by Mithrandir (15 Oct 93)
The old man looked at his watch, thoughtfully. He was standing by a lamp post, misty fog of London streets rolling and wafting all around. It was winter. He wore suitable clothes, a long coat and a tweed three-piece suit underneath. In his hand, he held a cane.
He was leaning on it slightly, listening.
Occasionally a car would pass this small street, with it's close Georgian houses. He looked to be the timeless English Gentleman, standing there, perhaps waiting to hail a hansom or a cab, or maybe waiting for a lady to arrive.
Patient, reserved, a stiff upper lip, a calm collected manner.
His eyes were a deep brown, his hair, grey and slightly balding but neatly kept. Clean shaven. Respectable in every department, you might say.
A long black car, a limousine, pulled up beside him. The window made one of those annoying little high-pitched whirring sounds that irritated him. But he ignored it. A face loomed out of the darkness.
At first, the gentleman took a sharp intake of breath. The face of a woman, beautiful, like a marble statue is beautiful. And the color of ivory.
"Mr Cartwright?", asked the very pale woman.
Beautiful, he thought, but dangerous. He regained his composure almost immediately,
"Forgive me dear lady ", he said quietly, " I am indeed the same Alan Cartwright."
"Please, Mr Cartwright, step into my car, we have a lot to talk of. The night is ... young yet" she spoke softly, elegantly. Bewitching tone of voice nearly.
The man opened the door quietly and looked around, making sure that he was not followed. All he saw was the mist.
He stepped into the car and quietly it drove.
In the shadows above, a man stood on a fire escape, somehow cloaked in the shadow itself. He was tall, middling. Possessed a look of dedication. Undoubtedly, he had seen battle, such was his build and his stance. Suggestive of a warrior.
He looked into the deep air for no more than a few moments.
"Arcanum ", he whispered, clenching a fist.
He too was pale like the woman, though not as white.
Quietly, he lowered himself down to the street, and went over to the nearest payphone.
When the line came on, he just said "Tell the Master that she has taken one to speak with. They must be stopped, for the good of everyone. God be with you"
There are many Clans of Vampires throughout the world. Few are as small and well organized as an ancient Bloodline, however, stretching back across the millenia to the time of the Tribes of Israel. Such is the history of the Templar, however. Their history, to most outsiders, has remained much of a total mystery. Some would even scoff at the existence of a Clan such as the Templars are said to be. Legends speak that they guard the Holy Grail, no less, but legends do not know WHAT the Holy Grail is. To those that have had dealings with the Templar, there always seems to be an aura about them, much like the aura that can be felt about Witch hunters of a religious bent. Yet, they have seemed to be adept at general skulduggery and intrigue associated with "darker" clans.
What follows are three accounts of the Clan Templar as seen through the eyes of three separate scholars. Those scholars are/were Valerius, a 5th Generation Ventrue, known to have Sired Queen Anne of London. His account dates from the late eighteenth century. Our second scribe is a dubious account by the Setite known as Kimilar. This account was found in the late nineteen sixties in New Orleans by an intrepid scholar and friend of mine. The third account, received only last year into my hands from an Arcanum scholar that had been a friend of mine, when I was one of that illustrious Order myself. His name is simply Alan Cartwright, who has been a scholar for many years.
I present these collated events and accounts to shed some light on the subject of the Templar. They should not be confused with the Knights Templar, although the two organizations do have a lot in common.
Pierre Du Lac , 3rd August 1992,
8th Generation Malkavian,
Former Arcanum researcher.
Arcanum MotherHouse, London.
An account of the Templar by Valerius, a 5th Generation Ventrue known to have descended from the time of the Roman Republic, just before the rise of Julius Caesar. Valerius was the Progeny of the late Mithras, former Prince of London. He was also the Sire of Lady Anne, who is the current Prince in the same city. This account was obtained by me through several contacts that I had in the field. The continued existence of Valerius remains a mystery. Certainly, he has not been seen in the last century or so by any of my contacts.
5th December, MDCCCLXXIV (1874)
Sire, I write this to you now from my current location in Rome, my old home. In reference to this mystery group that you have commissioned me to investigate, I may inform you that they are as difficult as the Tremere to root out thus far, yet we have had quite a good deal of success in the last few months, through various avenues of investigation.
Firstly, a name. From what we could discern in London through the Warlock spies captured there, it would seem that they are calling themselves the Templar, presumably as a cover name. It confuses them with the Knights Templar. Sire, they are devious, mark my words, and dedicated to their cause. It would be easier for myself to recap the events from start, in London, to finish such as it is thus far, both to gain an overall view of what has happened and also to, aid myself and your esteemed self in remembering.
You will recall, Sire, that the events that have initiated the investigation occurred some seven short months before this time of writing.
