While I’ve thought about starting to codex Forsaken first, it occurred to that while the process is efficient, it may not be the most interesting thing I could do- both for me to write and for you to read. As such, I’ll show you while have I bothered at doing such codex in the first place- that is, in order to establish the cosmology of the setting in the way that I see it. As such, I plan on going through the following routine- one week I’ll create a “gameline codex”, and the one after it I’ll use the information I’ve gathered in order to establish the mythology and cosmology of the splat in question. That way, I’ll do both something useful and interesting, which should, I believe, be a lot more interesting than a bunch of codecs seemingly without any goal other than thinking about new potential variants and splats.
So, as I’ve stated before, in my cosmology, each monster has some sort of Patron which is responsible for its creation and embody its existence in the multiverse. Each sub splat has its own “lesser patron”, which falls under the the influence of the major patron, creating some sort of Pantheon. Each pantheon exists in one (or more) realms, where their power is the highest. Those realms, in turn, are divided mostly along the “Mage Cosmology”- Fallen Depths in the bellow, Supernal and Empyrean Realms in the above, the Fallen and Invisible in the middle and the Abyss all around it. That would create a map of the universe- at least, as much as such a map could exist.
Now, while we have already established the main gods of Requiem, it doesn’t mean we won’t get any new things in here- mostly, it is going to be a more detailed expansion of the concepts which have been established earlier, with a much more mythological atmosphere to it. And now, let’s begin from the top-
Trio of Crones- Doom, Dirge and Blood
There was always a queen to rule over the dead- a being of great power over life and death, both a mother of monsters and a demon from hell. The children born to the demon goddess worship their queen, bathing her with blood and celebrate her gift of undeath without ever calling her name, without knowing her face, without ever knowing the great majesty which has gave birth to them at the moment the Beast first roared in their dead hearts. The Damned show their love to their queen every time they hunt through they night, splatter blood upon their face and celebrate with the crimson, thick liquid to which they yearn for so much. The dead love their queen, and she loves them back- with the touch of frenzy, the pain of hunger and the embrace of the Beast.
Three Queens have ruled upon the Damned since the beginning of the world. Scholars and occultists have given them many names through the generations- some recognizing them as three separate beings, while others see them as no more than different aspects of the dread Queen of the Damned. While they mostly don’t care for names by themselves- after all, what is the meaning of a name for beings who exist in a world where the sun never shines and the moon is stained in blood?- but their children do. Each Queen wears her multitude of names like royals robes and fine jewelry, decorating herself with the magnificence of the humanity’s incapability to grasp that which can not be defined. Still, three names have grew fond upon those terrible deities, taking the names of the goddess which mankind have worshiped through the ages- Lilith, the Queen of Doom, Cliodhna, the Queen of Dirge, and Echidna, the Queen of Blood.
Lilith was the first to rule- at least, as far as anyone knows. Perhaps once there was yet another Queen in her place, long forgotten and consumed by the Owl Queen. She- or at least, her faithful servants- would at least claim so, and drink the soul of anyone who would claim otherwise. Whatever the truth may be, it is definite that Lilith has ruled long before mankind has ever came down the trees and learned how to walk. As such, Lilith is considered one of the “First Powers”- deities which date long before humanity, and which very well may exist long after it. By herself, Lilith is the power of Doom- she is the end of all things, the eventually decay and rot of the all life, the eternal night which would cover the sky when the sun would eventually fade and the stars would vanish as the leftovers of the planet’s atmosphere would escape to the space. She is the end, cloaked with shadows which knew no light, with smoke which knew no fire.
Once, Lilith has ruled upon the Graveyard- the realm which serve as the source of all vampirism. From there, she ripped parts of her own flesh and gave them life of their own- beings which are only half real, with the other half being hungry for the tasty Life which populated Earth, yearning for the souls of those who were there before mankind. Those life, of course, were either too primitive or too alien to serve as a decent feast- but the Queen of Doom saw the eventual fall of those beings, as was her nature, and she knew that from the ruins a being far more sweet would rise. And she waited, quietly and patiently, watching gleefully as the first civilizations fell and as the first of men rose on their feet, developing complex souls animated by Life like no other. And as they did, her children came upon them, drinking their breath and stealing their bodies, celebrating the sweetness of flesh and pain.
Humanity, however, has recognized those demons, and discovered how to fight them. Fire and sun were their weapons, and the bodies of the dead were buried deep so they won’t find their way back to the world. As mighty as those weapons were, their power over Lilith’s spawn was limited- every fire is destined to die, after all, and every light is doomed to fade. They, who were smoke and shadows, could easily fend against such attempts which could not defeat the upcoming darkness, only to push it away.
