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It wasn't as difficult getting Victor out of the chopper, as it was getting him in, needless to say. Some how he was able to break free of the frozen terror and move. He jumped. Victor fell to the ground. He could feel the rumbling of the chopper motor as it began to shut down. Lying there with his face in the mud, he smelled the perfume of the rich Asian soil creep into his nostrils and pushed back the nau- sea.

He filled his lungs with air and he thanked God. He thought about Saint Paul's Baptist Church in Lincolnville, Illinois, and the house he lived in as a child that was attached to the church. On Sundays he could hear a lot of Thank you, Jesus. He now shared a deeper understanding of what it meant to be truly thankful. The MP and a medic helped him to his feet. Victor's leg irons made it difficult for him to walk. Pulling and dragging him under both arms they led him to the emergency unit. Still unable to speak or hear Victor watched silently as the medics covered the body of the MP.

Well, at least he's out of this mess. One the medics blurted out with a bit of sadness and sarcasm in his voice. The pilot and helicopter gunner reported to a bullish looking Army Captain from the First Cavalry Division. Victor focused on the Captain's patch, and there he was again, the head of the horse, the Pegasus.

It was encased in gold and black on the army officer's shoul- der. Victor thought to himself how glad he was to see the Pegasus. The sniper fire had not destroyed the flying horse. A twisted, faint smile appeared across Victor's face and then faded back into the density of his soul, like he knew something no one else did. To the First Cavalry the insignia represented the horse that was never rid- den and the river that was never crossed.

To Victor it represented freedom. The helicopter pilot, the gunner, and the captain disappeared into a room, with the Pegasus riding on the officer's shoulder. In shock from the ordeal Victor no longer knew what was real and what was not. He could not distinguish between what was animate and what was inanimate. He was experiencing double vision and visual hallucinations.

His mind spun out of control. Take him to the mortuary unit. The examining doctor stated. He threw a sheet over the expired MP's face. The doctor's voice was filled with exhaustion. He and a nurse walked over to the surviving MP in an attempt to examine him. The doctor looked down at the MP with tear filled eyes and spoke softly.

He could see that the young man was holding back the emotion caused by yet another terrible tragedy. How are you feeling young man? The Doctor reached for the MP's arm and took his pulse. Let's have a closer look at you. He began listening to his heart with his stethoscope and inspecting his limbs. After examining the MP the doctor came over to Victor and spoke to him. The nurse remained behind gently wiping away the blood of the MP's fallen comrade from his brow and face.

He was visibly shaken and terrified. Hello soldier. I see you are not doing too well in this man's Army. He peered down at Victor with concern as he scrutinized the manacles that securely embraced Victor's body. Victor looked up. His eyes were filled with fright. He noticed that the man speaking to him was not only a doctor but also a soul brother. Victor wanted to call out to him as if he were a drowning man gasping for the surface. He opened his mouth wide and tried to speak to him. Nothing would come out.

He could only sit shaking, inhaling and exhaling repeatedly. He was sucking air deeply as if there was a limited supply. Touching Victor firmly on his shoulder the doctor steadied him. Can you hear me? How are you feeling? Victor stared at him with a look of disbelief as he faded across the parameters of reality. A solitary tear rolled down his cheek.

Seeing the black man revealed his deep regrets and how badly he missed home. Speaking in a low monotone, the doctor leaned down and whis- pered in Victor's ear. Get a hold of yourself solider, at least you are still alive. Look around you. There are people in a hell of a lot worst shape then you. The black doctor glanced back at the MP and spoke in a commanding voice.

Unshackle this man, Corporal! I would like to examine him.

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With deliberate hesitation the soldier stood defiantly. He scuffled over to Victor obeying the doctor's dubious orders and released Vic- tor cautiously. His tan freckle face was red with frustration and tainted with blood and sweat as he stared into Victor's wild tearing eyes. He stepped backwards and put his hands on the butt of the holstered forty five-caliber sidearm.

The MP tightened his grip on his pistol, as the chains shook free and clambered to the hospital floor, and lay there loose in inanimate silence resembling deceased vipers. Care- fully the MP bent and retrieved the tools of his trade. As the doctor proceeded with the examination, the MP watched Victor with great intensity. The doctor captured the MP with a mo- mentary glance. Noticing the guard's demeanor he spoke softly. There's no need to worry about your prisoner. The youthful police- man appeared to be going into shock.

I think he's had enough. This man's not going anywhere, and neither are you. Your weapon, sir. Extending his arm carefully, the doctor stared with concern into tearing terror on the lonely MP's face. The guard stood stiffly, with the chains draped across one arm.