To be brief, at this time, when the Tremere had only begun their charade of creating "mystical" movements that still continues, I did encounter, through the uses of my various Retainers and pawns, the existence of a group of mortal known as the Order of Sion. They have some French name also, but mastery of that tongue is not something I have ever needed. This Order, believed until this juncture to have been closely associated with the Roman Catholic Church and FreeMasonry were up until then quite incidental. They appeared to be a secret brotherhood of some description, but nothing of immense importance. It is known that this Order was synonymous with the Knights Templar in many respects.
It seemed that these annoying monks or priests or whatever they were had taken an interest in the city for some reason. Thus, after consulting you, Sire, I dispatched a particular progeny of mine, Danielle. Danielle, as you recall, being something of a medium or psychic, to use the modern terms.
Seven nights later, Danielle failed to give her report. Her absence was of considerable concern to myself in particular, and I searched for her using all available means. These investigations led to my encountering something that I still consider sinister and dark behind the Order of Sion.
My retainers captured one of their number, for they did not seem very adept at hiding themselves from ones such as us. Using my powers of Domination, I discovered several facts about the Order of Sion which I considered to be of great importance. To summarize briefly,
- The Prisoner, a middle-aged man named Horatio, seemed to believe that he and his fellows had a mission to restore "the rightful one to his Throne".
- The prisoner believed also that his Order had supernatural aid. Further probing led me to believe that this was vampiric aid.
Instantly, I suspected that this Order of Sion was yet another ruse or false cloak of our despotic enemies, the Tremere. I reported these incidents to you immediately, sire.
Yet such was not the case. After the capture of Horatio, we sought to return him as a spy, but to no avail. He was found mysteriously murdered, floating down the Thames some three days later. Once again, we went after the Tremere, this time to prevent their supposed impending attack.
The rest is known to you naturally, Sire. This group, we discovered, had disappeared back into the shadows as quickly as they came. But there was no Tremere involvement to be discovered. Rather, my investigations led me to the avenue of the Catholic Church based in the Eternal City.
Which left me here. Since my departing your company some six months ago for Rome, I have encountered the feeling of Faith which pervades the city in general, Naturally, we knew there to be few vampires in the city and no need for a Prince, therefore.
Rome has changed much since I was last there, sire. Changed utterly. When I arrived with my group by the ship, we settled in the darker and more dreary areas of the City. It was easy to observe but remain unobserved. Or so we thought. In fact, it seemed that we were being watched right from the time that we left Londinium itself.
My first indication of this arose from my own Auspex Discipline. During my sleep, I was plagued with dreams of a blonde-haired youth, pale enough to be one of our kind, wielding a bright sword from the shadows. I sensed a great warning being DIRECTED at me, and awoke in the daytime in a Blood Sweat. I am aware that our own Discipline, Presence, has the capabilities of such an effect, though I have not mastered the trick of it myself.
When the night came, I was especially alert as I went about my business. Information gained told me that these Templar were seemingly] near the Vatican, or so I believed. The Vatican. It is an accursed site that I was, and still am, loath to even approach, a profane symbol upon what was once a beautiful capital. Yet, I forced myself to approach this place and seek them out. That is when I met him, the fellow from my dream. Naturally, I recognized him instantly.
He was beautiful, standing a full six Imperial feet in height. He was dressed in seemingly a long dark cloak and the clothes of a noble underneath. At his side, there was a sword of modern make, probably no more than a century old. To begin with, he kept hidden to the shadows, preferring to watch my movements. I played his ruse, pretending that I did not notice his presence. We turned a corner and waited to ambush. (I was accompanied by several retainers). When he turned the corner, my men were upon him as I watched. They attacked him with pistols and knives. But he did not appear in the least surprised. He vanished. I could barely make out his form flitting among my men, striking them with the flat of his sword into unconsciousness with a skill that I had not seen before. After a few moments, my men lay strewn around, and there were just the two of us, warily watching each other's movements.
Then, he spoke. He was suddenly friendly, likable. I recognize the use of Presence, though, and I allowed myself to exude the same charm. He seemed to understand that I was not to be trifled with in this manner and simply nodded, smiling quietly.
"I am speaking to Valerius", he spoke, in Latin and it took my mind a moment to register this. Yet I remained calm.
"Indeed ", I answered him in Greek, he looked confused at my use of another tongue, and switched to yet another. Hebrew.
"Do we play games, fellow Kindred, with tongues?"
At that I smiled and turned to simple English, with which I have become most familiar in the last few decades.
"I am Valerius of Rome. I am here on business of my own"
The other smiled. "Oh yes, I know thy business, Valerius of Rome. You seek mine friends and mine own self, for thy reasons, do thee not?"
I couldn't tell whether he mocked me or whether he was genuinely speaking Middle English. I proceeded, trying to divine his aura. It was completely white, without a trace. Perhaps he was hiding his aura?
"I am here to establish contact between my own Line and yours, to discover certain things, like what your recent presence in London was warranted by ", I tried to use a stern manner, like bringing the full of the law down upon him. He cheerfully smiled.
