As a Non-Native speaker my English is not without problems. I really regret that it spoils the readability for some people. Still Pietroschek-Prose is all I offer, and I am not at school here or elsewhere. All may read it, nobody is forced to do so.
Poison what you can’t conquer & that’s what I do
An IC (semi-omniscient 1st person) short-story by
A. M. Pietroschek © All rights reserved
“Their chanting about Set is dementation to Kainite ears,
Their worship a dumb mimicry of thaumaturgy,
But long ago they looked so cool doing it!”
I might give you my name, yet it wouldn’t be for real. Sincerely, I change them at my whim. Fifteen years ago I was initiated into the existence of House and Clan Tremere. A fascist, hermetical lodge of wizards [Erich Fromm, the anatomy of human destructiveness]. That is, of course, for the unknowing. I was ghouled by an undead vampire sorcerer, for my unique skills should have served this bloodline of vampires until I either qualified for the Embrace, or got killed. How did it come to be? I hardly know. Something I did, or perhaps something I am, attracted its attention. Please don’t get me wrong, it was a step forward.
I went thru life pretty aimless, taking whatever job I could get to make my living, a notch too fascinated by cocaine, and struggling with a certain habit of getting drawn into the occult crap. In a way it paid. Maybe it really was due one of my works showing a potential, or maybe I was so overwhelmed with new experiences, back then, that I couldn’t grasp what made me become his ghoul. I remember how it started though. I came back from a shift as a security guard, pure cannon fodder. As I checked my post box I had a strange invitation among bills to pay, and loads of advertising. I trusted my intuition and changed working shift so I could go there. After I masturbated, and took a shower, of course.
I heard some hours of dabbling about occult topics, yet a bit too close to Hollywood’s brain-dead misconceptions. Every time I sensed it reaching a useful insight the speaker switched, as if shunning away from a truth he, or she, could not accept to be. The moment I wanted to stand up and speak myself, a strange thought reached my mind. Pearls before swine, isn’t it? Of course today I know that several kindred can speak to the mind, yet back then I could have sworn it was my own idea. My feelings guided me to look around. In the back row one of the listeners seemed to agree with my unspoken thought.
That could save my evening. I waited a while, till a new speaker of some very important, very hermetical, and, of course, purely white magical order of cognitive-stillborn moved up to the stage. This break I used to switch places, nodding a greeting to the stranger while struggling with insights about his financial superiority. While I was happy to wear some synth-silk shirt along with my baggy pant, he was clad like a pretty rich sucker. Today I recognize this as a subconscious hint, too late. His suit looked more expensive than my entire lifestyle, more important it matched his personality, or what I perceived as such. He felt smooth, yet a look into his eyes spoke of more than that. I felt some fear, mixing with joy. Without much speaking we listened for further thirty minutes. It was already clear that the evening was a failure. I used the time to wonder about my reaction, and compared sympathy to homosexual urges. I don’t think that gay sex was my goal. Strange, I cannot remember what we spoke about, and how we left the hall.
I remember walking along an alley with my new-found companion, and indulging my mood of lucid fascination. His thoughts tried to push me and many of his questions were aiming to get answers, which I simply hadn’t. Today it would be a warning sign, yet I wasn’t experienced, nor strong enough, to deal better with it back then. He analysed my way of thinking, checked knowledge, and interests. Even psychological stuff. For the first time in my life I even enjoyed talking about my job. Disturbingly he listened intently. Nobody ever wants to hear about this kind of job. He did. A moment later he asked me, if I would give my opinion concerning a building he inherited from his family. When I agreed, I didn’t know that it turned into my chance to drive in a car, which I could never afford. Limousine XL is my description for it.
Nightly drives set my mood to contemplation, and I honoured that my companion disturbed me only once. The questions were about my private situation, yet I thought he just wanted an excuse to peer at me. I was a loner back then and had no problems telling it. Still I could not ignore that his entire friendliness had something lurking about it. I disliked the thought of brawling with a pervert rich boy, and nearly ignored the realization that I did not even know his name after hours of chatting. As the car came to a stop, I was already impressed enough to make my senses fail.
