"You beg for mercy? Sorry I can't help you. but mercy happens to be... an aspect of humanity."
- Richard, the Gargoyle servant of Emmanuelle D'Arté, the Regent of Birmingham Chantry
This is a page dedicated to the gargoyle bloodline. Not much is told of them, at least in The Storytellers Handbook, where they are introduced as a "Major Bloodline", that was created by the Tremere, but broke away from them during the late Middle Ages.
This page introduces an alternate Gargoyle Bloodline. One that still serves the Tremere.
About the history of the Children of Stone and Flesh
In the Middle Ages, soon after the destruction of Saulot, the Tremere clan found itself surrounded by its enemies... The Inconnu, Werewolves, jealous Mages, the Tzimisce... The proud, young clan didn't really have to bother with the Werewolves or the Mages. The first weren't great in numbers and the Tremere knew all about the second's tactics. After all, they were dealing with the thing they had been earlier. But the real enemies it had to face were the Inconnu and Clan Tzimisce. The Inconnu were angered by the death of "The greatest and wisest of all Antediluvians", Saulot, and the Tzimisce were angered by the presence of a competitor-clan in their "neighborhood".
They were facing two totally different threats. The ancient vampires of the Inconnu, who used their highly specialized disciplines against the young clan with deadly efficiency. And the Tzimisce, who had their vozhds and szlachtas to help them (war and guardian ghouls whose fighting abilities are multiplied by the treatment the Tzimisce give them by using their discipline, Vicissitude). Tremere himself had the powers of Antediluvian, and could have easily resisted the Inconnu, but the Tzimisce were another thing... Their Antediluvian was still awake. They had more Elders than the Tremere had. They had armies of their Ghouls. And the worst of all, as the Tremere quickly found out, Tzimisce Antediluvian had an Awakened Avatar, which meaned that he had the ability to use magic, just like Tremere himself.
The Tremere needed a force that was able to face the threat the other clan posed. By using great magical rituals, the Tremere created an artificial creature. It was created by mixing Nosferatu blood with Tzimisce blood and covering a statue with this mixture, and then, by using the magical powers and blood of the Antediluvian himself, gave it life. The eyes of the statue opened. The mouth opened also. The statue originally was a six-armed warrior, but to the Tremeres' surprise, the stone molded itself to the shape of a "normal-looking" humanoid creature with spiky skin and wings. It looked at it's creators with newfound intelligence. The Tremere Lord quickly dominated its still-shaping mind, and forced it into his servitude. He smiled diabolicly and told it to "go forth and multiply".. So it did.
It attacked the near-by villages with rage and embraced new vampires with the speed which made even the Tremere a bit afraid of them. But the Tremere Antediluvian was happy, for he still maintained control over the First One and through him, all his children. The Antediluvian smiled again, as his army of gargoyles tested their wings and flew to his castle just in time to save it from destruction by the attacking Tzimisce Force. The First One was more powerful than anyone had expected. He posessed the powers of a dozen of Tzimisces' best War Ghouls. The battle was turned.
The war raged on, and the Tremere survived it as winners. The gargoyles served Tremere and his children with great loyality. The First One was the only one cabable of creating a childe, for those of the "second generation" had too weak blood. But then, Tremere fell into torpor. The gargoyles were under his mental control, which met that they were set free. But this didn't happen. Once the Antediluvian closed his eyes, all the "second generation gargoyles" howled in pain and turned into dust. Only The First One survived the lack of mental control. It flew to its master as soon as it could. And stood next to his chest, guarding it with his life... The Tremere Clan was once again without its' "muscle", and without a defender, so the Council of Seven decided to repeat the Antediluvian's ritual and create another Gargoyle. The ritual worked again, but the council noticed, that the created gargoyle was unable to create progeny and was far weaker than The First One. And that one person could control only one gargoyle a time. If the controller died or lost control over the creature (by falling into torpor or somthing like that, because they found themselves being unable to end the mental control), the Gargoyle turned into dust. So it the Tremere couldn't gain a potential army, at least after they found out, that no Tremere of the Eight Generation or higher (ninth, tenth, eleventh...) could create a Gargoyle. That was the end of the armies. But the birth of the Gargoyles.
The creation of a Gargoyle is well kept secret amongst the Tremere these days, and only the most powerful of the clan know how to do it..
