Known Carthians in Knoxville
• The Carthians are modern. Although the seeds of the Carthian Movement may go back to the likes of Martin Luther and the French Revolution, the Carthian Movement’s distinct history begins in the 1800s with the radical thinkers who led to (or created outright) the likes of Marxism, Stalinism, modern capitalism and so forth. The old nights of the Carthians were bohemian, with cafes and absinthe and art nouveau and the genuine Black Hand and all that. The Carthian Movement makes its big rise not with the founding of America but with the shattering of Europe in the Great War. The Carthians picked up a lot of pieces, climbed up on rubble and rushed in to fill vacuums formed by destroyed and torpid Invictus and other Kindred. Certainly, the Carthians look back on the likes of Jefferson and Franklin for inspiration, but those people weren’t vampires, weren’t manipulated by vampires and weren’t the initial inspiration for the Carthians. The philosophical crucible of industrialized Europe and a million sudden, tragic opportunities made the gardens where the Carthian seed bore fruit. This notion of modernism spreads into Carthian art and style, as well.
• The Carthians explore mortal ideas. The Carthians adopt human social and philosophical constructs into Kindred society. Other covenants certainly do it, too, but the Carthians actively do it. They strive to do it well, to select the finest in forward thought and create a society better than that which mortals can hope for. Some Carthians look at this through the lens of reason: vampires carthians 13 have fewer needs, fewer variables and undergo fewer changes over time, so creating a strong and excellent society of monsters that could never survive with withering, less predictable mortals should be possible. Other Carthians look at this through the lens of passion: vampires are superior to mortals, and Kindred should strive to prove it. The Kindred see the ages go by, learn from mortal mistakes in ways that mortals never can and influence human existence in a way that mortals don’t reciprocate. Namely, the Kindred get to choose their trends in ways that normal people don’t, because vampires participate in mortal society through voluntary action rather than necessity. In practice, this means that Carthians tend to feel more like archetypal neonates, even when the Carthians are older. Carthians may not keep up with mortal trends, but they don’t really think of themselves as being too good for mortal ways. As mortal society moves forward, the Carthians
follow behind it like cultural buzzards, feeding off the herd. Indeed, the Carthians use technology. Carthians use CDs, MP3 recordings of their own voices and desktop publishing to get things done. Storytellers and eager players, be careful with this. Carthians might have meetings over the phone, but that keeps characters apart (which is bad for roleplaying). Likewise, the Carthians are big believers in the Masquerade, because that veil between them and humanity is part of what makes them able to perform their social experiment — they don’t have to worry about including anyone they don’t want.
• The Carthian Movement is secular. The great experiment of the Carthians is political and secular, but not all Carthians are. You’ll see that the Carthian Movement isn’t inherently opposed to the Lancea Sanctum or the Circle of the Crone. The Carthian Movement might pair with either covenant in some domains. It’s possible that this same secular attitude could pair the Carthians against the Sanctified or the Acolytes in a domain that’s undergoing a holy war. What’s important to remember here, though, is that a Carthian vampire is seldom just a Carthian. It’s not as if he dwells in the Carthian Castle on Mount Marx in Democracyville. Carthians attend Sanctified masses and Crone ceremonies; they visit with Dragons and associate with the Invictus during debates and conferences in some Elysiums. Not always, sure, and not in all domains, but remember that this is not a game of five covenants forever enduring one another’s company. This is the Danse Macabre.
• The Carthians come from, and influence, all walks. The Carthians are not the young whelps in the war of ages. They aren’t (always) bomb-tossing, anarchist weirdbeards. They’re liberal thinkers and political experimenters, but they aren’t all young. Think about 300-year-old Mekhet who join their ranks, to whatever extent. Think of vampires who wake up from the distant past and find the Carthian Movement to their liking. The covenants are archetypes more than stereotypes, and you’ll witness why they’re archetypes by which your troupe can explore the whole game world, not clubhouses where only certain activities are scheduled.
The Night Doctors (position)
Secretive even by Kindred standards, the Night Doctors began as a small Michigan faction but have spread erratically through the United States and beyond. Much as the Ku Klux Klan, when operating before others the Night Doctors conceal their identities, wearing full surgical gear with masks and referring to each other by the title “doctor” and an initial. Position: Understanding the physiology of the Kindred is the key to alleviating the burdens of the condition without recourse to other occult energies, which inevitably come with their own complications.
The Night Doctors (Mission)
Meeting in hospitals and med school classrooms, referring to one another by monikers such as “Dr. F” and “Dr. N,” the Night Doctors contain a high percentage of actual MDs. Other members are Embraced nurses, physical therapists and biologists. A meaningful percentage of Night Doctors had no medical training as mortals, but commenced studies during their Requiem. Mission: Unlock the secrets of Kindred biology (which some Night Doctor cells refer to as “thanatology” or even “demi-thanatology” to differentiate between studies on the living) through experiments with Vitae, Kindred, ghouls and, occasionally, mortals as well. Some Night Doctor coteries maintain mortal medical ethics, which forbid experimentation without informed consent from the test subject. For most unlife in the carthian movement coteries, however, the value of the knowledge outweighs the importance of one Requiem. Particularly if it’s the Requiem of someone from a rival covenant.