And then, everything has changed.
And then, humanity has started to sing.
It was not an happy song- on the contrary, it was a song of mourn. The first note, full of sadness, pain and fear, escaped the gasping through of the fearful people. It wasn’t the first time they sang such songs of sorrow- but it was just enough, having their mourn gaining enough critical mass to fight against their fear. They no longer dreaded the inevitable doom- they accepted it, turning the fear into sorrow. And from all of the calls of pain and lose, she was born- or, perhaps, summoned. A new Queen of the Damned. Cliodhna, the Queen of Dirge.
When the Banshee Queen first came to the world, Lilith barely even noticed the upcoming challenger. When she first entered the Graveyard, she barely heard her steps. When she pronounced she came to claim her kingdom in the name of man, she barely gave her a look. Challengers come and challengers go- but they are all doomed to fail before her. It was only when she played the first note, that she got the Queen’s full attention. It was only when she sang the first word, the Queen’s ears were wide open. It was only when made her first dance, the Queen looked at her- and in the singer’s eyes, she saw her own, coming doom.
To the sound of Cliodhna’s voice, the sleeping souls in the Graveyard joined her as choir, and the buried corpses dug themselves from their grave, dancing before the new Queen. All around the world, the beings of smoke and shadows discovered that their corpses has started to fight back, pushing the darkness from their heart and filling it with a song of life and a dance of death. Lilith, who could have never been defeated by a living being, discovered that the dead upon which she ruled for such a long, long time turned against her. With a sweet song and bitter step, Cliodhna claimed the Graveyard as her own, bound Lilith with her spell and ripped the Great Owl’s heart from her chest, scattering her shadows from the world.
That was meant to be to the end of the Queen of Doom- but Lilith was one of the First Powers, and she knew the laws of the world better than almost any other. While she was banished from the world, her essence was not gone- it simply escaped, finding solace in a depth even lower, a place which is to the Graveyard as the Graveyard is to the world of the living. There, in that eternal hell of darkness and void, the deposed Queen still sits, looking upon the destined doom which waits to the world- for while she died in the past, her future yet lived. In that dark kingdom which is called as Dis, Lilith travels backward in time, from the eventual doom of all toward her own death by the hands of Cliodhna, for this is the nature of Dis. There, she look upon a black sun which spit darkness instead of light and is surrounded by life born from death only to be consumed by their parents, planning her vengeance against those who took from her what was her by right. And until then, her shadows, the Strix, would torment both the living and the dead which stole the world from her.
Holding the throne of the Graveyard, the new Queen’s song echoed through the world- replacing the horror of the primordial darkness with a one far more devious. The dead danced to her tunes, dancing among the living as her song replaced the beating in their dead heart. Unlike Lilith, which has jealously kept all the power to herself, Cliodhna was far more generous- while her song made the first of corpses to leap from their grave, many other forces in Heaven and Hell showed interest in having in the powers of Life, and she was happy to share her gift with those parasitic gods- for a price. A royalty has to be paid, and Life would be the coin. Those who borrow her voice would pay their share, which would in turn be taken from the dead, which would taken it from the living. The Pyramid was established, and the Banshee Queen stood in its head.
However, all of those horrors were unique- one of a kind creations which could have no way to propagate. The curse was random, and those who bought the right to make undead of their own had to pay the price each time they brought another to the flock of the night. Worse, those ancient dead felt little kinship to each other, seeing the other dancing corpses as rivals at best and prey at worst. Through the early days of humanity that chaotic state was kept, with horrors rise and fall with the song’s ebb and flow- until one night, among the many corpses which danced on her own with no master but the song, one stopped dancing. The pain in her silent heart was stronger than the song, and her longing for a child of her own burned more than the touch of the sun’s light. She was a powerful witch by her own right, and as such she knew that by paying the right price she may make progeny of her own. However, she also knew that by doing so she would forever by bound to the service of the Song, and she would never gain the family she yearned for so much.
It was then, when a shadow came before her- it was an ancient one, one of the firstborn of the former Queen. Manifesting from the darkness and looking upon her with its golden eyes, the shadow said to her that if for freedom she yearns for, the true Queen would be glad to help. Lilith, too, knew the pain of solitude and the yearning for company. By accepting her offer and help, the lonely dead may start a dynasty of her own- paving the way to the world of eternal night as was promised by the Queen of Doom, where the dead would run freely among the living. This world would belong to her and her family, while Lilith would settle for the world which was taken from her.
