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“God is mysterious, but hell is efficient and lingers; inescapable, inhaling and exhaling in that darkness when your eyelids seal.”

In the end times, the Eldest will gather the Clan unto itself, sparing only those whose talent has the strength to stand on its own without depending upon the master’s brush to complete its work. So say the Old Clan. To them, Vicissitude is a crutch preventing true enlightenment; a cheat bypassing genuine comprehension of the intricate frailties of living matter; a crude tool lulling one to lassitude as a lover’s delicately-sighed assistance encourages co-dependent reliance upon him. The Eldest gave the Clan Vicissitude in order to separate the wheat from the chaff by design; through the ease it provides, the perfect tool weakens the skill of the artist and the art. The Tzimisce have grown brittle, pathetic, homogenous, uncreative, unsophisticated, and inferior.

Their obsessive, crippling addiction to Vicissitude stunts their growth in diminishment of the Clan. The fools cannot see to grasp their birthright, for fear of dropping the bottle. According to Old Clan lore, before Enoch was swept from the firmament by the wrath the Deluge wrought, the Eldest, in his wandering, found a well. Around the well he found a city in veneration to entities who, like he, enshrouded themselves in the bowels of the earth, possessed of a horrific grace rivaling his own. The city’s kine cried out in forbidden tongues against him, but the language therein supplied only succor and soothed the Eldest. Their rituals he found wanting, their depravities and atrocities no more than children dressing in the cloth of their parents’ emulation. He educated them, and was in turn enlightened.

Infused with this new wisdom, the Old Clan guided by the Eldest bored deeply into the heart of the Carpathians; there the Eldest caged, bound, and tamed the demon Kupala, crucifying the spirit to the Clan and shackling it to his will. Cleverly, by intent of the Eldest, the demon found purchase in the Antediluvian and spread itself through his blood — only the Old Clan was spared the indignity. Taking their cues from the master with fervor, they researched, catalogued, and subjugated Hell’s minions. Applying the awareness gleaned from dissecting the plucked fruit from the Qlippothic tree to elevate their crafts, careful never to imbibe the bitter juice it offered, inevitably their studies crossed paths with the Molochim, and the two entwined like lovers long lost.

In the eyes of the Old Clan, their kinsmen have not the clarity of vision to see the lesson of the master, adrift in bowed supplication to the manipulations of his pet, Kupala. They are the medium exercising the Eldest’s own grand and beautiful project. They are not his students; they are his art, blind to their true purpose, and unworthy of his teachings. It is the Tzimisce’s dominion to rule, not to serve. The Tzimisce are the seeds of Caine the farmer planted in the Earth, and each Tzimisce must carve themselves into their land, individually.

All Clans have their place in the pecking order: the Ventrue gardeners guide the kine, the Lasombra shepherd Caine’s get, and the Tzimisce, by right, are the land and rule it — all who tread upon it belong to them. Hell and all divine fugitives, from Namtaru’s fallen to the outcast kine of Eden and Caine’s cursed children, are broken only to render them a better bend before the Tzimisce.

Over the course of millennia, the Old Clan has silently borne witness to the single greatest failing of their decadent, Vicissitude-laden Clansmen: hypocrisy. For all their pontificated cawing about evolution, they cannot adapt. Their desperate clinging to staid pantomime, ceremony, and the tradition of the Voivodate nearly destroyed them in their war with the Tremere. Following that, their antiquated values found no shelter from the modernizing world around them. Their fiefdoms no longer protected them from the constant progressive fury of the kine’s flowering scientific expansions. The superstitious fear they had erected their kingdoms upon were walls made of sand when faced with the wonders of the steam engine, the telephone, and the computer. Thrust out by an inferno of irony they could not contain, the Tzimisce are now the ones naked, hiding, and afraid of the kine. The Old Clan smile when reflecting on the poetic symmetry in the Eldest’s ever-blossoming composition.

Relations between Tzimisce are inadvertently held together by a loose confederation of independent Eastern European Old Clan Tzimisce adhering to the Tradition of Hospitality in an effort to combine their forces to form the Oradea League in opposition to the Sabbat. The Old Clan pity the main Clan, recognizing them as vessels of the Eldest and not individuals in their own right — speaking at them, rather than to them in meetings, regarding any interactions as a means of direct communication with the Eldest.

As the central core of the Order of Moloch, the Old Clan carry on the Eldest’s example, spending the bulk of their time and enormous resources on the capturing and enslavement of demonic entities and the hunting and destroying of infernal Cainites for the Tal’Mahe’Ra.

Old Clan Tzimisce are facilitators who lead and command by example, taking no interest in political games or maneuverings and ignoring “official” designated roles in their dealings with others. Many would see their lack of respect for established bureaucracies as shortsighted, ego-driven, and stemming from an impractical nature with no appreciation for structure. Quite the opposite is true; their lack of care in contrived hierarchies is an arrogance derived out of inability to see anything for them to respect. Titles are words: calling a duck a chicken does not grant it the ability to cluck. The Old Clan, in essence, is above such concerns. Leaders lead because it is intrinsic to their being, it is what they do, and it is no more a matter of choice than instinct.

Stereotypes

Bahari: The dissonance in the gravitas of your comprehension does not mean it is not so. Any fool can know, and those who know, do. The point is to understand. Those that understand, teach.

Harbingers of Skulls: Gratitude is the key to unlocking all doors.

Nergali: We know who controls the Ivory Tower. A sewer drain rejects nothing and accepts everything.

Order of Moloch: The housekeeper’s irony: others notice only when it is not done.

Tal’Mahe’Ra: It is important for the left hand to know what the right hand is doing. Always bite the hand that feeds you and extend it to the other.

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