"Rest assured, sir that our recent appearance in London was of no concern to thee. We came against Tremere in thy city, and left when thine own head popped into the matter. AS for mine identity, I prefer to keep that to myself."
At this point, I established a subtle Dominatory contact between myself and himself, seeing fleeting images in his mind as he talked. I caught a name, because he was thinking about hiding it. He was named Lancelot! At first, the Arthurian legend came to mind, and the truth that I knew behind it. I had not been in that part of England too often during those times, having much more important things to do. Yet, I did hear and see some things. The fellow's manner of speaking was odd, like a kaleidoscope of various epochs. He would inject various "thee's" and "thy's" into his speech.
While continuing this contact, I learned that he was indeed a member of these "Templar", and from what I could discern, he did not know them by any other name. It was confusing, but I did not have the best contact. It was tenuous.
He seemed to be quite hostile to my presence, ready perhaps to turn on me if I did not retreat. There was also something else about him, a quality which I couldn't define ...
He seemed to immediately understand that I had been skimming his mind, however. Like quicksilver his sword came out of his sheath. I took a few steps back, contact broken, now waiting to face this formidable opponent. Being recently fed, I had the opportunity to harden, quicken and strengthen my body against an attack.
His next action was the most puzzling to me, however. He raised his sword and closed his eyes. Instantly, I felt a powerful shock of fear run through my very heart. He was there, almost bathed in a glowing light, his eyes closed peacefully. And I, standing there, not knowing this attack's purpose, yet feeling a pure ice cold fear. I couldn't think. I had to leave. I had to flee now. The fear was all encompassing. Even painful. I turned and fled back down into the darker streets of Rome, forgetting my men, my retainers, everything until I had run far.
Now, I realize that it was a trick similar to the Inquisition's famed True Faith. I saw no cross, but a sword. I had experienced the power of faith before, but never before with such intensity. Perhaps, as I am beginning to suspect, he coupled it with Presence that I had seen him use. It took many nights for the fear to wear away as I reasoned with myself as to what had happened.
Yet another thought occurred to me. My retainers returned a couple of nights later, befuddled but in generally good health. The thought struck me that this Lancelot fellow seemed to have a great deal of compassion. My retainers were unharmed, their minds untouched except for memories of the actual incident. They were not even fed from, as one might expect. In all this, it leads me to believe that this Lancelot and his Templar cohorts were what some English Gentlemen would call "good fellows".
Since that night, I scoured the city once again for their whereabouts, yet they had vanished. To date, I have not heard from them again. I suspect that I shall not and that any more time here would be wasted time. Thus, I am chartered upon a ship bound for England in three week's time. If you wish it, Sire, there is plenty of time to respond to get me to stay. Otherwise, I shall see you in a short month or so.
Valerius was not seen or heard from since. The ship which he was chartered to be upon, the Royal Falcon, foundered at sea during a storm on the coast of Dover. There were no survivors and the ship sank.
The discovery of this next intriguing piece in the puzzle of the Clan Templar dates some eighty or so years later than the account of Valerius of Rome, previously shown. It is in the form of a prayer book from what I have been able to find out from others experienced in such fields and the author of this particular passage was a Follower of Sutekh, also known as Set, whose name is simply Kimilar.
Research into the identity of Kimilar was, not surprisingly, very difficult indeed. The Followers seemed to be as adept as the Nosferatu at remaining relatively unknown. I have managed to verify several of the places that he mentions below. It would seem that Kimilar was what the Followers called a priest of Typhon. I understand that Typhon has some highly moralistic code of a different to what the normal Kindred would recognize, yet they follow it devoutly. Kimilar was something of a missionary for his beliefs, and his movements in the last few years were traceable only through extreme diligence and care. Even with the utmost precaution, I regret to say that one of my favorite Ghouls, Roberto, met an untimely end at the hands of something hideous.
In 1944, we know that Kimilar was in control of several of Hitler's Death Camps for the Jews. The horrors of this place were often instigated by himself and others like him, though it can not be denied that mortals can be just as barbarous and savage. Kimilar in particular had centered his desires around Auschwiz. It was in late 1944 that he was suddenly known to have fled the camp in a great hurry. Perhaps he fled before the coming Allies, but after careful consideration, particularly in regard to his own prayer book, it would seem that the Templar were, to use the modern expression, "hot on his heels". He fled to Egypt for safety and was not heard of again for several years. This journal was found by myself in Paris six years ago (1986) in the nether regions of the library that I was making my home. It was as though it was left there, almost too easy. But, through my own particular Disciplines, I knew that it had been left here twelve years before.
--Pierre Du Lac, 1992.
The Reverence to Corruption.
In my mind I am a shadow and ever-present shadow,
In my past I was mortal, unknowing of my fate,
In my life I was a soldier, always in command
In my Death I am corruption, weak unto the last.
In my Death I am corruption, weak unto the last.
To my pleasures I am bidden, sullying my soul,
To my pleasures I am smitten, sanctified above,
To my pleasures I am slave, driven to my prayer,
To my pleasures I am willing, knowing much despair.