The lonely dead looked upon the shadow with careful eyes, and then said “you must think me foolish, dark one. I don’t desire for rule or conquest. I don’t wish to end the world of living or silence the song. I don’t want to make a family- I already have one” she lifted her hands, as if she encompassed the whole world “the dead are my family- by brothers and sisters, my kin and clan. Yet, they are not able to see it. The song devours their minds, for there is nothing which binds them together. Because they are not bound by blood. What they need is a Beast to roar in their hearts to silence the song, and the kinship of the Beast to draw them together. What they need- is you”
Using magics which were never seen before or since, the lonely dead invoked the powers of Life upon the world, invoking the spirit of the world and the world bellow it. She bound the ancient evil, and as its screeched with anger she devour its shadowy being. As she did, she invoked the powers of the darkness through her blood, chaining the anger of the shadow goddess with the song of the banshee queen, trapping one against the other and anchoring it to her own heart. Like a fresh wound, blood has started to follow from the heart, filling her body with a roar like any other. Life flow through her veins, and as she howled to the black skies, the Damned of the world knew that a new Queen was born.
Using her new powers upon Life and death, the new Queen made her way to the Graveyard- where she met Cliodhna bowing before her. The times has changed, the Banshee Queen has said, and she acknowledge that it was her time to leave the throne in the honor of yet another Queen. Instead of fighting, she offered a pact- the new Queen would gain her power over the Damned, making them her family- and she’ll leave to Cliodhna those lost dead who are left out- those lost souls who can not, or will not, join the family. She’ll leave Cliodhna the Lost and the Wicked, while the new Queen would embrace those who are her Kindred. Knowing that the former Queen still had many allies on her side, the new Queen agreed to the deal- and became the Mother of the Damned, the Queen of Blood, the Maiden and the Crone. She became Echidna.
As the new Queen, Echidna has birthed the first of Clans in her own image- the Gangrel, the wild ones who are blessed with a Beast stronger than any other. Her Blood carried from one Embrace to the other, becoming potent with time and cooling down as they slept, paying their royalty to their Queen and Mother. Other Clans then followed, as the Lost became Wicked and the Wicked became Kindred. Yet, from time to time, those who were tainted by the Blood were left behind with no sire to call their own. Without a Beast of their own, they heard the song loudly in their empty heart, abandoned by all but the Banshee Queen. Lilith, still raging against her captivity and banishment, sent her shadows to torment both the living and the dead, and wherever the Strix fly, doom follows. Clans were formed in Lilith’s image, and Echidna accepted them to her family- causing Lilith to destroying her own spawn again and again with rage. Clans were born, through pacts with Shadow, embraced by the Blood or rising from the Song on their own. Clans were Lost, either destroyed by Owls, devoured by Kindred or falling into the Dirge as the Beast which gave them Life turned silent. Now, each of the Queen rules upon a breed of her own- and as they wage silent war against each other, the All Night Society trembles again and again, being in a twisted form of balance like a snake which devours its own tail.
The Kindred do not know it. The Wicked and Lost don’t know it. Even the vast majority of the Owls don’t know it- after all, most of them have never saw Dis or their Queen on their own eyes, only hearing stories about that blessed yet cursed realm of darkness and doom. Still, among the Covenants, one has touched the truth, even if they don’t understand it- the Circle of the Crone worship Echidna, Cliodhna and Lilith as one, the Mother of Monsters which gave birth to the vampires of the world. Yet, it is by their magic that the truth may be seen- for Cruac is the power of the Beast, and the Beast is the image of the Crones. Some Acolytes invoke their magic through the Life of the world, enhancing vitality and embodying the might of the nature. That’s the magic of Echidna. Some Acolytes bring chaos, disrupting the natural course of the world through randomness and twists of fate. That’s the magic of Cliodhna. Finally, some Acolytes dance among shadows, calling upon the void and the darkness before the darkness. That’s the magic of Lilith.
Three Queens ruled upon the Damned, and each changed the world by doing so.
Which queen would be the fourth?
One Third of the Myth- Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld
And Inanna escaped Kigal by drinking from the cold waters of the Ocean which Knew No Sun. Ereshkigal, filled with anger, sent her armies of demons and the dead to fetch her back to her place among the dead. While searching for solace in the land of the living, she searched for the warm arms of her lover- and found them embracing another. Filled with rage, she butchered both her love and his mistress- just as the armies of death came knocking on the doors of her temple. As she planned to run, two voices whispered to her- one from the fire, and another from the shadows.
Give them the mistress, the voice from the shadows whispered. Give her to the dead- and for half of the year, she’ll take your place, while you’ll be free. Give the mistress to the dead, and we’ll claim her from doom- as is our right. She will love you, she will worship you, and you’ll be a Queen loved by her Damned.
