Tremere

Nickname: Warlocks
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy
Whether dreaded, mistrusted, feared or reviled, the insular vampires of Clan Tremere are anything but ignored. Those who have heard of the clan's doings are typically suspicious of the Tremere, and with good reason - for the Warlocks are aptly named. Through their own artifice, they have mastered a form of vampiric sorcery, complete with rituals and spells, that is as potent - if not more so - than any other power of the Blood. Paired with the clan's rigid hierarchy and the smoldering ambition so common among Warlocks, this power is an unsettling thing indeed to those who know what the Tremere are capable of doing.

According to some Kindred records, the Tremere came into being as a clan very recently, at least by an immortal's standards. Legend has it that, during Europe's Dark Ages, a cabal of human wizards enacted a great ritual over the slumbering body of an Antediluvian and thereby wrested for themselves the gift of vampirism. War followed soon thereafter - the fledgling clan found itself besieged by enraged Kindred on every side. But the Tremere are nothing if not survivors. Their human magicks lost, they nonetheless managed to alter their rituals and wardings to utilize the power of their vitae. These magical skills, now practiced as the Discipline of Thaumaturgy, have ensured the Tremere's place among the Kindred ever since.

The Warlocks gladly play the games of diplomacy and intrigue with their new-found brethren. However, their dealings are always tinged with a touch of paranoia, for the Tremere know that the elders of no fewer than three clans bear them a terrible grudge that has yet to be repaid. Therefore, the Tremere work to cultivate what allies they can, even as they strive to heighten their magical mastery. No less is required for their survival. As a result, the childer of Clan Tremere are among the most driven and learned of all Cainites; few cross these undead sorcerers and escape unscarred.

The Tremere are vampires of the Old World, but have traveled across the continents to establish footholds elsewhere. The clan's seat of power lies in Vienna, where the Tremere elders convene in council and discuss the clan's future direction. But many larger cities across the globe house Tremere "chantries" - well-defended houses that are equal parts university, monastery and stronghold.

Sect

The Tremere were more than glad to join the fledgling Camarilla when the sect was forming, and they quickly made themselves invaluable there. In fact, the Tremere are one of the linchpins of the sect. They have a marked interest in keeping the Camarilla strong, of course - I with their hated Tzimisce enemies directing their Sabbat minions against any Tremere they find, the Warlocks require allies. And with the valuable magical power they offer, the Tremere find the Camarilla glad to provide the support they require. With the Camarilla's protection, the Tremere are free to pursue the arcane mastery they so avidly desire.

Appearance

The sorcerous Tremere are typically imposing or sinister in mien. Some favor classic suits; others prefer a slightly more antiquated look, dressing in 1940s-cut suits, Edwardian finery or the simple black turtlenecks of the Beat era. Many wear charms or amulets inscribed with cabalistic or other arcane symbols, as a sign of their learning. Although individual Warlocks may run the gamut from immaculately precise to disheveled and eccentric, the vampiric sorcerers' eyes always gleam with hidden insight and frightening acuity.

Haven

While Warlocks may maintain their own individual havens (often complete with extensive libraries), the clan maintains a chantry in every city that harbors a strong Tremere presence. A chantry is open to any of Tremere's bloodline and absolutely forbidden to all others. The Warlocks are infamous for their well-guarded havens; almost all boast mystical wards that even other Tremere would find difficult to circumvent.

Background

Many Tremere dabbled in occult or other scholarly pursuits in life. However, a fascination with the unknown is hardly enough to draw a Warlock's attention; clan members seek "apprentices" with aggressive natures and clear thinking, and care little for muddle-headed New Agers or befuddled conspiracy theorists. Clan Tremere has an unspoken tradition of sexism, and most of its elders are male. Tremere ancillae have become rather more open-minded of late, though, and draw ample numbers of suitably ambitious and persistent acolytes from both sexes.

Character Creation
Tremere typically have strong Mental Attributes and a high Willpower to match; dilettantes and churls cannot meet the grueling demands of sorcery. Many have Knowledges as their primary Abilities, although Skills are also highly in demand. Although a few Tremere specialize in one particular area of excellence, many more prefer; a more well-rounded approach to personal aptitudes; after all, a Warlock can typically rely on no one other than himself.

Weakness

By clan law, all neonate Tremere must drink the blood of the clan's seven elders when they are created. All Tremere are at least one step toward being blood bound to their elders, and therefore usually act with great clan loyalty – in order to avoid having such loyalty forced on them. What's more, this arrangement means that Tremere are hard-pressed to resist the will of their elders; the difficulty of any Dominate attempt from a clan superior is one less.

Organization

No tighter internal structure exists among the clans. No clan binds its neonates so strictly. And no clan acts with such unity of purpose as the Tremere. Although younger clan members generally are free to do more or less as they wish, occasionally they receive instructions from their elders that they may not ignore. Paranoia keeps the clan well-oiled; and unified. Of course, the Tremere do encourage individual achievement among the group, seeing it as a Darwinian method of ensuring the clan's strength. With such ambitious, powerful young vampires cooperating with such commendable clan unity, it's no wonder the Warlocks have plenty of envious and spiteful enemies among the Kindred. The Tremere's pyramidal hierarchy contains several ranks, each divided into seven mystical "circles" that an aspirant must master if he desires to advance in rank (and nearly every Tremere desires that very thing). The lowest rank, that of apprentice, belongs to neonates. Above the apprentices are the regents, each one the master of a chantry; then the lords, whose domains include several chantries each. Forty-nine Tremere hold the title of pontifex, each bearing great responsibilities. And at the top of the pyramid sits the Inner Council of Seven, some the masters of entire continents, and all whispered to be in constant mental communication with the others.