Creating a Gargoyle Character As their history points out, the Gargoyles are infertile. They cannot embrace new vampires. This is mainly because their blood is a bit different than normal humans' vitae. If ingested, it causes the person drinking it mild nausea and if drunk in large qualities, a painful death from reasons unknown (some vampires think this is because of the Tzimisce blood used in the creation ritual). The only way to create a Gargoyle is to animate a stone statue by using the ritual involving the blood of a Tzimisce, the blood of a Nosferatu and the blood of the Tremere casting the ritual. The generation of the gargoyle-to-be depends on following factors:
- Of which generation the ritual's caster is. No vampire of 8th or higher generation is able to create a gargoyle, even by using Blood of Potency or similar means to raise the Generation temporarily. Add 2 to this number, that will be the generation of the new gargoyle (so a 5th generation Tremere creates a gargoyle, it can be of the 7th generation)
- The generation of the Tzimisce and the Nosferatu the blood is taken from
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 3rd to 5th generations, the gargoyle's generation will come from its master's generation like mentioned above
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 6th generation, gargoyle's generation becomes one higher (so 5th generation Tremere creates an 8th generation Gargoyle)
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 7th generation, gargoyle's generation becomes two higher (so 5th generation Tremere creates an 9th generation Gargoyle)
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 8th generation, gargoyle's generation becomes three higher (so 5th generation Tremere creates an 10th generation Gargoyle)
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 9th to 12th generation, gargoyle's generation becomes four higher (so 5th generation Tremere creates an 11th generation Gargoyle)
- If the weaker of the bloods is of 13th or higher generation, the ritual fails.
The gargoyle is blood-bound to its master and the Gargoyle will do whatever he says, usually without questions. The gargoyle can empathically sense, if its master needs its help (like The First One sensed Tremere's torpor). If the gargoyle's master dies, it dies the same instant. This restricts the playing of a gargoyle a bit, but also can make it very interesting. Especially if the chronicle is such, where players are playing elder characters, and one character happens to be a Tremere, who owns the gargoyle, who the other player is playing. But the mental link isn't one-way. If the gargoyle dies, the master will suffer great pains, and because of the magics that unbound upon the creature's death, he will take two points of damage because of the shock. It seems, that the only reason for a gargoyle to live is to serve its master.. A duty in which a gargoyle is unbeatable.
Nicknames: Blockheads or Stone-faces
Appearance: Gargoyles' appearance varies quite a bit, but to a human, they all seem like grotesque statues with repulsive appearance. They usually have a "demonic" appearance, with tiny horns and wings which grow as the gargoyle gains age. A young gargoyle has fragile and weak bat-like wings. They can fly at the speed of five miles / hour. For every 100 years they live, this speed increases by 5 mph. Their skin appears to be stone and becomes harded the older they grow (for every 200 years a gargoyle has lived, give it one extra soak dice).
Haven: Gargoyles maintain their havens just there, where their sire's hold their havens, usually at the Tremere Chantry (because usually the Tremere, who own gargoyles are at least regents). If a gargoyle is sent on a mission, it usually prefers gothic cathedrals where no-one notices a gargoyle statue. But these are extremely rare situations.
Backgrounds: A Gargoyle has the generation which comes from it's creator. A Gargoyle character who is new begins the game with no background whatsoever (we are talking about a piece of rock that has just been animated...)
Character Creation: A Gargoyle usually has Martyr or Sycopant nature and either a Bravo or Traditionalist demeanor. Their primary attributes are always Physical and Talents are primary abilities. As said earlier, Gargoyles begin the game with no background-picks.
Bloodline's Disciplines: Potence, Fortitude, Visceratika
Weaknesses: Gargoyles have appearance of zero. They are infertile. They die if their master dies. Because they are not normal vampires, they are unable to close the wounds they cause by their bites and because they have very different biochemistry from normal vampires, they are unable to commit diablerie
Advantages: Gargoyles are immune to mind-control of any sorts because their minds are artificial and already bid to servitude for their master. If they don't use blood on anything else, they use only one blood / week to sustain themselves. Their blood serves as a mild poison to mortals. If someone tries to commit a diablerie on a Gargoyle, and proceeds to the "soul-diablerie"-phase, the diablerie will fail and as the "soul" of the Gargoyle is sucked from its body, the diabolist takes two points of agravated damage because of the magical energies which create the "soul"...