The area was clean, no street trash, living or material, atmosphere here was calm and cool. I saw a building, which looked like one from the movies. No, it didn’t, my mind gets clouded when I try to remember details about the time. I argued that Satanism, to me, reflects the same principles that humanity puts into effort versus reality. As humans developed out of the caves, so did heretics, and occultists, attempt to break the dogmatic thinking of the church. And in praxis, to gain power over their worldly limitations set upon them by god? God hereby as entity, or symbol for reality. Headaches accompanied my few good ideas. When we entered a room in the basement, I had to struggle for self-control.
How could someone so smart, and definitely better educated than me, make such a mistake? Was it a mistake, or some test about my reactions? These little followers of Crowley, and similar freaks, would have called it a ritual chamber. Piss into their skulls.
Yes, some symbols. And the very well known chalice, rod, blade, and pentacle. My words splashed out of my mouth. What a stupid little misconception. This room is a waste, the elements hiding behind the archaic symbols are for regressive psychological components, it would mean that a magus would enforce change of reality, display of power, or what, by focussing his mind, perhaps his, or her, will. But only narcissist-fools believe that spooking through such a room would give them magic power, except for a straight-jacket maybe.
While I realized that I just insulted my companion, he just looked me in the eyes, and said “precisely”. A relieved smile tried to spread across my face, but never got the chance. A wave of dizziness reached my mind, and I felt intense pressure building in my guts, then pain shook me. My body overheated with rapid speed, and I stumbled, already busy falling to the ground.
I awoke a while later, pain crushing my thoughts, and the taste of blood in my filled mouth. [I don’t mean blood cauldron here] Filled with my severed tongue, as I soon would find out. My eyes were damaged, my sight reduced to shades, and blurring forms. I could die of this, but what was it? His hands were empty, and he merely touched me. Insane humour came to my mind, hinting that this may have been the lurking part of him. He asked me something and I finally could understand what he said. My ears operated somehow. How long does this need to heal? I replied that, if I survive, it would be at least three weeks, perhaps with several mutilations remaining. If I could give you the power to heal it within just three nights, would you accept? Lord in Hell, I laid defenceless on the ground, bleeding, and crippled. What did he expect, me enjoying an extensive debate? I admit that my first thought was about even serials making more money than me though. I drank, what he gave to me, the first night it was Vanilla Coke!
No, it was his vitae, yet the taste of my blood, and the amok in my mind, made me swear it is Vanilla Coke. Today I can give even more sincere oaths which I not even consider keeping. I experienced a harrowing of hurt flesh, and mind-malfunctions for three nights, but it worked. While I felt emotional pain without comparison, in the middle of the third night, I recovered. My flesh operated, my eyes just needed to be cleaned from remnants of my blood, and my ears were nearly ok. Yes, my little trouser snake turned from a badly scorched sausage into the original again, too. I became ghoul to him without further troubles. After I masturbated, and took a shower, of course. I learned about powers, which I never knew. Luckily Rosicrucian pseudo-spirituality was not part of the crap.
As a ghoul my primary gifts of Caine were physical. Simplified, I could heal my body at enhanced speed, my muscles worked extremely well, martial arts, which I only clumsily executed until then, became easy, and I rarely tired. To my masters’ astonishment I could boost my senses, as we found out, when I had to gasp that night I perceived a Nosferatu neonate, breaching his minor skill with obfuscate. I guarded my master, and with some months of successful duty, even the outer ring of a chantry. Due to my way of thinking I grew into my new-found role, yet the fact that I failed some tests, and that I easily frenzy when mind-control is at task, reduced my future considerations. I had my flaws, too. I began eating more than I needed, and my sexuality turned from long periods of torpor to a feverish greed to practice Erich von Gothas collected works. But let’s not spoil my works with glorification of the competition. Indeed I enjoyed my time with House and Clan Tremere, one of the most powerful bloodlines among the children of the night.
What did make me turn traitor? Some quite realistic insights, and necessities. My ego! As my reader already notes, I react more on intuition and feelings, which explains my talent with Auspex, but gives me a disadvantage with Dominate and Thaumaturgy [remember flaws like Thaumaturgical Inept]. Simplified, I could learn only petty rituals (i.e. Blood Mastery, check the rulebook, ghouls can learn it), but no real powers. It is good luck to me, if my potential hadn’t been discovered to be castrated here early on, the Tremere would have hunted me with much greater dedication.
