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Missionariat

by: Jesse Belanger A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae

The Missionariat is a bloodline that seems to have sprung up out of nowhere. Its members first entered Camarilla cities all over Europe and North America about 150 years ago, and they haven't stopped traveling since. They are willing to go just about anywhere to carry their message, and an odd message it is, too, especially in this day and age. They believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all; not just humans, but vampires, too. Those who have been made into the undead just have an extra obstacle thrown onto their paths. The Missionariat believe they are living proof that Kindred can overcome those obstacles. Most everyone else thinks they're just annoying. While most younger Kindred tend to react to these vampires with scorn, disgust, and the occasional brawl (in which, surprisingly, the neonates usually come out whipped), elders view these Kindred one of two ways: either as a reminder of the Church they once served so fervently, or as an abomination against the One who cursed Caine. The fact that the bloodline has survived, despite all this scrutiny and oppression, speaks volumes for it.

They do find allies in odd places, though. The Toreador of old recall when the Church's power brought both influence and artistic expression to them, and they often work favorably with the Missionariat to return the Church to power. Lasombra of all stripes recall this, too. (Some Sabbat who know of the Missionariat whisper the elder Lasombra sometimes seek confession with them, but the whispers stop awfully quickly...). The Tzimisce are more than willing to sit and have intellectual religious discussions on Christianity vs. Paganism. While these debates occasionally get heated, blood has rarely been spilled over it. The Gangrel respect those who are willing to walk the spaces they walk, and are willing to share a campfire with them on occasion. Finally, the Tremere have taken an interest in some of the mystical powers held by the Bloodline, but have yet to actually get one into their laboratories for... study.

Some of the few scholars who actually study such things have noticed an odd dichotomy within the bloodline. They say there seems to be one group that travels from city to city and actually does all the speaking and such, and a second group that protects the ones who speak (and anyone else who may need it). Not a few of these scholars have pointed to similarities between the Missionariat and the Salubri. And they wonder just how deep the connection, if any, actually goes.

Nickname: Witnesses

Appearance: Harkener Missionariat tend to wear comfortable, sturdy clothes when they travel, but change into more respectable looking clothes (usually a suit of some kind) when speaking. Guardian Missionariat prefer to blend into the crowd, and will wear whatever is appropriate for the locale the Harkeners will be speaking at: a homeless bum, a gang-banger, a businessman. Whatever they wear, they always make sure that they can conceal at least one weapon about their persons.

Haven: Harkeners will sleep wherever they can on their travels, usually in motels, occasionally in a cave with a friendly bear or Gangrel. Guardians prefer either well fortified and secret locations, or a place so drab and mundane you wouldn't give it a second look. Most prefer the former, as they usually end up having Harkeners stay with them when they unexpectedly pop into town.

Background: The Missionariat prefer to Embrace from devout clergy and lay members of the Catholic Church, though they try not to discriminate against Protestants. About 90% of those Embraced have True Faith, and roughly half will still have it after a decade. Those that keep it tend to strengthen it, making an older member of this bloodline very Faithful indeed.

Character Creation: For Harkeners, Social and Mental Attributes are important, and any Abilities that help them in their wanderings (Animal Ken, Survival) and preaching (Performance, Expression) are highly valued. Guardians prefer Physical, then Social Attributes, and combat and disguise skills are important as well. Every Missionariat, regardless of lineage, receives a small amount of training from their sires, and the entire bloodline, small as it is, tends to remain closely knit. Every Missionariat begins with at least one dot in Occult and Theology, and the Mentor background should be taken, along with Generation. Virtues are also greatly valued: no Harkener will start with Conscience lower than 3, no Guardian with Courage lower than 3, and no Missionariat with Self-Control lower than 3. Church Ties and True Faith are remarkably common Merits to have, just as Driving Goal and Clan Enmity: Tremere are typical Flaws. The occasional Guardian will sometimes display a frightening tendency to vanish into crowds, even moreso than usual; Guardians may have up to two points of the Arcane background, but no more. (See the 3rd ed. Storyteller's Book for rules on Arcane.)

Clan Disciplines:
Harkeners: Animalism, Auspex, Theurgy (Path of Travel)
Guardians: Auspex, Fortitude, Theurgy (Path of Light or Lure of the Flames)

Weaknesses: The Missionariat are devoted to the good of all humanity and Kindred -- so much so, in fact, that they may lose control when they observe one person wronging another. Anytime a member of this bloodline is witness to an act at Humanity 4 or lower on the Hierarchy of Sins table (V3, pg 221), they must make a Conscience roll, at a difficulty of 11 minus the level of the witness wrongdoing; i.e., a Missionariat witnessing a frenzied vampire tearing through a crowd would roll at dif. 7 (11 - 4). If this roll is failed, the Kindred will immediately fly into a 'righteous frenzy' and attempt to stop the 'sinner' from continuing his or her heinous acts. This is not a typical frenzy: as it does not stem from the Beast, it may not be controlled with Willpower, may not be affected by any Animalism powers (nor the Dominate 6: Tranquility power), and it will affect even those rare ones who have obtained Golconda. The frenzied Kindred will attempt to stop only the sinner. The Missionariat is still responsible for all his actions during this time; however, as he believes he was doing right by his God, all checks for Humanity loss are made at -1 difficulty. Obviously, the bloodline tends not to hang around Sabbat cities for too terribly long.

Organization: As has been noted previously, the Missionariat are split into two separate and distinct bloodlines; the Harkeners, who travel from city to city to spread the Word, and the Guardians, who either stay rooted in one spot to provide a safe haven, or travel with the Harkeners to protect them on their journeys. All members of the group try to stay in close contact with one another. Occasionally, a Missionariat (or group of them) will get themselves in far too much trouble, and rumors have been floating about the bloodline that a brown-robed figure will appear from nowhere to assist the troubled members, then disappear into the night, blessing 'his children.' It seems possible, even likely, that the line's founder still has an active interest in maintaining his line.

Stereotypes:
Camarilla: It is a shame that a group once so promising has fallen so far. Nevertheless, we shall strive to redeem all we can.
Sabbat: They have gone from a protector of all Kindred from the depredations of the Antediluvians to a ragtag band of marauders. Some few can be saved, but it is a hard battle, and one we usually lose.
Independents: We have come across those not of either of the main sects from time to time, and they have their own beliefs they fervently stick to. Beware those who serve the Serpent, and speak with the dead, and you shall do well.

The View from Without:
Camarilla: I dunno... them guys seem nuttier than Malkavians some nights...hell, I stopped believing in God long before I got ugly. But they do make some good arguments... -- Slimy, Nosferatu neonate
Sabbat: Jumped up Allah on a pogo stick, can you believe these guys? They're worse than the Camarilla! Next time I run across one, I'll let him talk to his God personally, that's for sure. -- Terry Simmons, Brujah Antitribu
Independents: Their passion for their Christ is as mine for Allah, and Alamut. I have inquired about them, and been told to leave them be. This is well enough for me. --Kareem al-Muhammed, Assamite

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