In my Death I am corruption, weak unto the last.
In my office I am Priest, surveying many souls,
In my office I am Master, taking of the gold,
In my office I am Prophet, telling Sutekh's goals,
In my office I am Death, weak but very old.
In my Death I am corruption, weak unto the last,
In Typhon I am corruption, immortal to the end.
The Passages of Kimilar, the Corruptive Prophet.
Nine times nine the bell did toll, yes. Nine times nine did I hear it's call. Oh yes. Nine times nine did it beckon me, oh yes. My enslaved soul did bid me forward into corruption, and I, like all that I should be, went with outstretched arms, embracing the darkness.
For, lo, there were the creations of the mortals. The Chambers of the pathetic gasses that they would force upon others, and force them into Death and oblivion, beyond the great touch of Sutekh Himself. The graceful chambers, full of death and corruption. The soldiers, corrupted, the camp overseers corrupted, the Jews corrupted often as I went among them preaching the Desperate Gospel of Ruin to them. And such fools as these all, but a herd in which I could immerse myself in my own corruption. For all of Typhon should follow their own sickness desires to the end. Thus did He, the Ancient Sutekh, slayer of his brother and sister and all, preach into our ears.
But such bliss cannot be contained and soon did the uncorruptors try their hand, oh yes. I stand with all of the world ,dark and deceitful as it is, as my witness to the onslaught of the deluded. What were there names? Of whence did they come? Such questions are needed, answers given for the greatness of Typhon would say that all men and all vampire should be known to us. For only in the fullest knowing can the fullest Corruption be achieved. They are hateful, intolerant, called Knights of a Temple. Though which Temple, they did not deign to tell. I tell that they are as corrupt as we.
They hide in the sands as we would do. They beguile with grace as we also would do. Yet the path of the Serpent they do not do. Bewitching and caught with the notion of goodness. Never bow to the favors of goodness. It denies all of Typhon and is sinful. They are the deluded, the heretic.
From this heavenly camp of my missions, my most holy missions, they drove me. I am one and my message is needed and I was tempted to run. Temptation is the voice of Typhon. So I departed seeking the Holy Land of Egypt from whence Sutekh did arise. Dark pit of Egypt calls to me.
The passage through Europe I will not tell. The land torn and rent and beautiful with war. Yet these Deluded Knights follow at my heels. They call me craven and coward and I say naturally. They call me Devil. I say a compliment. They are mock Crusaders on the rampage. I tell them Delusion is their lot.
Their leader, a tall man, old when he received the Blood is the walking essence of shining corruption. He believes himself inspired by a god. The Christian idiot no less. Aah, Christians are always the best prey. Never forget that, disciple as the years go on.
My travels took me to Egypt and I was saved. For there are we strong and wicked and our research is far and wide. Thus did I begin my study of the Knights of the Temple. The Templar.
What to say of them?
I was right in every word. They are close to us, in their Pit. A Divine Mission fills their mind as does Divine Purpose from the Christian God. They are even more corrupt than junior Followers. I learned from the Book of Iman all that I could and it pleased me.
A Thousand years they have fought. The fools. Two thousand years for a family. What does it mean? Do I care? But I was tempted to find out. Thus I did study.
They are Jewish in origin, Christian in belief, deluded in purpose and doomed like us all. Yet they are righteous and secret. Only the Followers pry into such secrets with such care. Only we know the truth. The Templar are fool and craven and secret as us. The Templar are weak and seek to be as Ventrue, not like us. I declare to all they are pathetic and small, as the Witch Hunter is small, as the priest is small. They do not see the grand design as we would.
A minor corruption on their own path to ruin.
By Typhon I would declare them to be marked if found. Corrupt them with care. Treat them as a delicate vase. Warp them slowly in the hot darkness before they crack.
As Priest I demand this.
As Bishop I command this.
Thus ends the relevant passages of Kimilar.
From recent reports it would appear that Kimilar is still at large somewhere in the vicinity of Miami and the South East Coast of the United States. It would appear that he is a survivor of this mysterious Templar group.
It provided another link in the puzzle of who or what they are. Notice the References to a Jewish origin and something about Divine Inspiration. This led me further down my road of investigation, but yielded nothing, as is often the case in vampiric affairs, for several years.
--Pierre du Lac.
The final document that came into my hands regarding this strange Line calling themselves the Templar was one given to me by an old friend of mine. His name is Charles Cartwright and he is mortal. Much as this does indeed cause much disturbance to adherents to the Masquerade out there, it should be noted that Cartwright and I were good friends, even when I was mortal. He is a scholar of the Arcanum, as I once was, has a keen mind and is very unlikely to betray us to the mortal world. In so doing, he would destroy that which he would study, you see.