Please be reminded my advantage in Auspex has gained new side effects due to my sacred bloodline. As a disciple of Seth I am a bit easier blinded by light. I disliked the sun even as a mortal, developing an allergy against its rays, and avoiding swimming, and stuff. This means without sunglasses a car, or a flashlight, make me blinded for a while, even at night. A while long enough to stake me, or sink your fangs into my flesh. I explain my failure as Tremere with being still too mortal as a ghoul. Maybe I only learned psychological rituals, because I was limited in my existence, not just in thoughts.
Well, I stumbled across ghouls from different masters with the time, and indulged spare time visiting a sub house of my former line. I would say that I just had more of a Setite about me than about a Tremere in my life. This is from a subjective point though. I may have become a Brujah, yet I at least knew that bad temper, and lack of self-control, beg for certain unpleasant repercussions. The Setites made me accept the embrace by the truth they told me. Yes, I fell prey to some lies, I was defenceless against their power to manipulate emotions, and I was easily tempted, too. To me, the Tremere hit my way of understanding and thinking, but the Setites suited my way of unlife. Well, my stigma of being the little unimportant security guard is still with me. I am what others call a Warrior-Setite.
This means that, to suit our one-dimensional stereotype, I do ten minutes of sit-ups, and shadow-boxing, for every night spend on drugs, vice, and tempting the cute Camarilla ghouls and neonates.
I just have found my place here, it’s that simple. The Setites subconsciously admire the Tremere power, and while they are not half as good with magic, their power increases social success, and nightly survival. What few seem to realize is that tempting is hardly our mission. We are seen as hedonistic and corrupt, yet we survived throughout the centuries with much more success than many of the unenlightened. The celestial guidance of Set gifts us not only with unique, innate abilities, but also with a growing confidence in our power, and dominion. I never saw Egypt, and I don’t care. Seth is entity and symbol in one, the simple fact that we go the path of success. Do we tempt? You think and claim so; maybe we just show people that they belong to us by their very own ambitions. Corrupting others without being corrupted oneself. What does it mean? To me it meant indulging cocaine, having sex with the best women I could get laid with, and gaining money without hard work, nasty consequences, or repercussions. I learned the truth soon enough. What is this conscience of the Camarilla anyway, but a theoretical construct that frequently fails, even in our absence. I was never willing, nor ordered, to invade your haven, diablerizing whomever I could get.
I am not guilty of proving to your ghouls that our lifestyle grants them much better gratification for their duties. Is it my fault that Toreador lack the discipline to satisfy their ghouls sexual urges? Our bodies are dead, we won’t die of aids, nor do we need much to heal injuries that a prick headed ghoul causes while doing the wild thing. We ask for religious dedication to Set which you think is evil, but both sects ask of joining a holy war against each other even from the freshly embraced.
We do not follow a theory of such kind; we live as we are to the limits of our unlife. Yes, we are weak vampires. As weak as the Brujah, and Toreador, which found that hanging up with mortals is not only more fun, but indeed a power base we exploited, logically. Perhaps they are tools, but why then do we treat them as equals, mostly? Because they may grasp the wisdom of Seth, they can be of use, and what is wrong about it? We are not the ones running around breaking a masquerade here, selling out Sabbat bishops there. We are despised, and accused, paradoxically, for the agents of hedonism and corruption kept more of their integrity from the clutches of the beast than any other line. If our ways are dangerous, what about better solutions? And who brings the peril? Is it the Setite drug priest who causes havoc, or is it people incapable, and unwilling, to handle it? If I deal you the vitae of a garou, is it my fault that you frenzy by devouring what you asked, and paid, me to deliver? How is it that we interact with your needs without prejudice?
Set taught us wisdom and self-mastery in ways, which the Camarilla is too stupid for, and the Sabbat is twisting into monstrosity. There is no place on earth, no kindred society, and no Elysium, which we cannot find our way into. Why not, we adapt with more respect to your rules than you to ours. Are you aware that we were not fighting you? Conflict arose because your intolerance made you judge our way of unlife, and turn hostile. Yes, we are a notch more humane than a vampire should be, but that is the way of Seth. Our lord could rule over kindred, and kine alike, this is just one more sign that there is wisdom in our very words and deeds. But this dabbling leads nowhere. Let’s check for my evil and degeneration, don’t forget heresy. I live with a feeling of guilt and fear of repercussions from the warlocks. I wished I would have had a better option, but I was tempted, yet responsible for it. With the Tremere only my thoughts were compatible and yes, I owe them manifold for the gift of their blood gives me powers which ensure my survival even as part of the competition now. As a ghoul I once played this video game where mage, and priest, fight side by side, it should work for us, I hoped. Yes, this is weakness, we must fight a jihad, and kill vampires of other blood. No, it could be one great Malkavian prank!