Organization: One could easily imagine, that the bloodline has no organization and each one of them just serves his own master. This isn't true. The Gargoyles share the same blood and somehow each new Gargoyle is aware of others existance even if its Tremere master never tells it of the bloodline. As the tremeres all meet on tuesdays on their chantries, so will the gargoyles. The meetings of the tremere are so secretive that even Gargoyles aren't allowed to be there and during these meetings, the Gargoyles gather in a place that is either a node (a source of magical energy) or someplace near a place with a Faith rating (meaning there is something "divine" in it). These places are important to the gargoyles because of their magical nature. In a meeting the Gargoyles discuss the possible threats their masters might be facing and which are the best ways to deal with those threats. They never discuss their masters' secrets with each others because that would force the other gargoyles to tell it to their masters, which would harm the Tremere the facts are told about. Because of this race-link, a gargoyle will never, under any circumstances, attack another gargoyle, or another gargoyle's master, which would destroy a Tremere. This has unfortunately leads to that, that the Tremere who know how to create Gargoyles rarely pass on the secret. It makes easier to defend oneself from someone if you have a bodyguard who can attack the guy who is trying to kill you.
The Path of StoneThe Gargoyles' path of englightenment is basicly centered around their need to serve their masters the Tremere. A newborn Gargoyle will not be a True follower of this path until it has been in a meeting with the other Gargoyles, who teach the new creature who it is and what is its history. They tell it about their origins, how the First One was created by the Antediluvian and how it was ordered to breed. It will be told how the "Second Generation" helped the Tremere to survive and how it was because of their efforts the Gargoyle bloodline now exists. The new Gargoyle will be told about the downfall of the Tremere Antediluvian and how The First One still guards his sleeping body. And it is told about Gehenna, the time when the Antediluvians will rise... When Tremere will rise... and when The First One will rise.. And when Gehenna comes, the Gargoyles will all unite and bid their servitude to The First One.. And to Tremere himself. And after the Antediluvians have killed everyone else, the Gargoyles will remain. They are not human and not real vampires. They will survive.
To any Vampire who thinks about the ethics of a Gargoyle, finds it very simple "serve your master and be happy with it"-type thinking. But actually the Path is far more complex... The path's ethics are centered around the belief that the First One had the powers near to those of an Antediluvian and because he served the Tremere, so should all his "childes". They believe that the Tremere Antediluvian was something far more powerful than the other Antediluvians (The only worthy opponent was the Tzimisce Antediluvian, but he got himself killed, so he wasn't that powerful anyway) and that by serving him the Gargoyle race could achieve a greater sense of understandment. They seek to advance the Tremeres' plans the best way they can, because they believe that when the Tremeres' Pyramid of Power will be ready (when there will be 1 Antediluvian, 7 Councelors, 49 Pointifexes, 343 Lords, 2401 Regents and 16807 Apprentices), the Gehenna will come and the Tremere Antediluvian will awake from his Torpor, releasing The First One to unite his bloodline into a united force, serving under his rule, de-binding them from their former masters. They will be free when the time of Gehenna arrives. Then they will find out the truth about everything from their master, who has served the mightiest of the Antediluvians for a thousand years.
Even if the gargoyles seem like solidary creatures, the ethics of this path make them work together, if the security of the Tremeres is at stake. For example if a force (Sabbat, Witch-Hunter, Anarchs...) tries to destroy a Tremere chantry, and a gargoyle find out about it, he will tell it to his comrades as soon as possible, and then every gargoyle will tell this information to their masters, trying to get them to destroy the force, possibly by sending the Gargoyle to do it. This on the other hand might lead to a surprise on the behalf of the force. A flock of gargoyles is an impressive opponent by any standards.
The Gargoyles aren't afraid to die, because a Gargoyle bellieves that it will be reborn, if the same master who created it creates another one. So all that matters is to keep the master alive so that the gargoyle will live forever.
- Serve your master
- Serve the Clan Tremere
- Never destroy a gargoyle, we are too few anyway
- We are not humans nor vampires, we are something far more complex
- Never reveal your master's secrets
- Never reveal your bloodline's wish for Gehenna
- Death means nothing, your master will create you again, if he survives
- Manipulate your "sire" to create childes so the Pyramid can be complete
- The Sabbat tries to prevent Gehenna, they must be destroyed
- The Tzimisce are a mockery of our masters and their creations are a mockery of us, they all must be destroyed
The Hierarchy of Sins
10. Speaking to anyone outside Clan Tremere or Gargoyles 9. Not killing a creature who seeks to harm one's master (if the vampire is not Tremere) 8. Not attacking a Sabbat vampire at sight 7. Helping a Vampire who is not a Tremere or Gargoyle if master does not specifically order one to do it 6. Not showing up at the meetings of the bloodline more than twice a month 5. Unintentionally harming Clan Tremere 4. Not killing a vampire who attacks one's master 3. Intentionally harming Clan Tremere 2. Failing to protect one's master 1. Killing another Gargoyle unwillingly or willingly
As you can notice, the hierarchy of sins is very complicated, and in some situations, the Gargoyle character is bound to breaking it, no matter what they do. But this actually helps to understand the Gargoyle-way-of-thinking. Their minds are not actually human, and will break down very easily. For example a Tremere attacks the Gargoyles master. If the gargoyle defends his master and kills the Tremere, he is "Intentionally harming Clan Tremere". If he defends his master and does not kill the attacker the sin he is committing is "Not killing a vampire who attacks one's master". If on the other hand he does not defend his master, he is "Failing to protect one's master". So the Gargoyle probably will attack the Tremere and let the tremere to live (and even then his master might kill him)... And hope that he isn't drawn closer to the beast.