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A moment of silence gripped the air. The MP mumbled incoherently. Slowly he withdrew his forty-five, and placed the cold steel instrument of authority in the doctor's hand. The physician removed the clip and put it in his white cloak pocket. He directed the same subordinate nurse that had washed them. Nurse, prepare these men a sedative. We will keep them overnight for observation. The doctor turned and looked at the dethroned MP.

Don't worry, we will arrange to have someone watch your prisoner, son. The doc- tor swiftly walked towards the adjoining room that the army officer and helicopter crew had mysteriously retreated into. He disappeared behind the huge tent's screen door, closing it quietly. A conditioned drug addict, Victor perked up when he heard sedative.

God had answered his prayers and sent him some relief from the suffering of the withdrawals that haunted him. The painful cravings burned deep into the fabric of his shattered nerves. A seda- tive, he pondered joyously, would bring him comfort from his tor- ment. Standing erect and motionless, the MP allowed his gear and draped chains to be removed by a nurse who piled them on the emer- gency room receiving desk. Then the attending nurse guided him into the corridor to a crowded hospital dorm.

As the nurse led the military policeman from the emergency ward Victor, for a fleeing moment, became reality based and noticed that the MP didn't look so tough without his weapons of authority. The police officer appeared to be a very young man, not much older than Victor, about nine-teen or twenty, a cherry boy as the Vietnamese hookers would say. The truth was, although they were of a different race they shared commonalties. They were both soldiers and emotional casualties of this war.

Each wished that the nightmare would end. For Victor, it was the beginning of the end, the end of one terrible saga and the beginning of another. The demonic nightmares and the struggle for his sanity were yet to be seen, played out in a hole close to Satan and far away from the reality of God. A cell at LBJ awaited him as a coffin awaited the dead, the living dead. Victor felt a pounding in his ears, then a roaring.

He noticed the nurse was wiping away the blood trickling every so slowly down his arm. She had returned with the sedative without him even being aware. The roaring got louder as he drifted into a lull from the sedation. The pounding sound reminded him of the tunnel leading to his high school arena. He could hear the spikes from the teams' shoes hitting the concrete and cinder track that lay before a chain linked fence.

The fence surrounded the entrance to the freshly manicured green grassy turf of the high school football field, a place that con- tained the dreams of young gridiron warriors. He could see the bright lights illuminating the arena on a Friday night in Lincolnville. As the band played, the crowd was screaming out the school fight song.

The cheerleaders lined the way shaking their colorful pompoms. The lights could be seen from the Washington Park projects lo- cated across the viaduct. The brilliance of the lamps flickered into his mother's proudly furnished two-bedroom apartment that he shared with his three other siblings. Then suddenly there was the silence of a calm clear summer day.

He saw himself floating on top of the Pegasus amidst a soft blue sky. He had not seen the white stallion since his childhood. Victor smiled. A warm secure feeling engulfed his entire body. He faded off into the serenity of deep sleep. THE next day two rough seasoned MP's doggedly hovered over Victor's hospital bed as he slept off the medication. The bulls shook him by his shoulders, rousting him from sleep. Victor was startled, sat up, focused his eyes and collected his thoughts. As he recognized the large white letters MP on the sol- diers' helmets, his memory returned.

Fear and panic engulfed him. Blood rushed to his brain. Chills prickled over his skin as the realiza- tion hit him that he was in the 44th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, and on his way to LBJ. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Flight of the Pegasus by Dorian Morrison. Summary In , shortly before his 17th birthday, Victor Moore, a poor black teenager from rural Illinois, enlisted in the U. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

Why no, I didn't hear a thing. Fine, I think. The MP responded nervously. Yes sir She immediately relayed the doctor's instruction to an- other nurse. One officer was well over six feet tall and lean. The other had an. Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1.

Close Dialog Are you sure? Also remove everything in this list from your library. Are you sure you want to delete this list? Remove them from Saved? No Yes. Explore now. Whatever their origins, their timing was exact. By then the Irish pirates from the west and the barbarian invaders from the east were rampaging through undefended Roman territories. The northern armies, which we may assume to be Romanized British forces, never managed to mount a coherent defense. By the time reinforcements came from the south, it was too late. The barbarians picked much of the old province of Britannia Inferior clean.

It was not to be the last such raid. While the barbarians poured across the borders and harried the seacoasts, the vampires turned to Mithras for protection and guidance. He had grown weary, and the sleep of the ancients claimed him. None was forthcoming. Attempts to restore some form of social order by selecting leaders, passing laws and demarcating borders failed, and contributed to civil war. In the face of constant raids and warfare with the Irish, the Scots, the Picts and the Saxons, civil war meant but one thing: Anarchy. Vortigern and Hengist Two or three decades after the Legions departed, a war broke out between two princes of the Celtic Britons.