The man Charles Cartwright is British. He was born in London in 1935. He and I first met in the Arcanum's MotherHouse in London when I myself had just finished my training as a student of the occult. We were good friends and occasionally lovers over the years. When I became a Malkavian in 1968, I can safely say that Charles was the one who helped me most through the trying times that were in stall for me. Through him, I maintain links with the Arcanum. They believe me to be dead, however. Charles keeps me informed.
At the time of compiling this record, Charles sits upon the Council of the Arcanum, the body that governs the world-wide pursuits of the Order. His account dates of June last year when he had occasion to interview a Vampire claiming to have been of the Templar.
An interview with Kyrrell, by Charles Cartwright.
My meeting with Kyrrell began under the strangest of circumstances. I had been in Cairo, investigating several items of interest, which I shall not disclose here, largely to do with my particular field of interest : Egyptology. It was while reading certain manuscripts that the visitations began. I am a man of long years now, grown into old age, yet the likes of what I saw had not, in my long life, prepared me for what was about to happen. Understand this, I know for a fact that there are Vampires throughout the world. My dear friend Pierre is indeed afflicted with their saddening condition to this day. Yet this meeting left me doubting my own reason.
While engaged in reading this manuscript, I began to initially hear sounds, very strange sounds, like chanting, or prayer. Immediately, I understood that this was not my mind simply gone lax from a lack of sleep. I started to prepare myself against incoming possible attacks or wards that had been placed upon this manuscript. For surely this was the root cause of all my distress, I reasoned. I was feeling uncomfortable, ill at ease. The next sound I recall was a great rumbling roar as the floor beneath me opened up. I was against the wall, and saw a dark serpentine creature, altogether too evil to be real. And a shining knight, dressed in armor and a tabard of a simple red cross.
Then I awoke. Naturally I had been dreaming, but there was something vital in this dream. Dreams are often the signs of something much more sinister. Often, the subconscious is attempting to tell you something that the conscious mind has not grasped. However, occasionally dreams have a much more direct meaning. One can never be sure. With this in mind, I called my friend Pierre from Cairo direct to London, telling him of this. I already knew that he had a deep research project leading into what I believed were the Knights Templar.
Then, we agreed that I should get back to London as soon as possible so that Pierre might scan my mind. After all, given the truly complex nature of vampiric intrigue, this might very well have been a message for him, delivered through me.
As I left my hotel, I was sure of this fact, that somebody had left a message for Pierre and I was the intended carrier.
The voice behind me startled me so much.
"Not so, English", were the words, spoken in a clear French accent. I turned, but no-one was there.
On the flight home, I was bothered constantly by this voice. Who was this? Had I been dreaming? Unlikely, but nevertheless, it had to be investigated. In London, I waited until nightfall. Pierre would call then, no doubt. I did indeed receive a call on the phone. That same voice from Cairo. She spoke quickly, flatly with same accent. A meeting, she said, one hour, or all would be lost to me. I considered my position. As an investigator, this was obviously of great importance. Logic told me that I should have waited, informed Pierre and decided tactics from that point. Yet there was something alluring about this voice. I believe, in retrospect, that I was under the influence of some of the more subtle vampiric powers. I went without hesitating to the spot.
When I arrived, it was not too long before a limousine approached, and I was invited to step in by the palest face I have ever seen. Pierre, though he will not admit it, is much more pale than many humans. He said that as age continues, the Kindred do indeed grow steadily more white. She was obviously a far older vampire than Pierre.
"Allow me to introduce myself, madame ", I began,
"I know who you are and where you come from, Mr Cartwright. I choose to speak to you rather than your friend the Malkavian for reasons that will become clear to you. My name is Kyrrell to you. It is other things to other people, but Kyrrell will suffice. I have come to pass on information in the time that I have left in this city. Be silent and listen."
"Firstly, it was I who sent you this dream that you mistakenly believe to be a message from my Clan to du Lac. I have my reasons. I am going to tell you of the history of my Clan, the Clan Templar, that you may better understand their ways and my ways.
We begin in the land that is now Israel in Biblical times. Your study of the Bible, Mr Cartwright, will tell you that in Israel long before the time of Jesus, there were many tribes. People argue as to the source and numbers of these tribes. Even ancient scholars argued about them. It did not really matter. However, what is important is that these tribes were in chief controlled by Kindred. In particular the Benjamites were under the spell of Belial.
Belial was a willful woman in many respects, but also a visionary woman. She was, according to which source you read, a Malkavian, a Toreador or a Setite. None seem too sure on this point. It was known that Belial was religious and she believed in the Judaic God much as Jews and Christians of today believe in God."
This vampire looked strained in telling this information to me. She seemed to be in quite a rush to have this information known to me quickly and without pretense. The limousine drove about the city as she quickly told the whole tale.
"In the area at that time also, Clan Ventrue maintained a powerful control over several of the Tribes. Kindred nature being that it is, this other tribe, the Benjamites, caused much consternation to the power-hungry Ventrue. Eventually, the other tribes arose against Belial and the Benjamites were decimated, driven from their native soil that included Jerusalem.