I protect our temples and places, I fight to protect my allies, and I guide my servants and disciples to the very best of my abilities. Of course for a price, they take my time, dedication, and contemplation away from my goals. I turn my ideas into weapons, establishing the cult of plague monks as easily, as exchanging ideas on how to deal with our existence. Plague spreaders, what should this be? My answer to an idea that mortals grasped even in the dark ages, and practice happily and much better than this Morbus sect of our own blood. One could not only weaken a foe by this, but also make him, or her, outright perish. Against mortals, and Camarilla alike, this proves extremely useful, infesting their territory with disease spreading beings. The Sabbat is a bit harder to get, yet we are part of it, like the Nosferatu. We grew from our centre into the Camarilla, as into the Sabbat. Like it, or not, we grant this freedom, as long, as the service to Seth is not betrayed. I feel accused by kindred who commit all the crimes they try to blame me for. We did not forget who we are. We are not children of Caine. We are children of Seth, thereby the synthesis from mortals, and followers of Caine.
We can be the poison that destroys them, but we are willing to be the guide that grants them a better way into a future that is worthwhile. What you declare venom may just be the only antitoxin you might ever find. I think we are already an overseen pillar of the Camarilla, too. We are subtle enough to keep to the masquerade, further we even like this. We enjoy humans, not slaughtering them before TV cameras to prove our powers. Yes, maybe I am too fresh to understand, or perhaps I bath in my foolish dreams to ignore that I am an elders pawn myself. Who of us isn’t?
I enjoyed being close to my paramour, was it so selfish to get her away from artwork and scheming? Maybe, yet in case of success it would have been prove that she didn’t really care for what her elders pushed her into. Was it my strategy? My feelings hurt, where I should be cold and predatory. I miss her; yet accept her decision at least for this century. In our kingdom there is no need for manipulation, but for the glory of my sake, I will endure even this. Running with the Brujah is a refreshing, though simple-minded experience. Yes, it asks for trouble. Yet they can be quite close to us, and no I didn’t supply their parties. We share some similarities, not by talking about them, but living them for real. Lepers, the ugly little rat-kissers. Among the most familiar experiences is their way. They spread nearly like us, just hiding for other reasons, and in other places. I could teach them some joy, and even a notch confidence. They taught me rat-catching and we had a good time, no matter the bad sides. I still meet them on friendly terms, mostly.
Sadly, this fails with the Giovanni. This necrotic bunch of workaholics, followers of Apophis, makes me vomit. Not enough that they raid the mortals for money, they even raid their coffins. Sacrileges against the soul. The dead have to be honoured, and prepared for the afterlife, where Setite sorcerers steal their power, it is not just their very soul, but part of ours at stake. Dangerous they are in their mastery of necromancy, and everything they say attempts to crush my mind to suit their will. But is this the blood, or just those few I stumbled across? Prejudices can poison my awareness, a risk we are taught to avoid. We won’t end up like this yokel Horus. I do spend my unlife, as I like it. I enjoy all I can get, practice my skills, and contemplate as much, as I can. I sincerely wished that I had gained the sorcery of my former master, yet I got this one trick at least. I was wise enough to cover my greatest weakness early on. As children of a peaceful god, we were not really made for war. That may explain why we just can’t face every threat up front. I grew tougher through training, and practice. Devotedly even keep an inner distance from certain habits of kindred society. Yet I feel weak. My problem about it is we are mistaken to parrot faith. This is not the case.
We do not half as much worship Set, as we preach to make the ignorant realize that his teachings supply us with useful insights, and realistically solutions to archetypical problems of vampire existence. Of course there are other ways to gain such, yet our way works fine. I admit that I couldn’t be a priest. Their caste has duties, and rights, which I just cannot personify.
I am busy building my little place in the world, recruiting and teaching servants, securing my place, and dealing with my job. Yes, the blood bond felt like abuse for me, too. We all dislike being enslaved; yet have few problems doing it to mortals, and other kindred. I went through ten years with my sire, and then she fell in the line of duty. His tutelage, and resources, gave me compensation for this early.
