Covenants

The Invictus

The rulers of Southern California, and its most powerful covenant. The Invictus had existed in San Diego since the Presidio was founded in 1769, but that was the northern boundary of their territory, and no-one ventured into the sparsely settled coastal areas to the north. For almost a hundred years, the understanding between the San Diego Invictus and the witch tribes of Los Angeles was that the Invictus would not venture north, and the Circle would not kill the Invictus lords if they did not venture north.

When J. Frederick Owens arrived in San Diego in 1876, he could not understand why this arrangement was allowed to stand. Who were the witches compared to the Unconquered? Los Angeles was hardly a wilderness, he told the Prince; for heaven’s sake, California had been a State for almost a quarter of a century. Owens was invited to investigate the situation for himself, and he left the next night with a band of followers. Among his traveling companions were the young Mekhet ancilla W. Kingsland Bailey, and the devout and powerful Theban sorcerer Frans Widmark.

Owens and his fellows arrived in the dusty little city a week later, and were almost immediately set upon by Circle witches, and the foul monsters they kept company with. At the future site of the US Bank Tower, built more than a century later, Owens slew a nameless, eyeless blood sorcery abomination. Only he, Bailey, and Widmark survived the initial few weeks of skirmishes, but he sent back word to San Diego that he had subdued the worst of the resistance, and ambitious and greedy Invictus lords swept north, eager to secure favors in Owen’s newly established Court. Following close behind were the Lancea Sanctum, San Diego traditionalists who were more than happy to drive the witches out of the Basin and into the sea and forests.

The new Court did not have to wait long before American industry brought fresh hordes of kine to rule over. Growing like a plant newly transferred to more fertile soil, the Invictus Court embarked on a century-long campaign of expansion and conquest. Old witch tribes, fiends and monsters, and even smaller Courts that had tried to establish themselves a ways away from Los Angeles were subdued and brought into the fold. All the while, people and money poured into the city, and the lords made easy sport of siphoning off their share.

By 1900, Los Angeles had a population of 102,000. Prince Owens did not survive to see the number soar higher. A rival whose name was subsequently stricken from city records killed him in a duel in 1911, and for a year the Court staggered after its master’s death. Into the vacuum stepped W. Kingsland Bailey, Owens’s friend and Sheriff. His first act as newly-crowned Prince was to kill the nameless rival in a duel. His second act was to restart the campaigns of conquest. By 1930, Los Angeles had one million people living in it.

Now, in 2014, the Brilliant Court of Los Angeles is just that: shining, well-run, and prosperous. Prince Bailey has extended his city’s domain over an unheard amount of territory, encompassing almost twenty million mortals and dozens of towns and sub-cities. Santa Barbara, once a rising independent Court, is now nothing more than the spring capital of Los Angeles’s lords, a month-long vacation for elders and their retinues. Orange County is now well in the Court’s grasp, almost thirty years after the successful war that toppled its small Court. Ventura County, Palmdale, the San Fernando Valley: all pay tribute to the Brilliant Court, and all yearn for a chance to distinguish themselves in the glittering halls of its Elysiums.

The Carthian Movement

Non-existent. Routed. Certainly not allowed to exist in the open in Los Angeles, by decree of the Prince. Any prominent members in the LA chapter have moved on, either north to the mysterious revolutionary promise of the Bay Republic, or east on the dusty, empty highways leading into the deserts. Orange County was never an especially fertile recruiting ground for the Movement in its 60s and 70s heyday. Even when Invictus lords and ladies weren’t safe in Los Angeles Elysiums without an armed guard for a bad two-year stretch in the early 70s, the Orange chapter was both much smaller and less militant. Its leaders decamped entirely after the war when they saw what life would be like under the rule of the Brilliant Court.

Tonight, the Carthian revolutionaries in LA and the Orange territories are divided into three groups. The first are the quiet, subtle, fanatical agents of the Republic, sent south to spy and subvert. The second are the tiny handful of original Carthian ancillae, who have been smart and discreet enough to avoid notice by the authorities. The third are the neonates naive or romantic enough to imagine they’ll be the ones to build an organization strong enough to topple the existing order. They exist for as long as it takes to have their delusions crushed (figuratively, except in the few unfortunate cases someone was stupid enough to voice their opinions in a public forum), or until they’re offered a steady stream of blood and a position of power in the retinue of some Invictus higher-up.

If you’re still interested, maybe see who has Rose Cha’s number. Or her friend, Phan Hai Sang. They’re pretty eager, and more able than most. Something about ghouls, maybe? If you really want to talk to somebody in charge, you’ll want __________ __________________ and ______ _________________. Good people to know, but still a little paranoid about who they’re seen with.

The Lancea Sanctum

“I cannot speak for long. I know you are all familiar with John 3:16, so I will speak to that. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ I know you may see this and despair. For you have perished, but God’s Kingdom remains out of your reach, despite your true and sincere faith. But to despair is to simply misunderstand. The Holy Bible is the immutable word of God, and He does not lie. You ask Him, ‘Where is my reward for my faith and my works? Where is my paradise after death?’ And when there is no answer, just as when there was no answer thousands of years ago, we become bitter. In our bitterness we did not hear God. Because if we had listened, we would have realized that He has rewarded us, with not only one eternity in which we are joined with Him, but two,1.