It is at this time that it is said Belial conceived of her divine mission. On that subject I will tell you more later, but this divine mission was part of what fueled her need for survival, her need to continue in this world. She retreated into secret, away from the prying eyes of mortals and the Ventrue and nurtured the remaining few Benjamites.
Centuries passed. In an effort to shake off the growing strife of the Jews, with Belial in much of the action, the Ventrue decided to bring the area under their much more firm control. Thus did the Romans conquer Palestine. In the large the move was successful. Belial had her plans, though. For years, she had been attempting to gain control of the province to better her divine vision. Thus, she manipulated marriages, to bring a legitimate claimant of the throne of Israel into being. One that she could teach, who would understand her ways and act according to the God she believed in. The result was both beautiful and terrible for the world to behold. Even today society reels from the effects that spawned the religion of Christianity. It was through Belial's machinations and teachings that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The Bible tells of how there were three wise Kings and much other nonsense. Jesus was born a son of a wealthy family, a noble son and direct descendant of King David. Not the poor son of a carpenter that some of the Gospels idolize him to be.
From a very young age, Belial took Jesus to her own to teach. Her teachings were to school him in the order of the world as she saw it. She was trying to foster a Rabbi, a prophet and a king of Israel also. His parents were kept largely dominated and out of the way while the young Jesus learned from Belial. Marriage was arranged for him to Mary Magdalene when they were but children. All part of Belial's grand scheme, her grand plot and design. The Bible traces these events with a very skewed perspective, in retrospect. But it does tell of the marriage where the water to wine miracle was produced. This was Jesus's own wedding I tell you".
I must confess that at this point I was skeptical of what this vampire said. Much of what they say is often lies on their own grand designs towards many things. It seemed too perfect, too complete. A vampire behind the myth of Christ, not possible. Such things are not mere manipulations. It seemed that she could perceive my thoughts, however.
"You do not believe me? ", she was surprised ," Mr. Cartwright, do you know how much of you human history is not human in origin. Can you possibly conceive of the real reasons behind any of this world's battle except those with the touch of the Kindred. I tell you that we are the reasons for most of your race's conflict and history. Troy, Carthage, the fall of Rome, Rome itself, the Renaissance, the New World, all of it is our mistakes, or creations, our conflicts and our successes. So much of this world is built on small things taken beyond proportion. Religion is possibly the worst of all such things.
As I already said, Jesus' life was nothing but the manipulations of Belial in her grand design. His whole life, from the wedding to his trying to lead a holy insurrection against the Romans was planned and controlled by Belial. She had her divine purpose to guide her against all the opponents after all. Yet the insurrection failed before it even started. The man Jesus' spiritual fervor did not stop the Romans coming to him and taking him away. In this, a mock execution was staged, the details of which are unknown to me. But the important thing to note is that, as many modern manuscripts have deduced, Jesus did not die on the cross. Belial had lost her use for them, and wanted to turn to the son of Jesus. Mary, his wife was expecting a child at this time.
The great rift was caused at this point by another madman, Peter. None of the Apostles knew of Belial. They took Jesus' images and his miracles literally. They believed he was the son of God, and to further evidence this, they tried to remove any chance that the Son of God had a son. Fanaticism of Faith is a terrible thing, Mr. Cartwright. Belial smuggled the mother away with two of her brothers, all the way to France, Marseilles to be exact.
What became of Jesus? I cannot tell you that part of the tale, for I do not know.
The years passed again, and the Roman Catholic Church, led by the memories of the Apostles, grew to new heights all the time. The Family of Jesus lived for centuries in Marseilles, eventually being forgotten as history for many years. Belial traveled across Europe, seeking to work against this abomination that she considered the Roman Church to be. She believed it to be the worst perversion of her divine mission. Eventually, she found what she believed to be the answer in the Frankish people.
It took some effort but she managed to have the Frankish Royal Line wedded to the family that she had guarded, producing a fully royal family with divine prerogative in her eyes. The most successful of all these manipulations was Clovis, the King of the Franks. Clovis was at the center of manipulations by Belial. She had eventually decided that it was necessary to placate the Roman Church and the forces that truly controlled it. In particular the Lasombra were to be dealt with in this matter. Your friend Pierre will be able to tell you more about the Lasombra than I.
Eventually, Clovis was invested with a divine righteousness by the Church. You have no doubt knowledge of Charlemagne?"
I nodded my assent.
"Well then, you know that he became Holy Roman Emperor. Clovis had been invested with the exact same title centuries previous to Charlemagne as a part of a pact between Belial and The Lasombra. Belial believed that she was accomplishing her great mission naturally.
You cannot imagine the storm that this created among the Kindred! The Ventrue were clamoring for Belial's Blood as indeed were the Brujah. Several other Clans were interested to say the least in the dealings that went on behind the scenes. In the midst of all this, The Lasombra were almost under siege from the Ventrue. It is said by many that the very most senior of the Lasombra, Montano, was engaged in almost vicious war with many Ventrue, particularly Mithras of London. In the midst of all this, Belial pursued her plans. She began to Embrace warriors of true Christianity to help her fight the war that was coming against the others. She believed that the Lasombra would aid her.