After twenty years of chaos, the situation had stabilized enough for there to be two recognizable factions. A prince named Ambrosius Aurelianus, a descendant of the Emperors or so the legends say , led one faction. Gwrtheyrn, or Vortigern, led the other. The names are unimportant; the worthless polemics of the mortals are confusing, inaccurate and misbegotten.

What is certain is that some time later — perhaps after another decade of war — Vortigern emerged triumphant and claimed the High Kingship of Britain. The Cainites supported Vortigern, reasoning that the kine might grow fat and happy again if order was restored.

I am sure the Lupines would enjoy seeing the nation falling to rack and ruin and dominated by savages. But we won and Vortigern became overlord. I have spoken to Gangrel and Toreador who remember these times. They claim that the smoke from the funeral pyres of their slain Lupine enemies turned day into night, and vampires walked abroad in the fullness of noon to watch their enemies burn. The enemy fled into the wilderness. Meanwhile, Vortigern had to decide how to re-establish order. The Romans had a strategy for dealing with barbarian enemies whom they could not overcome by force of arms.

They would invite another barbarian tribe to attack the enemy. The Romanized Britons, weakened by civil war inside their lands and barbarian raids without, needed help. Therefore, Vortigern sent messages to the Continent. He needed barbarians to fight the other barbarian raiders threatening his kingdom. He found a mercenary leader named Hengist, a man who had several death marks against him. Hengist was a brigand, murderer and kin slayer, but he was a professional soldier, and Vortigern needed men like him. As Roman Europe crumbled, such mercenaries were in plentiful demand.

Trained fighters, they were like the knights of modern times. The disorganized Pictish raiders were no match for these battle-hardened mercenaries. Moreover, unlike the remnants of the professional armies of Britain, these warriors were skilled seamen, and they could engage the Pictish seagoing raiders where the Picts least expected it — at home. They swept the Picts from the sea, burned Pictish ships in their havens and razed the villages from whence the raiders came.

Hengist had brought reinforcements from Frisia, in the land we now call Denmark and the estuaries of the Rhine, who demanded payment. Meanwhile, both bided their time. More mercenaries arrived from the German nations along the Rhine, and from the Jutes and the Frisians. The newcomers eventually rebelled against British authority, but Vortigern remained in power. He had secured his western flank by importing Celtic tribes from the north fleeing Pictish raids into Cambria. With the north secure, he was able to turn his attention to the Saxons.

But the already fragile order swiftly crumbled. Trade collapsed. Famine came. It is said some of the very vampires who backed him drank his blood and cast his corpse in a river. Whatever the truth, he died alone and forgotten. The remnants of the British forces then made war on Hengist. The Cainites who claim to remember speak of battles at Londinium and Cantium and of Hengist defending Kent with such efficiency that his kinsmen still dwell there tonight. Grass grew on the old Roman roads.

Churches were abandoned. Some of the Celts turned to their old gods. The Saxons were pagan. This should have been a good time for us — for the Cainites of that day, I mean. The Church was weak, the Lupines were in disarray, and few would notice or care if a few more kine fell during the night. But Lord Mithras slept, and feeding was poor.

The regional princes claimed dominion of reduced cities, or of cities that no longer stood. A time of winnowing came, when the princes fought claimants. A Cainite who would once have been master of a dozen vampires now fought merely to claim hunting rights over his old fief.

If there was any blessing in those years in the last half of the fifth century, it was that we had massacred the Lupines, and they would not trouble us for generations. The Dark Ages As a historian, I am obliged to rely on fact and documentation. So we must therefore speculate, and rely on oral history. Oral history is fanciful, unreliable and colored by perception, experience and the need for drama. Real history has a drama all its own. The Saxon kingdoms waxed and waned. The Britons resisted Saxon expansion and fought among themselves. The old Roman economy had collapsed. The gold mines lay idle; the mints did not produce coins.

Plagues and famines were constant threats. The kine lived short, worthless lives, and their blood was thin and weak. The Saxons were mostly pagan worshippers of Wotan, but some were Christian, if only in name. The Britons were Christian to a greater degree, but they too remembered their old gods, the spirits of hearth and hill.

Driven further into the hills of Wales and into the heath-lands of Scotland and the moors of Cornwall, the Britons offered sacrifices to their faerie lords. They offered virgins as lovers and food to the kings of the sidhe mounds and revived old half-forgotten pagan customs. Their rites were rites of violence and desperation and starvation.

Sometimes the lords of the sidhe mounds responded. The earth stirred, and the old giants woke. Dragons rose from their ancient slumbers. Ancient, hungry things rose up against the Saxons. But the Saxons fought back, offering sacrifices of their own. They called to Wotan, and to the spirits of the dead and the spirits of the earth. The earth is older than any mortal tribe, but sometimes the things that sleep there answer to one set of voices, and sometimes to others. Alfar contended with sidhe. Dragons, free of sleep and their earthen tombs, roamed over the lands.