Inanna agreed, and the shadows claimed the dead mistress. She became Geshtinanna, and Lilith was gleeful for having a new breed of the Damned in her service, a clan of love and demons. From her prison, she dreamed on using the clan against their maker- for she never planned to truly make Inanna the new Queen. Inanna, however, was smarter than she thought- for its takes one to be wise in order to escape the clutches of Kigal and its Laws. She went to the Graveyard, and gave her clan to the Blood, to make them Kindred to the Damned in exchange for protection from Lilith’s rage. Wrathful yet unable to act against Inanna, Lilith could only watch as her clan of demons was Embraced by Echidna’s Blood- and her children feel that rage until this very day. We are owed, the Strix say, their bodies were us to take, their Life were us to take. Their queen have escaped without paying her debt- and so the Daeva would be the ones to pay the price.
The Queen of the Damned, the King of Man
In the early days of man, shortly after Echidna took the throne of the dead to her own, a king among man was Embraced to the Queen’s family. He wasn’t the first of kings to receive the Curse, and definitely was not the last- but nevertheless, he was a king. While the Beast roared in his damned heart, he couldn’t leave his duties behind- for this would be a betrayal of everything which defined who he was. Yet, the Beast’s call was too loud for him to ignore, and the Damned can’t rule upon those they see not as Kindred, but as Kine. It was his duty to his people to serve as their king, yet as a dead being he had no right to rule upon the living. As such, he came to the decision- he would maintain his duty as a King, and they will be his Damned.
One by one, he Embraced the citizens of his city. One by one, he gifted them with the powers of the Blood. One by one, the kingdom has became a land of the Damned, cursed and foul by the monsters of the night and the creatures of the darkness. After few years, the rule of the King was perfected- but then, he discovered the foul truth, for with no living to serve as their herd, the family turned upon itself, spreading chaos and destruction. Seeing the horror of his actions, the King feel upon his knees and prayed all night, begging for the gods which abandoned him to shown him how to save the people he doomed. He kept praying as the darkness has started to fold, he kept praying as the mourning star challenged the darkness, he kept praying as the sun rose beyond the horizon. If his own destruction would bring salvation to the Damned, so be it.
The sun touched him, yet he was not burned. The light shined upon him, yet he was untouched- but not unchanged. Golden his skin became, like silver his eyes shined, and his hair became like molten light. He became the first to Walk the Sun and be unharmed, and the words of heaven burned into his mind, showing him secrets which were kept to the gods alone. He wrote down the spells and incantations, the miracles and formulas. And by the time the night came once more, he knew what to do.
Driven almost mad from hunger and thirst, the Damned of the city has gathered around their king to damned him to save them- only to be awed of the transformation which came upon him. “You are hungry and thirsty” the king has said “and it is my duty as a ruler to feed my people.” Splitting his wrists, he let his blood flow- and golden ichor dropped from his veins like liquid sun. “Drink!” he commanded “Drink the blood of the King- and you all be kings like me!”
And the Damned came upon their own king, drinking his life and blood. As they drank, their soul was changed- no more the hunger ruled them, no more the Beast ruled unchallenged. The Man became their shield, and their soul conquered their Beast. By having the blood of their in them, each became a king and a Lord, and the first of the Ventrue were born. And as the Lords left to each rule upon a kingdom of Damned, and their blood mixed with that of their Kindred, the blessing of the King was shared also, mixing with the Vitae the blessing of the sun.
While devoured, the King lives still. He was called as Cronus, for he was eaten by his own children, which he damned by his own actions. He walks the mausoleums of the Graveyard, ruling next to and against Echidna- but through those who carry his blood, he still acts among the living. They hear his whispers in the ears, and are driven mad by the touch of heaven. Malakavia- that’s how they call that blessed form of madness. And from time to time, one of his descendants discovers the secrets of salvation, becoming a Sunwalker- no longer Kindred nor Kine, but a power of Heaven itself. And those engulfed by that heavenly light eventually rise to the ranks of angels, and in their hands are secrets of of the gods. The first to discover those secrets were the dead of Egypt, and the first to Walk the Sun was once called Amon, now Amoniel. And years later, in the lands of Persia, another who Walked the Sun was called Asha Vahishta, now Vahishtael. And each of them has discovered the incantations of heavens and man, and taught them to their faithful. And ages later, the holder of the Spear would be cursed with the Blood of the Son, and those who Walked the Sun would come before him to reveal him his place in the world, and the place that the Damned have in the world- and Cronus would smile, knowing that his mission was completed.