Yet, as is often the case, Kindred intrigue is a region of quicksilver change. The Lasombra voiced public approval, but in the shadows behind even Montano's back, they made secret pacts and deals to ensure the safety of all concerned except Belial and her fledglings. During the next two centuries, the line of Clovis began to steadily wane in influence and power. Finally, the Lasombra made their move and Belial and her progeny were forced to flee yet again. Charlemagne was made Roman Emperor.
The history continues on from there for a long time but we did not involve ourselves for many years until the Crusades. Belial had disappeared for a long time and we had gone our separate ways, seeking for places to hide. For many years, other vampiric events took over. The decimation of the Salubri and the creation of the Tremere. The appearance of the Assamites. Then Belial returned and called each of us to her. We were to support her latest claimant in her mission. Which was now OUR mission by the way. For she had placed Godefroi de Bouillon on the throne of Jerusalem and had also created an order of mortals to aid us. Godfroi was, in some way, a descendant of Clovis, who was in turn a descendant of Jesus and so forth.
As always, her grand scheme prevailed. For myself, I wish that I had had the courage to say no.
We returned to Jerusalem, once again claiming a throne that belonged to our wards. The Holy line was once again on the throne of the Holy land, and Belial made this clear to the pope in no uncertain terms. At first, it was the instinctive reaction of the Pope to follow the orders of his controllers. However, the order of mortals that I told you Belial founded? They were an Order of Ghouls in actuality who served her. Many had come from the Roman Catholic background. They were monks and priests converted to her way. I believe they were called the Order of Sion."
I remembered reading about the continued existence of such an Order supposedly in connection to some conspiracy theory. I had not fully read on the subject, it being somewhat out of my general field of expertise. She continued,
"The Order of Sion were responsible for literally blackmailing the Pope into accepting the situation. At first they quietly hunted some of the chief enemies of Belial by day. Then they blackmailed the Roman Pope himself. For years afterward it was peaceful and the kingdom of Godfroi was gaining strength. This precipitated the arrival of the man named Hugues de Payen, better known as the founder of the Knights Templar. As far as I am aware, Hugues had been avidly following the affairs of Godfroi, a relation of his, for years. He was aware of much. He intended to found an Order of Knights to supposedly protect the peaceful travelers of Jerusalem. The Knights true aim was to protect the Grail.
What is the Grail? It is not a cup or a chalice or indeed anything of that sort. It is the royal line of Jesus, that I am aware. One of the great Medieval romantic ideas was that of the Grail. But it was something of far more concrete value than merely a cup. Hugues de Payen envisioned himself as the guardian angel. He was something of a fanatic in his beliefs about such things. Such was the medieval mindset.
At first, Belial was intrigued by the idea. Then taken with it to an extent beyond that which we thought possible. She declared to us that we would be the Templar also, the Vampire Knights of the Temple. There would be three Orders to ensure that her vision took place. For a long time, we, her Progeny, agreed to this, seeing it to be important. It was also a safe move. Europe at that time was beginning to emerge into a time of troubles as the first flowers of the Inquisition came to bear fruit. The Knights and the Order of Sion went far afield, gaining much power in the mortal world, which was a good thing in many respects. Belial required that her servants begin once again to expand the influence to bring about her great vision. She had not forgotten her vision of the new world Order. Indeed, many of the mortals in our service also went South into the Moslem lands to see what we could do to bring about conversion there also.
Things backfired badly though. The Knights and the Order of Sion did not, it seemed, get on very well at all, although they had the same Grand Master. The Knights had amassed much power, rivaling that of a nation, but they wished to use their might to crush opposition. The Order on the other hand had ideas of it's own about stealthy influence. Eventually the Order and the Knights were going to come to blows over the whole dispute and Belial found herself in the agonizing situation of choosing one over the other. She chose the monks, her ghouls, and advised the Knights to follow suit. They would not, however, and the two groups split permanently.
There was riot among the Templar Bloodline also, for several of them had come from both Orders and been Embraced. It threatened to split the Clan apart as well. And it would have, had it not been for the timely invasion of the Assamites into Jerusalem.
The Assamites had begun their great religious Jyhad to gain more closeness to Caine at that time and came forth from their secret mountain fortress of Alamut to lead the Moslems. We were indeed another target for their assaults. the battle I speak of is not recorded in history because mortal armies were not involved. The Assamites attacked in stealth by night, seeking ancient Vitae that might belong to some of us for their feastings. But we are exceptionally aware, Mr. Cartwright. The attack upon the Temple was quickly discovered and repulsed after some ferocious fighting. In truth, the Assamites probably didn't stand any real chance of victory, but their fanaticism was enough to make us band together.