The leaders of this church call this simple faith blasphemy, and have invited me to Imperial Beach tonight, in one hour, to talk. Of course, I know that they do not mean to debate theology with me. They mean to kill me as soon as I arrive2, because the years of ignoring God’s will have so deformed their souls that they could recognize a true follower of Jesus Christ if she stood up and started speaking, as I have. I will go, however, because I do not have any fear left in my soul for them or anyone else. I have not felt fear since I swore to my belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ ten years ago3.

I may die tonight, for the last time. But this would bring me relief! Don’t look shocked. I would be relieved to know my duties are over, and to go to my eternal reward. I cannot be disappointed tonight. If I die, then I will be joyous. If I survive, then I will be joyous twice over. The immortality granted to us by means most foul is redeemed in the Blood and in our good works, and if it is extended any further than tonight I will continue to worship Him through faith and deeds.

I want to say to you one last time before I leave for Imperial Beach: it is not even a matter of remembering the things that bring you strength and peace tonight. You cannot have forgotten them, as long as you hear God. You cannot forget that the cruelty preached by our Bishops is the foulest perversion of Christ’s love imaginable by those of us in this condition, because you have felt that cruelty on your flesh, and you feel God’s love rejecting that cruelty in your heart. You cannot forget the hypocrisies of our Bishops when they break our own Testaments in the name of material convenience, because you have heard these hypocrisies held up as equal to holy scripture, and you feel God’s wisdom in your heart, rejecting those hypocrisies4. You cannot forget the evil of blood slavery, because you have all witnessed the crimes carried out on its victims, and you feel God’s righteous anger filling you at the sight of human beings degraded and destroyed.

I go to Imperial Beach tonight in a state of complete serenity. I know some of you have started calling me a “saint.” I wish you wouldn’t, even as a joke. I am someone who has felt God, and read God’s words, and heard God telling me how to live my extended life. This is something each and every one of you is capable of, if you open your soul to kindness and mercy. This is not a heresy, and I am not its leader: it is scripture and the Sermon on the Mount, and Christ is its author. God will pass judgment on my actions. Whatever end I meet tonight, I will be happy knowing that I am carrying out God’s plan. That is all I wanted to say. Please join me in the Lord’s Prayer."5

- ‘Remarks on December 28th, 2011 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, San Diego’, excerpted from Teachings: The Living Saint’s Words (2013)

1. I enclose this excerpt and my hurried annotations as an answer to your earlier question. Now you can see just what it is we’re dealing with down here. From the very start, she is incorrect. The Requiem is not a blessing from God, but a selective, necessary, and constructive Damnation. If the opposite were true, we would not feel the tug of the Beast affirming our most predatory instincts. It is because of the Beast that we know we are damned! The sheep is not driven to rage and slaughter! But the wolf is, and by God’s hidden hand.

2. This is simply slander of a good man and a good Christian. Bishop Rodriguez was not a gentle man, but he was fair and honest in his dealings, and it is beyond belief that he or his subordinates would knowingly lie to a member of his congregation. The Carmelite accounts of the Imperial Beach events are obvious fabrications, and I believe it is clear he was assassinated by the Carmelites merely for showing a surfeit of good faith.

3. Bishop Widmark and Bishop Gorse are a combined two hundred and twenty-three years old, and have been considering the questions of Faith and Righteousness for most of those years. It should occur to this person that after such a long period of gathering wisdom, they are both firm in their orthodoxy. They are stern and unbending for a reason.

4. This is nonsense. Was Longinus a hypocrite? Was the Monarchus a hypocrite! Yes! This has never been denied, and their misdeeds and strayings have not been covered up. It is because they were ultimately carrying out God’s will that their hypocrisies and sins were forgiven. Service to God is the water we wash our fouled hands in. Judas fulfilled his destiny of damnation, and so do we. Yet both are holy in nature, because God has chosen us to be damned!

5. Repetition is no substitute for wit or true eloquence. It is privately satisfying to see that her rhetoric is as wretched as her theology.

I apologize if any of this upsets you. I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of reading more of the scraps we pick up from Carmelites we suspend. “Know your enemy” is Sun-Tzu, not scripture.

Your obt svt
Z. Morse

The Circle of the Crone

The Invictus like to pretend that there was nothing here except a few missions and some goat farmers before they arrived with railroads and oil crews and money and people. What they don’t mention in their parties and balls is that vampires have existed in Southern California since the first people settled here thousands of years ago. And before that, probably. They drove the natives and the witches out of the basin, and then out of the foothills. They took us, the only ones who had any real understanding of vampirism, and shoved us into the woods, the desert, and the sea.

That was their mistake. We have flourished here. We share the places they’re too scared to travel with beings like us. Real monsters, not the ones who dress up like a priest or a king and hold little courts in skyscrapers. In the forests, we commune. In the deserts, we fight. In the sea, we explore. They will tell you that they have conquered this place. They won’t even travel to Catalina anymore. Tell them that we said to boast of their conquests while they stand in Black Star Canyon at night. See what happens to your lords.

They don’t pay even pay attention to us. It’s their mistake, because some others are, and they see the value of what we know. The northerners are liberated in mind, and we are liberated in spirit. Soon we’ll see who is conquered, and who is dead.

The Ordo Dracul

I’m sorry, who? I’m certain I don’t have any idea what you’re referring to. No, I can’t help you. Ignore this section. Goodbye.

You’re still reading? Fine! Take this.

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Split and reconfigure by twos. If you can’t solve this, you shouldn’t bother to inquire further.

Covenants

Orange & Red Tatankatonk