Of Other Clans- Kindred, Wicked and Lost
They call it Zmai, the Worm, the Eater of Rot and Death. Zmai is old- perhaps even as old as Lilith, a being coming from a forgotten place, a realm which has since collapsed with the death howl of its greatest protector. It was a god, once, worshiped by mortal men for the power it held upon the secrets which hide bellow earth and the beings from beyond the grave. It was a demon, once, feared by mortal men as it brought corpses back to life and sent them to torment and devour the living and the dying. Seeing the danger of the primordial force of decay, the greatest of all hunters chased the Worm to the depths of earth, digging it out and shattering its own heart, and as he did, the Worm has collapsed into swarms of death and decay. It was not the first beast-god to fall as such- but Zmai was different. As a being of the grave, it knew the paths of the Underworld better than all others, and slowly it slithered its way back to the world of the living, festering like a diseased corpse under the earth. On their way to the Underworld, many corpses have dug their way to the earth- only to be devoured by the great Worm. Some corpses, however, were smarter or quicker than the others. Instead of being eaten by Zmai, the ate it first- and using the powers of the Underworld, they dug themselves back from their graves. But the flesh of the Worm has marked its chosen, leaving them ugly and deformed by the powers of death and rot. And those who drank their blood, had the Worm’s flesh crawling into their hearts, luring other dead to feed from them and allow the Worm to keep spreading through the world. And Echidna looked upon the dead, twisted beings, and recognized them as Kindred to her.
They call it Kek, the Tentacled One, That Which Shall Not Be Named. It was there before the Tall Ones knew how to walk and talk, in the age when antediluvian civilizations still ruled the planet, and Fate was strong and clear. Then, 42 Laws were decreed, and the Civilizations of Old collapsed one by one. The survivors found haven in the corpses of man, inhabiting them like parasites to walk among the Tall Ones unseen. Kek was one of them- until it heard the Song for the first time. It knew the souls of men well- for it fed upon them- and as such it knew the price which had to be paid in order to not simply hide among humanity, but to become like them. The Khu and Sahu it ate, denying them the judgement of Duat. The Ka and Sheut it let go, leaving them to wander in search for food and drink. The rest it bound together- body and life, heart and mind and name, forcing them into incomplete life. The Song accepted its offer, and Hollow being rose from their graves. As the Witch King rose to rule over the two lands, he stole the ceremony of Kek and twisted it, creating an army of Hollow men in his service. Those faithful to the Serpent and the Phoenix challenged the Witch King, and he slayed them and hollowed their souls. But Kek has whispered its song to the faithful of Sutekh, and taught them the secret of removing the soul yet living still. The Witch King was defeated, but those who were incomplete remained incomplete. And Echidna looked upon the dead, broken beings, and recognized them as Kindred to her.
They call it Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West, the Cavernous Darkness. She was empty and hollow, hungering under the burden of the Song. Dying with a touch of Vitae on her lips, she was bound to forever roam the world, a corpse dancing without a Beast to silence her Requiem. So empty and hollow was her heart, until she came with a solution- she’ll take the heart of another, one pure and virgin, and make it hers. And as she replaced her dead heart with a the one she stole, the Song was forever silenced- but not by a Beast. Others followed her footsteps, and took the hearts of others to replace their own, and venerated her as both bringer of death and giver of life. And Echidna looked upon the dead, foul beings, and couldn’t recognize them as Kindred- not yet. And Xiwangmu grew beyond her grave, and started to dream on the day she would become a Queen by her own right.
They call it Mars, the Lord of War, Father of Rome. He had many other names, many faces and forms. It was Jupiter when it brought lightning, Venus when it brought love, Dispater when it brought death. It feeds upon the legends of others, and make their faces as its own. In an attempt to further its influence, under the face of Mars, it fathers children- twins, which were meant to rule side by side upon the city which was destined to become an empire. But one child has murdered the other, and the nameless, parasitic divinity was at lose. However, as it was grieving, a shadow came before it, offering to bring the dead back to life so one twin would rule the day, and the other would rule the night. And thing which wore the face of Mars agreed, and the Owls screeched with joy as they Embraced the dead, young man. He established a line of his own, parallel to the one birthed by his brother. The many faced god has blessed both lines, for both fed his glory, and it granted visions to chosen priests and charlatans while whispering them the secrets of magic born from neither Man or Beast. And Echidna looked upon the dead, possessed beings, and recognized as Kindred. And Lilith, was filled with anger, and set to destroy those she helped to create. And Mars changed its faces once more, taking an oath against those who stole its progeny, becoming one of Seven.
Oh my god that’s just a huge post and I haven’t even finished half of the post! It looks like I’ll continue this post next week, hope I’ll finish it by then. Hope you liked it!