Now I have more freedom, but less support. The first year alone in the dark had plenty of setbacks, shortcomings, and failures prepared for me. It slowly goes better now, and luckily, I can easily be bound again. No real threat is easily dissolved. I still plan to bargain a degree of neutrality, or minor cooperation, with my former master. I could fight the warlocks, yet I am aware that they can much easier take me out. Maybe this urge is even his mind-control calling me towards a trap, I really don’t know. I seem to be too mortal still, patience I measure in month, where kindred plot for centuries. This could be my damnation, as followers of Caine see it.
Perhaps I can’t find peace, even if my lusts and pleasures were not provocation to some. No regrets for this, I don’t have a choice and my mortal life is gone forever. Making base at the edge to Assamite territory is nearly as risky, as a vacation in Vienna though. Switching place was no good, my problems accompany me anywhere. Great Lord, my strengths, and virtues do so, too. I was very unimportant to the warlocks, and I can neutralize those few witnesses. I have found hideouts, when other kindred made me their target, and I may be low on allies, but servants, and disciples, stand by my side. Already paying the price for treachery, I can now swap my petty rituals to gain access to the rituals of my own bloods sorcery. I may be cursed to be the eternal little security guard, but a handful of our sacred rituals could spice up my existence.
And I can accuse/abuse/seduce you in ways that you never knew. My servants will support me in freeing ghouls of the warlocks from their dumb-hearted masters. Money will flow, as long, as we supply weapons to the unarmed, and drugs to all those who just do not want to bear this rotten existence they face. Founding the Erich von Gotha society for gentleman, paid off too. Then I somehow feel willing to support this bunch of Salubrious. Selling tomes and artefacts, trading my powers for those I desire, and keeping long-term agreements might even secure my position entirely. Many people who dislike the embrace still like being ghouled, boosting them without denying them to partake in their chosen society. Self-mastery will not be forgotten, my habit of contemplation, and meditation, accompanies me from the first night. The same on the women of our kind, they can be deadly venom to me, but also a refreshing alternative to the Holy Grail. Maybe this is an addiction, one I would not get rid of until I manage to hide my heart in heaven…
“Trust and you’ll be trusted !“ – whispered Set to Ventrue.
This page is the comments & notes from the author for now.
One of the female readers told me she liked the way of writing, as if speaking (exclusively) of my real past experiences. I chose the idea of “writing to my therapist/mom/girlfriend” here, because doing the same approach, as any WoD author wouldn’t make a unique reading. I guess I would be a bit better, if I had more resources on, and experience playing, Setites (complete group), which I lack. We had emphasis on Sabbat, and another group on Camarilla. Indeed when I received the last invitations to role-playing group the feeling that made me once enjoy it was gone. I liked Vampire TM Bloodlines though. Be reminded I am German, I cannot always translate my ideas perfectly. This file is for use with the fictional game Vampire-The Masquerade produced by White Wolf Inc. http://www.white-wolf.com
Most Germans speaking “Seth” auto-include the hiss-sound people associate with Setites, this wicked “Tea Age thing”. Seth & Set are different stories, remain vigilant.
“The Kiss”, or “The Embrace” means making someone a vampire of a certain bloodline.
The bloodline called Setites, or Followers of Set, has seemingly been crippled-down into a Mekhet Subline with White Wolfs newer Vampire – The Requiem! You can check it at http://www.worldofdarkness.com
*Egypt, even fictional, had prostitution, slavery, and Aida. It perished!
*Some mistakes are misconceptions/lies of the character, others of the author. Or psychological tricks?
*An overdose of pseudo history spoils fantasy role-playing for sure. History had no WoD, fantasy does.
*This file has nothing to do with the real world Temple of Set, which was founded by Mr. Aquino. Further I did never and do not have any allegiance to this, or any other real world cult.
*My what valiant poultry! Animal Farm reloaded? From the jade dragon empire comes the avenging crusader – gung ho chicken! Swiftly followed by swine flu the pathogen empire presses the attack???
Special Thanks to the “Danse macabre – London by Night Forum’s Other Works of Fiction ”. Storing a copy there made the auto-correction help me more than all my teachers in school or at university ever did!!! http://w11.zetaboards.com/DanseMacabre/index/
More PDFs from me:
Project Gutenberg – Contemporary Submission
On Saturday, the 29th of August in the year 2015, I decided to offer this story, plus my comments on it, as a PDF to Project Gutenberg.