I will always remember the aftermath as one of the greatest moments of my life. Belial standing there, praying that we might stay together. I will also remember the worst moment of my existence when I discovered for myself, not twenty-five years ago, that Belial had arranged the attack through Assamite contacts.
In the wake of the attack, we galvanized once again. The Order of Sion went forth to new heights of control with our careful backing. At this stage, we were beginning to run into very serious opposition from the Ventrue and Lasombra in particular, but they could not work effectively against us. The Inquisition, the Tremere, the Assamites, all these things were taking their toll upon our kind, but they were a golden opportunity for us. By the end of the 13th Century, we were within a realistic possibility of gaining power. But it was not to be, thankfully. The Moslems attacked Jerusalem again in great numbers and we were outclassed. At first the Pope declared crusade, but there was little response. The one thing that kept our claim legitimate fell in but a few short years. Jerusalem was lost to us yet again.
In the space of a few short years, the pyramid we had built was crumbling fast. Finally, the French King called the Inquisition down on the heads of the mortal Knights Templar. Within the space of seven years between 1307 and 1314 the Knights were disbanded and many of them branded for heretics.
That was when many of us took our cues to leave once again. The Templar and the Order of Sion went underground completely. We had still gained much influence over the European world, but the dream was again shattered. I myself left Europe for over a century during this time and thus, my knowledge of that era is sketchy. I wandered South to Egypt and Africa. I traveled West to India also. For many years I sought out the truth of my existence. I also succeeded in avoiding the Inquisition during those times as I had passed out of Christendom. I eventually returned in 1475 to a Europe in the final throes of it's Inquisitors.
It was there that I found Belial ensconced in Venice. She had spent many of her years regaining influence once again. This time, it was with a new concept for her vision. She desired the masonic lodges. many of the Order of Sion had remained with her through the years and she said that the Grail, the Holy Line, was again safe and under her wardship. For a long time, I remained and listened to her speeches about how it would work the next time. In the beginning, I helped once again.
Understand this, Mr, Cartwright. I do indeed believe deeply in a God. But I believe that Belial got it wrong. Terribly wrong.
The Camarilla was formed a few years later and invited our small line to join, but we refused at Belial's Orders. She did not want our Kind associated with the normal Kindred by any stretch of the imagination. The Sabbat was to receive the same refusal in no uncertain terms. Our line numbered perhaps two to three hundred across all of the world at that time. Belial then made her last and most fatal error.
As your friend will tell you, the Giovanni Clan's origins were rumored to be firmly ensconced in Diablerie. In much the same manner as is generally believed, Belial decided once and for all to try and gain some mystical advantage and Embraced the leader of a coven of necromancers in Venice. The repulsive Giovanni founder did not wait more than five years before attacking Belial. At first, we could not believe what she had done. We loved her as our mother, but she had gone too far. Those of us older in the Clan revolted against her. This only served the Giovanni's aims even further.
Augustus Giovanni sank his teeth into the neck of Belial and it was finished. The Giovanni employed many of their very powerful spirits to hunt us and we were scattered, defeated and possibly doomed also. What more was there for us only death. Of the nine that survived the attempted genocide, we were scattered to the four winds for centuries.
I myself wandered again, deeply saddened by the grief that my Clan had suffered. We were forgotten and the Giovanni were eventually accepted as to be one of the Clans. That was when I conceived of the idea, Mr. Cartwright. I had a dream, a vision you may say. I have dreamed of Belial's plan, her vision. It was folly, this I know. yet, deep at the heart of it, there was indeed some truth to be found. I have gathered the Templar together again, Mr. Cartwright, although it has taken many long years to do so. We have our purpose, which I will not tell you, but I will tell you this. Our purpose is most definitely tied up in the destiny of this world. We will not lie in the ashes as do the Salubri even to this day.
Now take these events to your friend Mr du Lac and tell him that Kyrrell, the leader of the Templar, may once again speak to him."
At once the car stopped and I left. She looked back only once at me as the car drove away, with a smile on her face. Why had she told me these deep secrets? Was there a deep plan behind it all. In revealing this information to historians, had she somehow involved us in their Jyhad. I simply did not know. Perhaps they were simply insane. I did not believe this, though. There was something about the woman Kyrrell which made me think that she was very sure in what she intended to do.
Since that time, Charles Cartwright has remained working in the field of the arcane. he his healthy and alive.
The tale presented in this account has proved, through many of my own independent studies to be very accurate historically in many respects. many times I wondered and wished that it had been I that Kyrrell had chosen to meet with and not others. As to any Kindred by the name of Kyrrell, there has never to my knowledge been any such Kindred. But that is hardly conclusive proof given that she was most likely one of the Fourth or Fifth Generation. The mystery remains just that. A mystery. Perhaps one day I will solve it. For now, though, that is all the information I can find. The three accounts of Valerius, Kimilar and Kyrrell (through Cartwright). I continue to search even to this day.
--du Lac, 1993, London MotherHouse