The Final Civilization (position)
Outlawed in several cities, dominant in none, hidden wherever its coteries exist, the Final Citizens have charted a course so radical that it merges with or surpasses some of the tenets of conservative vampires in all factions. Position: It is feasible to destroy the Masquerade and rule humankind openly, if proper precautions are taken.
The Final Civilization (Mission)
Resembling nothing so much as Fascist survivalists, Final Citizens break Kindred tradition by often developing retreats away from cities and stockpiling weapons and valuables there in preparation for the upheaval by which they intend to overthrow humanity. Connected through couriers, the Internet and anonymous pamphlets, the Final Citizens constantly discuss and investigate methods of controlling large numbers of humans — what the Final Citizens refer to as “überherds.” Mission: Run feasibility studies on how many ghouls a single Kindred can support. Research methods of using social control Disciplines over broadcast media. Prepare for conflict. Study the effect of radiation on Kindred and the effects of feeding from irradiated vessels. Acquire nuclear weapons.
More an ideal or a philosophy than an organized faction, Humanists seek closer ties to the living in order to preserve the values of personal humanity. Some Humanists (mostly neonates) are simply in denial of their nature, but others understand the Beast and still seek to mitigate its needs and urges by dressing similar to, behaving as and communicating with ordinary mortal people. Instead of denying their condition, they defy it. Position: It is possible and desirable to maintain human relationships after the Embrace without violating the Masquerade.
Humanists tend to remain on the fringes of the Danse Macabre, as their interest is in the living, not the dead. While Humanists can maintain contact with beloved mortals for some time — possibly years or even decades, if the mortals are gullible or mentally impaired — most Humanists are ultimately doomed to out-age parents, then former spouses and siblings, then children. Unless the Kindred are eliminated early by sun, stake or starvation. Or unless those precious mortals are discovered by vampire rivals. Mission: Walk the walk by retaining contact with living relatives, friends and loved ones. Develop strategies for preserving the Masquerade during said contact. Prepare containment plans in case of unexpected information leakage. Build psychological bulwarks against frenzy. Create an infrastructure of fellow Humanist Kindred to maintain the ruse.
The Conscionauts (position)
Possibly a splinter off the Night Doctors, the Conscionauts focus on the mental aspects of the vampire curse, rather than the physical. Neither as secretive nor as feared as the Night Doctors, the unlife in the carthian movement Conscionauts move openly within Kindred society, propagating their ideas and exchanging their theories and data with other Carthians and even open-minded researchers from other covenants. Position: The key to the mysteries of the Kindred state are in the mind, not the body. While the power of the Disciplines blurs the line between mind and matter, mind is clearly dominant and directive. Furthermore, old psychiatric modalities do not apply to the Beast/Man consciousness of the Kindred. New studies are needed.
The Conscionauts (Mission)
Unlike the Night Doctors, from whom the Conscionauts (possibly) sprang, the Conscionauts can
identify themselves openly and perform their experiments with far fewer terminal results (though, you know, shit happens). Many Conscionauts do resemble their possible progenitors in their cavalier attitude toward ethics, especially as regards the question of unwilling or unknowing test subjects. (Indeed, if the Beast truly is the separate entity it sometimes seems, there can be no question of obtaining its consent for experiments.) Many Conscionauts were psychologists or psychologists in life, and retain a penchant for short facial hair and comforting fuzzy sweaters. Just as many were in therapy or in recovery programs. Telling the former doctors and former patients apart can be very
difficult — indeed, there are some Conscionauts who’ve been both. Mission: Perform psychiatric experiments to model and predict the behavior of the Beast, as well as tests on the limitations and therapeutic potential of mind-altering Disciplines such as Dominate, Nightmare and Majesty.
Radical Collective Coteries (position)
There is no one uniform for such coteries, but members of an RCC (as they’re called in brief) typically dress alike, based on the style of their Requiem. Some RCCs have members garbed in hip-hop fashion. Others adopt corporate couture because they’re operating in a corporate climate. Some can be found in the nondescript clothing of manual laborers, because that’s just what they are. RCCs often hold supplemental positions, as Radical Collectivism is more of an organizing principle than a political or religious dogma. Radical Collectivism still grows out of a core of belief, however. Position: Kindred function most rationally with forethought and collective checks and balances. This is as true for personal goals as with more typical group goals. It’s well worth sacrificing some privacy and personal autonomy for psychological and physical support when the unique challenges of being undead arise.
