-- Coleridge, ‘Ancient Mariner’
When I was born into Light, my mother died in childbirth, and to this night she haunts my dreams. My father was a wealthy lawyer and academic, famous throughout my homeland of France. But from as early as I can remember, my desire was to become a scientist. My quest for knowledge saw me devour the works of Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, Pliny, Buffon, Luigi Galvani and Albertus Magnus, among many other sorcerers and occultists. In them I found I could unlock the secrets of the Universe through the study of alchemy and other arcane lore. My studies in natural philosophy took me to Ingolstat University in the Winter of 1796, when I was but 17. There I joined Adam Weishaupt's Order of Perfectibilists, a movement of republican free-thought, and through them I met the likes of Goethe and Johann Gottfried von Herder, and even the reigning dukes of Gotha and Weimar. Six years later, I became a member of the Rosicrucians, a secret society of cabalists and allegorists, who combined the mysteries of alchemy and the esoteric principals of religion. They made use of the most modern scientific methods and techniques, as well as the methods of the occultist, the mystic and the seer, in the quest for truth. Their teachings combined Egyptian Hermetism, Christian Gnosticism, Jewish cabalism, alchemy and a verity of other occult beliefs, based on the Fama Fraternitatis.
I was born into Darkness at the hands of Carmilla, my sire, who taught me the True Alchemy of the Order of Hermes. My embrace did not go well, for in my first lust for blood I slew my wife and children. They too now haunt my slumber in dark, prophetic nightmares, compelling me to silence them with ever greater quantities of laudanum laced vitae. My disappearance shocked my family, and they undertook the woeful task of uncovering the truth, soon embroiling their allies in the Arcanum. Yet they never found me, as close as they ever got. When finally I was released from Carmilla, I returned to France. Once there, my quest to understand the true origins of our species brought me to the attention of Israfel. At this time, Israfel was the oldest vampire I had ever met. She showed me a different telling of the creation myth Carmilla had once taught, and I began to consider Lilith as the true benefactor of the Kindred race. But soon my nightmares would not be quelled. Thrown into fits of remorse so great that I could not endure them, I went underground in 1859, and my years in torpor began.
When I awoke, in 1996, I found myself in the south west of England, in the small city of Exeter. There I met my eternal lover, Steerpike. Together we were indomitable, and swiftly rose to power. I became his prince, and he became my seneschal. Free of the need to request for the right of progeny, I was now able to complete my experiments without hinder. From dead and dismembered flesh and an elixir of my own devising, founded on our unliving blood, I fashioned my childe, Pandora. She was and is the prototype for a new servitor bloodline to replace the unruly Gargoyles. But something went wrong (I cannot say what). She became a monster, containing the power to destroy with but a thought. One fateful night, Pandora caused such destruction that my House and Clan proffered her name to the Camarilla's infamous Red List. However, undaunted, my work continues still, the subsequent success of which has seen me promoted through the ranks faster than seems possible for an ancilla such as I.
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