Tremere: Meditations on the Avatar, its Loss, and the Life of a Tremere
January 15th, 1999
To Helena Ravenswood-North,
Apprentice of the Sixth Circle of Mysteries,
Member of the Chantry of the Emerald City,
House and Clan Tremere
My dear childe,
Since your mother and I (remember, always, that Elspeth and I consider you the daughter we never had) have been away for so long, attending to this blasted Cathayan problem in San Francisco, I wondered if perhaps you had given up on our ever returning. Rest assured that we will return to Seattle, even if we have to wade through the blood of a thousand of these monsters to do it. I have no intention of dying in this perverse, backward state that is California. Being two of the few Tremere who have ever encountered one of the Eastern Kindred and survived, we were of course logical choices for this assignment, never mind that we have pressing duties in the administration of the Chantry of the Emerald City and of the domain as a whole. We hope to have adequately demonstrated the need for concern to the local Kindred within a month, and to have passed on our knowledge of the Cathayan menace to our clanmates here. We shall then return to our positions in Seattle, and to you, faithful Helena.
I hope that you have been keeping a careful eye on Aestille; I suspect that he has turned traitor, possibly trading away the secrets of the clan to that Giovanni wench (Elspeth has been saying unladylike things about her all week; I do hope her temper cools soon), and I would like nothing better than to get him out from underfoot anyway. If you spot a window of opportunity, take it with my blessing: Aestille has alienated most of his contacts in House and Clan anyway, and the laurels on which he rested in order to get this position as Regent Secundus are ready to be pulled out from under him. If you can gather greater prestige for yourself in the process, by all means do so.
There is another, more philosophically important matter I wished to address to you, Helena. During your apprenticeship, I have spoken a number of times of the magical powers of a certain group of mortals; a group of which I was a member, and from which many of the greatest members of our Clan have been taken. I have also spoken often of the Avatar that is the source of their power, and which is the spark of light and innovation in all human life -- that gives the mortal human the power to fundamentally alter and create, to shape the universe, to bend reality to his Will. And I have told you how, upon the Embrace, the Avatar is ripped away, shattered beyond recovery, never to be seen again.
This subject has been preying on my mind more often of late. I have begun to formulate a theory which may, one day, lead to the greatest advance in thaumaturgical and magical understanding of all time -- perhaps even the greatest leap in our own understanding of the mystical nature of the Children of Caine. Consider this hypothesis: that the Avatar, upon embrace, is not shattered or destroyed, but is rather subsumed into the greater Avatar of the one who created our race -- the First Vampire, the aforementioned Caine. This great Avatar is what drives us forth each night, providing the magical power to keep our unliving bodies intact and mobile, to preserve our minds, to fuel our Disciplines and, most recently, to power our thaumaturgical workings.
And perhaps the same mystical force that combines our Avatar with the greater one of Caine is what can cause that long slide into madness to which so many elder Kindred are subject. Rather than stopping with the Avatar, this mechanism continues its long, slow draw of one's mind into the whirling insanity of Caine's Avatar; thousands, perhaps even millions, of broken souls -- the souls of every Kindred ever Embraced, glued together in some sort of patchwork, crying out in hunger for their lost selves. This is the true nature of the Beast: not some ravening animal, but the lonely calling of your own lost soul, that takes blood because it cannot complete itself.
You know that I have never believed in Heaven or Hell, as such, or God for that matter. I am coming to think that we are not damned in the eyes of God... merely lost to ourselves, lost to our truest potential. I can see why the ancients might confuse the two, for in losing one's Avatar one loses the opportunity for Ascension -- for elevation to godhead.
It all explains so much, Helena -- the Beast, the loss of the Avatar, even the drinking of blood (a source of dark Tass if there ever was one). Our Disciplines -- even our Thaumaturgy -- are just magical rotes.
And what Magick can do, Magick can undo. Upon my return, I plan to embark on a great new quest -- I shall seek to isolate the lost Avatar, and learn if it can be reclaimed. Imagine, Helena, if our immortality were combined with the reality-warping power of the true Art! Oh, this work may take centuries, or millennia, and is probably impossible... but can you conceive of a nobler search?
But that is enough of such talk for now. On to a lighter subject, in closing. Elspeth and I have run into an old friend of ours, and yours, too -- you recall Eta, my Gangrel sheriff when I was Prince of Bellingham? Yes, he was here in San Francisco, hunting the Cathayans he hates so. It was good to see him again; it reminds me of times when the responsibilities on my shoulders were not quite so great. It has been so long since I have had a friend who was not a member of our little family (and oh! how hard I have worked to keep you and Elspeth and I together, despite the vagaries of Clan politics and assignments). He is still the only truly civilized Gangrel I have ever met, and he says that I am still the only honorable Tremere he knows (oh, if he had any idea! Still, if that is his belief, let him keep it; I only wish I were still as noble as he thinks I am). He sends his regards; he remembers when you were but a fledgling, only a member of House and Clan for a few weeks.
Your mother and I send our regards, as well: be well, be wary, be wise, and be Willful.
Kesper Ravenswood-North bani Tytalus bani Tremere,
Lord Regent of the First Circle of Mysteries,
North America/Pacific Northwestern Sector,
Leader of the Chantry of the Emerald City,
House and Clan Tremere.
P.S. Memorize and dispose of this letter as I have taught you -- I believe it will be safe enough on its journey to you, but the incantations I have set on it may weaken with time, and this knowledge is not for general consumption. --K.R.N.
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