Radical Collective Coteries (Mission)
RCCs typically maintain a joint haven, called a ‘hub,’ where they plan out feeding operations and any additional missions arising from other beliefs. A communist RCC, for example, might invite proletarians to their hub, so that the coterie can raise the proletarians’ consciousness (subtly at first, but more intensely later — probably with Disciplines). A Christian RCC would behave more like a monastery, possibly with a priest hearing confession and leading periodic prayers. All types of RCCs tend toward highly scheduled and disciplined Requiems, the better to keep the Beast under control and the better to allow the members to help one another keep it leashed. With almost no exceptions, feeding is forbidden at the hub. Some RCCs maintain a separate feeding/disposal site, typically far from the hub. You don’t eat where you sleep, after all. Mission: Help your coterie-mates. Develop increasingly secure feed methods. Bare your souls frequently in order to foster trust. Keep an eye on the others for signs of frenzy. Try to stay out of frenzy-inducing situations, with their help.
The most extreme expression of RCC philosophy, Hive coteries don’t dress similarly, but identically. They don’t work together, they fuse their consciousness as much as they’re able, through Auspex, Telepathy, Vinculums, Dominate and plain old psychological conditioning. Hive coteries are rare, but when they enter Elysium in casual lock-step and make unrehearsed comments in perfect unison, they’re hard to ignore. Position: Adding one Beast to another does not strengthen the Beast. Adding one human mind to another permits the minds to cooperate. Therefore, assimilation suppresses undesirable impulses.
Some Hives maintain a hub, while others use a series of individual havens, usually ones in close proximity. The theory is that if a single component (they call themselves “components” or “hivers” — “drone” is insulting to most English-speaking Hives) is attacked, the others can come to the rescue from a position of strength, instead of being compromised simultaneously. If it’s an attack about which they can do nothing, on the other hand, they’re not stuck at ground zero. Hives without telepathy most commonly behave like RCCs, but once the link is established the components can move individually without disconnect. (Some try and make do with hands-free radios or cell phones.) Their goals are the same as any Kindred — feed, be safe, possibly advance a power agenda — but all moves are made without personal ambition or weakness, and they’re always perfectly coordinated. Mission: Maintain the Hive Vinculum. Suppress individuality. Reach concord on all matters. Study the other components and collectively agree on which personality traits unlife in the carthian movement 6
should become dominant for all components. Suppress your own non-dominant personality elements. Develop the telepathy needed for true communion. Once that’s done, feed and protect the vampire who maintains the link.
Zen Carthianism (position)
The most serious proponents of Zen Carthianism shave their heads, and wear white or saffron robes, adopting the appearance of Buddhist monks. Less devoted members may just stick to simple and unassuming garb (probably from Old Navy) with maybe an OM pendant. Some Zen Carthians espouse other Buddhist positions, though in this position’s case pacifism tends to boil down to limiting the damage the adherents do. Other Zen Carthians more closely resemble the Zen samurai of Japanese history, who pursued mental focus only as a means to ensure loyalty and efficiency. Position: Meditation for selfcontrol is an essential tool in the struggle to make one’s Requiem tenable.
Zen Carthianism (Mission)
Most people consider meditation a private and personal matter, and that’s exactly how they pursue it. Zen Carthians tend to pursue mass meditation, usually as early in the evening as they can schedule it. To this end, they maintain their own community meditation chambers, often in plain sight and with no disguise. (That is, they don’t disguise that it’s a zen meditation center or zendo. They disguise their natures just as all Kindred.) They strictly forbid feeding near the center and uphold the Masquerade there with far greater strictness than usual, often going so far as to chase away Kindred who don’t meditate. Mortals who want to come and seek enlightenment are permitted in, but they rarely last long: trying to seek inner peace in a room full of vampires is damn near impossible, even for people who don’t consciously recognize the killers surrounding them. Mission: Maintain and protect the center. Meditate nightly. Increase the skill and intensity of one’s focus.
Kick over a Carthian rally and the factions spill out like ants from a hill. There are sects, sub-sects, conspiracies, allegiances, covert action directorates, committees, sub-committees, pressure groups and, most common of all, casual groups united by common need or interest. The number of groups within the local Carthian population rarely exceeds the actual membership, but given the Carthian tendency to belong to several non-exclusive ideologies at once, it’s not actually impossible. Carthians might belong to a religious group, another group pursuing a specific political goal and a third group that just likes the same cultural consumables.
The Individualists, The Collectivists, The middle of the road, The Bodhisatcracy
The Carthian Atheism, The Sabotage Artists, The Anti-Obstructionist Army
The Oppositionists, The Paranormal Phenomena Investigation Cadres
Clan Roles Within the Movement
In almost all cases, the role of a Carthian citizen is determined by her individual ability, not her ancestry.
Observers, Scholars, Police, Leaders, Orators, Crowd-Pullers, Negotiators, Defenders, Scarecrows, Terrorists, Messengers, Decoys, Assassins, Explorers, Spies, Teachers
Soldiers, Guards, Protestors