The Discipline of Visceratika The discipline presented in the Storyteller's Handbook is actually very functional. And when you think at it, most of the Gargoyles who are of the 7th Generation are living in Vienna and those of the 6th Generation live to defend the Central chantry. The powers they can use are quite impressive. And still people wonder, why the Assamite Elders keep failing in their attacks against the Central Chantry.
The World View of a GargoyleThe Camarilla
They are our masters' leaders, so we must obey their rules. At least make sure we don't get our masters into trouble by breaking them. It is good, that everyone is convinced Clan Tremere lost control of us somewhere during the late Dark Ages. We do not have to care about any of their laws if we don't want to.
They are a failed Tremere experiment. Some of them are still loyal to the Clan that created them, but most of them are just idiotic mercenaries. If one should ever cross the borders of my domain, I would first consult Emmanuelle, my Tremere primogen, and then have it destroyed...
- - Sir Douglas, Ventrue Prince of Birmingham
- Clan Brujah: The young ones are very interesting indeed. They rebel against the society with such passion I have never encountered before. They fight, until they die. Most princes don't like them, because they break their precious system. They have the passion to live, while they still can. The Elders however are stupid, trying to make the system fall from within. Both the old and the young usually have different goal than our masters, so we come face-to-face with them often. They are quite worthy fighters but frankly, all I've fought with, are now dead.
- Clan Gangrel: They are the best fighters I've met, and I'm glad they are so peaceful and do not seek to harm our masters. They turn into animals as the years go by, just as we become like stone. I guess that it reflects our inner selves...
- Clan Malkavian: They are nothing but fools and idiots. They are very unpredictable, so they must be watched more carefully than the other vampires of Camarilla. Simple as that.
- Clan Nosferatu: Great folk. They look worse than us and never try to harm our masters, at least in the open, physical, way...
- Clan Toreador: Well, I kinda understand them. They must make peoples' life worth living. Humans... Nothing more than humans, pretending to be Vampires...
- Clan Tremere: [Spoken with an admiring look in its eyes] Master.
- Clan Ventrue: Killed many of them. No good an opponent. Too bad, because I kill them a lot.
The SabbatYes, we know what they are. They are "The saviour of all vampires, who fight the evil antediluvians"... Yeah, sure. You ask me how I know that? Well, I have the blood of a Tzimisce in me. I know exactly what they think, don't I? Well. They are trying to save the world from the Antediluvians awakening, but that happens to be the goal we are attempting to do. For our sake, I hope they fail. And we must make sure they do. Kill at sight. Thank you.
The tool of the Antediluvians. They must die if they stand in our way.
- - Ritz, Lasombra Archbishop of Venice
- Clan Lasombra: They are much like the Ventrue with three exceptions. They are of the Sabbat. They are at least twice as tricky. And they put on a hell of a fight when attacked...
- Clan Tzimisce: The Enemy #1. As I said earlier they want to be just like our masters in every way, but they are much less-talented than them. They create monsters which should be worthy enough to oppose us. They all must die.
- Tremere Antitribu: The Enemy #2. They betrayed the Antediluvian. They will suffer.
The InconnuThey still hate our masters, because they happened to destroy Inconnu's role-model. They still hate our masters for that. If one should ever cross my path, I'd rip his heart out and be happy with it.
They are the tool of the Tremere. Unfortunately for them their numbers are few. I would like to see how the situation developes.
- - Stewart, London Monitor
- Setites: Garbage. They think they know something about corruption. Well let them look at the Tremeres for a while and think about what they are saying.
- Assamites: Worthy fighters, but they simply cannot let the past be forgotten. They still keep attacking us and our masters like hundreds of years ago.
- Ravnos: Kill on sight. They are anyway planning to harm our masters
- Giovanni: I have never crossed paths with one, and I'm glad, because I don't have the slightest clue how would I deal with one.
- Samedi: Well, they make a nice squishy-kinda-sound when you hit 'em really hard.
- Daughters of Cacophony: Crazy as any kooks, artistic as the Toreador.