflage. The bottom three rankings (Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus) is reserved for ghouled retainers who may someday become clan members. Because of his many centuries as a ghoul to Karl Shrekt, Maxwell holds these retainers in slightly higher esteem than your typical vampire elder.
• Introduction—Neophyte 0=0
• Zelator 1=10
• Theoricus 2=9
• Practicus 3=8 * Ema Faust, 1st circle
• Philosophus 4=7
• Intermediate—Portal Grade *Erzsabet Botkin, 2nd circle
• Adeptus Minor 5=6 * Rahel Sisina, 3rd circle
• Adeptus Major 6=5 * Dominique St. Pierre, 4th circle
• Adeptus Exemptus 7=4 * Einion Coburn, 5th circle
• Magister Templi 8=3 *Frederic Werther, 6th circle
• Magus 9=2
• Ipsissimus 10=1 * Maxwell Ledescu
The paired numbers attached to the Grades relate to positions on the Tree of Life. The Neophyte Grade of “0=0” indicates no position on the Tree. In the other pairs, the first numeral is the number of steps up from the bottom (Malkuth), and the second numeral is the number of steps down from the top (Kether).
The First Order Grades were related to the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, respectively. The Aspirant to a Grade received instruction on the metaphysical meaning of each of these Elements and had to pass a written examination and demonstrate certain skills to receive admission to that Grade.
The Portal Grade was an “Invisible” or in-between grade separating the First Order from the Second Order.36 The Circle of existing Adepts from the Second Order had to consent to allow an Aspirant to be initiated as an Adept and join the Second Order.
The Second Order was not, properly, part of the “Golden Dawn”, but a separate Order in its own right, known as the R.R. et A.C. The Second Order directed the teachings of the First Order and was the governing force behind the First Order.
After passing the Portal, the Aspirant was instructed in the techniques of practical magic. When another examination was passed, and the other Adepts consented, the Aspirant attained the Grade of Adeptus Minor (5=6). There were also four sub-Grades of instruction for the Adeptus Minor, again relating to the four Outer Order grades.
A member of the Second Order had the power and authority to initiate aspirants to the First Order, though usually not without the permission of the Chiefs of his or her Lodge.
Regent: Maxwell Ldescu
Treatment and expectations of apprentices: Clanbook pg. 28
- Removing every copy of a certain book from the shelves of public libraries.
- Mundane city research: Religious cults, hunting permits, bat houses, wiccans, wolf sightings, ufo sightings, unusual acts of mass violence, etc…
- Minor investigative work: Hair or blood samples from various incarcerated criminals, taped interviews with such criminals, unexplained disappearances, etc…
- Investigations of locations: Hauntings and the like.
- Research: of local legends, ghost stories, nazi artifacts, buried bunkers, surviving Nazis in the area, ley lines, serial killers, rabid animal attacks, bloodless corpses, etc…
Tremere plot devices:
Philosophus Erzsabet (Bozsi) Botkin (Scholar)
Sire: Paddie O’Day
Dem: Soldier, Nature: Conniver
- Has a small office at the National Archives and is currently dating (casually) one of the head security guards (Kurt Bosch) at the Archives. Most assume she is a historian/librarian on the payroll.
- Has recently begun aiding the Nosferatu Amelia in locating old maps of Berlin. She is unaware that Amelia is looking for Melitta (per Ellison’s instructions). Maxwell has taken an interest in what the Nosferatu might be looking for.
- Seeking contacts in the archives at Humboldt University. So far Leonid has kept her on the outside.
- Recently met Genie Low, an American student at the Free University. Genie studies Ancient History and Archeology and has a family who lives at the US Air Force base at Tempelhof, Genie has recently been initiated into the Arcanum.
- Attends lectures at the Universities frequently, has a passion for learning.
- Erzsabet has discovered an Arcanum Chapter house. She has clued Maxwell in on this and for now she is watching and observing a single Arcanum recruit and an established Arcanum member. She hopes they will lead her to more and to the house itself. She is very excited by this discovery and Maxwell is very high on her right now.
Adeptus Major Dominique St. Pierre (Field operative)
Sire: Augustine La Rue
Dem: Judge, Nature: Pedagogue
- Dom is rarely found at the chantry save for ritual instructions or research. Generally he is in the field investigating unusual phenomena.
- High on his list are the odd sounds and disturbances in the Pankow district of East Berlin. Thomas De Lutrius has no problem with Dom maintaining a haven or conducting research in the district, but Antonio is not pleased with the Tremere’s presence and may do something to drive Dom away.
- Dominique spends time in the gardens at Humboldt University. He has heard much about the supernatural sighting there and he has made it a point to spend certain nights and hours on campus. Leonid is more than happy to allow Dom access, a boon from the Tremere is a good thing.
- Once he gets answers in Pankow and Humboldt, he plans on looking deeply into Lubars. Ultimately he wants to discover the reasons behind the taint in Teufelsberg. For now, Maxwell has told him to forget about Teufelsberg.
- Dom is nearly fanatic about discovering these paranormal secrets, and he believes the nosferatu might be a big help in this. So far, he has not agreed with Rasputin’s offer to exchange rituals for information, but he has considered it, which on its own, would anger Maxwell and the rest of the clan.
- Leonid has taken a bit of a shine to Dom’s ghoul, Madeline, whom he thinks is just a history grad student at Humboldt.
- Dominique has an arrangement with Leonid, asking the brujah to keep other Tremere out of the university if possible. Dom wishes to keep that store of knowledge to himself.
- Dom is a bit of a loner and detests having to report so frequently to the chantry; he never goes there save for when his presence is needed.
- Dominique is currently looking into the odd sightings and sounds from within the rubble of the Pankow district. So far he has behaved himself, but his snooping is beginning to annoy Antonio and Thomas is not pleased with the Tremere’s attitude.
Adeptus Exemptus Einion Coburn – The Welshman, The “Anvil” (Chantry Security Expert)Generation: 9
Sire: Dr. Rolf Schnapps
Dem: Traditionalist, Nature: Bravo
- Due to his glowing eyes, Einion rarely goes out publicly, and has therefore made himself invaluable at the Chantry where Maxwell has placed him in charge of security.
- Einion has little life away from the clan, his total dedication has won him the respect of Maxwell. He is one of the few clan members who Maxwell will waste his time with instructing.
- When Maxwell cannot attend a primogen meeting, Einion is usually asked to stand in and represent the clan.
- Einion’s four retainers are considered to be chantry ghouls. Maxwell allows this assumption to go un-challenged, allowing Einion to keep better tabs on what others in the clan are doing in the chantry and with the chantry’s resources.
- The ghouls:
o Theoricus Dieter Heuer – former soldier, highly trained in combat situations, weaponry and hand to hand combat and battle tactics. If any Tremere want to learn to fight it is probably going to be Heuer training them.
o Zelator (Dr.) Felix Friedle – Handles bloodwork, medical research and keeps tabs on the labs and preservation of corpses and body parts.
o Theoricus Helga Schmidt – Expert killer and trained seductress. At the chantry it’s assumed she’s little more than the cute lady in charge of the libraries and research collections, but often she is sent out to deal with mortal problems that need fixing.
o Neophyte Johann Draven – Computer expert. Runs chantry security system via his computer hook-up. Copying tomes onto word documents.