Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Unusual Ordo Dracul Coterie

This article sprang off from this major article so if you'd like to see more articles on Vampire: the Requiem, Changeling: the Lost or my Tatters of the King conversion, please take a look over there.

Once upon a time, there were three kindred neonates who formed a coterie based around investigating wyrm’s nests for the Ordo Dracul.  These three kindred were Elizabeth White (Ventrue), Edward Burton (Gangrel), and Joy Tyler (Daeva).  They were a curious little bunch and they consistently poked their noses into places they shouldn't. 

One day in 1867 Joy Tyler came across a thief who was after the same reliquary.  There began a cat and mouse game which led to Joy finding the thief, Kelly Sanders, in a coffee shop.  The two sat down to tea, which was surprisingly amusing to them as it was meant to be a coffee shop but as it was in London most of the customers were after tea.

Kelly admitted that she was a thief but she had to steal what she did because there was a terrible menace scourging London and she just had to stop them.  Something in London had lured the True Fae from Arcadia so that their incursions were more frequent.  Something had to be done about this and perhaps the kindred could help.  The Ordo Dracul were nothing if not occultists.

Joy Tyler was both curious and proud of this line of reasoning.  If her coterie were the first to set up a treaty with the Changelings, why, that would be an immense accomplishment.  Unfortunately, the price to be paid for dealing with this motley of Changelings was great ... silence.  Utter silence.  They would be allowed to see Changelings and they could assist in the investigation and hopeful destruction of the terrible lure, doubtless gaining much occult knowledge in the meantime, but they could never speak of it to any member of the kindred court.

Edward was eager to see this mysterious Hedge, having read many fairy tales as a little one, though he wasn’t so sure of taking a pledge.  Elizabeth White was also reticent although she made the agreement for a single year, reasoning that wasn’t too long a time to check her options.  During that year, they drew the ire of the Hunter & The Hounds and Elizabeth’s favoured ghoul was stolen away from her.

Rather than backing away in fear for their Requiem, the coterie cleaved closer to the motley.  Neither were in a very good position.  The London court was notoriously cut-throat and paranoia was a pretty good idea when dealing with such an old yet changing court.  So long as one changeling was willing to listen to them pledge to each other, they could be granted assurances that they wouldn’t screw each other over.  This seemed like a pretty good deal at the time.  Of course, the price for this was to swear to the motley a decade long pledge that is, for all intents and purposes, the Good Neighbours pledge.

And that is how it began.

Now the coterie has lost two members and gain five more.  They run an asylum to assist schizophrenics and others with delusional disorders, using studies in psychology as part of their own Great Work, while simultaneously working to find methods to lessen derangements.  They have even found some strange combination between a person’s moral compass and the mental anguish that may lead to disorders.

They own a windowless asylum built within an old aircraft factory in London that has a mirror within the hedge that appears more run down and within which they can provide strange locks that operate on dream logic and bizarre encounters.  This asylum is used for both regular patients and for the occasional student attempting to learn coils.  They did try to figure out how one could teach coils through dreams but soon discarded that idea as the Beast is ever so cruel and ever so skilled at permeating dreams.  So instead they rely on a Hollow controlled by the motley and experiment with strange Hedge Fruits upon the occasional vampire slave (Ordo Dracul term for a member who has yet to learn any coils).

In exchange for a quicker route to Coils (though sometimes the results go terribly wrong), they have been granted more flexibility within the Ordo Dracul, greater access to resources, and heightened status.  They also have invented a new coil that they're keeping quiet about as they can't explain the full details of their studies.  Of course, the kindred do wish to know more about their studies and those that ask are shown the windowless asylum (though not the Hedge version) and are told tales of hypnotherapy, Dominate and Wilhelm Wintringham’s bloodline abilities that make sense on the surface.  Thus far they've managed to keep the changelings a secret.

Still, it’s only a matter of time before someone else finds out.  A few (such as the London Ladder Sworn) already have, though thus far they are content with the situation.


  • Wilhelm Wintringham.  Ventrue.  Hope / Greed.  Embraced in 1862.  Custom bloodline whose weakness leads to greater stagnation, hence why he is seen in Victorian clothing.  Humanity 8.  Sworn of the Dying Light.  He will probably join the Sworn of the Ladder when he turns 200 as they have already found him intriguing.  He is the Director of the Asylum.

  • Joy Tyler.  Daeva.  Prudence / Wrath.  Embraced in 1805.  Bloodline is a variant on the Zelani.  Humanity 7 (varies).  Sworn of the Dying Light.  She provides political clout in the court.

  •   Molly Hendricks.  Daeva.  Faith / Lust.  Embraced in 1922.  Humanity 6.  She was sent to spy on them by her sire who died during the Blitz.  She learned too much, was made to forget it, but then figured it out again and so they allowed her to join the coterie.  She is surprisingly fanatical about their aims.  Her role is generally to ensure that any kindred being taught coils don’t kill any of the other patients.  Her ghoul, Sunderland, works as an orderly in the asylum.
  •  Richard Schafer.  Ventrue.  Temperance / Lust.  Embrace in 1914.  Humanity 6.  He is the Dominate whizz of the bunch and functions as a Castellan by keeping an eye on the place.  He is the one who figures out the locks and psychological trials alongside Wilhelm.
  •  Harry Wilks.  Gangrel.  Prudence / Greed.  Aged 14 at age of Embrace.  Joan is his sister.  He was turned into a larvae (sub-vampire) twenty nine years ago by an Ordo Dracul who was destroyed during the Blitz.  He was found eight years ago and the coterie took responsibility for him, keeping him well-fed in order to study him.  During this time, his Beast became whole as he gained a measure of Blood Potency.  Due to this, he spontaneously become a true vampire (after twenty five odd years of being a larvae).  He is quiet and cautious and doesn’t know what he wants to do in his unlife.  He has the first tier of the Coil of the Core, which was probably not a good idea.
  • Joan Wilks.  Gangrel.  Temperance / Gluttony.  Aged 8 at date of Embrace.  Harry’s sister.   She has the same back history as Harry.  The Circle of the Crone wish to draw her into their ranks as they find special significance in her young age of Embrace and her history as a larvae.  The Crone have vowed to the Prince to never let her become a Masquerade breach.  The Ordo Dracul coterie feel this is for the best as the Crone mentality would probably be the closest thing to ‘healthy’ for an eight-year-old kindred while the other covenants would merely show her to be lacking.  Within the Crone, she would be raised to accept her troubles as a method of strengthening herself.
  • Gregory Maxwell.  Gangrel.  Temperance / Greed.  A big tough American Gangrel who fled his membership in a particularly brutal motorcycle gang that had formed post-war.  He is huge and comes with a selection of Carthian devotions that helped him push his way into their little coterie.  That and Wilhelm took a liking to him.  He teaches his few Carthian devotions freely within the coterie though has warned them that if any of the local Carthians recognise it, they will not react kindly.  Only time will tell if the Carthians in Britain would know any of the American devotions as belonging to their covenant.

  • Coil of the Core.  This custom core was invented through the coterie’s efforts and helps to reduce the emotional deadening and lack of attachment in kindred kind.  Unfortunately, elders would not approve of a coil that makes kindred more afflicted by petty emotions and more likely to band together.  The coterie will keep the coil secret until they are assured of a positive reaction.
  • Hollow Asylum.  While of Autumn Court construction, and therefore quite disturbing, it could make a great fallback point in the event of attack.  However, they will then be at the mercy of the changelings if they ever want to leave as the Hedge is far too dangerous to roam.
  • Freehold Connections.  While they predominately deal with the Autumn Court, they have some connections to the other Freehold members.  They are well aware, however, that if they use this resource poorly they will be ditched and lose their source of power and influence.
  • Pledges.  They are pledged to each other in lifelong oaths that ensure their loyalty.  They are pledged to be Good Neighbours in ten year intervals.  The only one allowed to negotiate amendments to any pledge renewals is the youngest kindred of the coterie, whoever that may be.  This protects the changelings, somewhat, from kindred machinations honed over the years. 
  •  A few Carthian devotions.  It’s unknown whether the devotions that Gregory has brought are unknown in England.


  1. Looks like a nice little setup. I like the idea of the old factory turning into an asylum turning into a Hedge mirror (does any of its history ever surface in the mirror? I think reading Spitfire Summer and the like as a kid has left its mark on me).

    1. The Hedge is often psychodynamic but Hollows generally are a bit more static. The makers / controllers of the Hollow, however, do take a lot of inspiration from the past.