The Worms, hideous creatures of the rivers and the bogs and the seas, rose from the fens and the waterways. Ancient forests perished amid dragon-fire. Men, women and children died in droves. How very poetic. On these matters, I cannot comment. These years were before my time. However, he admits to speculation, and I must respect that. Little is known of those dark times, and even those few elders who remember them refuse to speak of them. One story, fanciful as it may be, is as good as another.

Meanwhile, the Britons, or to be more accurate, the scattered and fractious Britonic, Welsh and Roman peoples of the west and north, warred with the Saxons in the east. Most of these wars were barely worth the name, and despite tales of magic and fire, most of these skirmishes were fought with sword and stone. And who won them?

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Records tell us that the seven great Saxon nations achieved dominance over the Britons. By that token, the Saxons won the war. But who truly won? We — the Cainites — did. We found these weakened monsters and slew them. We rooted the sidhe from their mounds and the Alfar from their bowers. We took those warriors for food or playthings. We made the dragon slayers our slaves, and let the peasantry spin tales of their glorious ascent to the Otherworld.

We tore these foolish things from our domain and we made this isle ours. We are the lords of the night. When the humans called their dark gods then, we answered. We bestowed favors. We took the virgins as sustenance. We drank the blood of sacrifices. We made the old holy places our temples and the holy men our slaves.

At the Siege of Mount Badon, early in the sixth century after the birth of Christ, the Saxons were defeated by the Britons in their quest to conquer the whole of the island. The west, the lands of Kernow and Cambria, would belong to the Romanized Britons and their pagan kin, at least for a time. The lands to the east would remain Saxon. Augustine arrived in AD and was received by the Saxon King Aethelberht in the city of Canterbury and given permission to preach. It would be another two hundred years before the Saxons generally accepted Christianity.

Wars continued, but the Cainites still ruled the nights while Mithras slept. Fairies, Lupines, dragons and other things continued to trouble us for centuries to come, but their time was passing. The faeries warred, and we slew them where we found them. The sorcerers of both peoples became priests, or were slain, or forgotten. The dragonslaying ceorls and the trollmanns likewise faded away, until there were none to defend these small, embattled mortal settlements from our kind. It was a glorious time, indeed. Christianity brought with it other protectors, but they were mere irritations compared to the power of the magicians and warriors of earlier times.

The Long Night began early in Britain. The Rise of the Saxons When Augustine came to these lands, he found a patchwork of tiny kingdoms, some pagan, some Christian, some Germanic and some Britonic. The Saxons held the east, the Britons held much of the west. With the coming of Augustine and the strengthening of the Roman Church, record keeping improved. He found a receptive audience.

Augustine converted Aethelberht and his court to the Roman faith and erected his stone church among the Roman ruins in Canterbury. The Britons, however, refused to bow to the Church of Rome, and they especially would not bow to a Church that operated from the lands of their Saxon enemies. Augustine berated the Celtic churchmen for their failure to observe the canon date for Easter, and for holding their own baptismal rites. He demanded that the British priests work with him in converting the Saxons.

They were to acknowledge Canterbury as their archbishopric, the see to which they must report. The British priests declined. In , the same thing happened, but by then the divisions were deeper and tempers ran hotter. Augustine fell ill and died a year later. After 40 years of war between the northern Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria, Deira, Mercia, East Anglia and the Saxon kingdoms to the south, Mercia became the dominant force in middle Britain.

The Saxon kingdoms fought with the Northumbrian kingdom to the north, with the Welsh Britons to the west, and with Anglia to the east. Dynastic squabbles continued among the smaller Saxon kingdoms. If I may be so bold, I would point to these years as the first true revival of the games of our society. It is easy to imagine Ventrue princes standing over the shoulders of these little kings and their little kingdoms whispering folly into mortal ears.

I say folly, not out of contempt, but out of respect. They may have sent many commoners and princes to their deaths, but I have no doubt the results were worth it. The kingdoms fought and expanded. Expansion brought a degree of stability. Stability brought trade. Trade made the kine rich and healthy, and the feeding was good again. The Irish-influenced Christians of the north spoke against the Saxon bishops, but the Saxons carried the day.

The change was not immediate, but this synod effectively marked the end of the Celtic Church of Britain and Ireland. It also marked the time when the Cainites became most interested in interfering in the affairs of the Church. Bishops commanded power — not so much as human princes, but their domains and their tithes became part of the political equation.

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Lay kings fought battles to ensure that their favored candidate took a bishopric. Politics replaced spirituality, and the aura of faith that so troubled the Cainites faded. Where once German Ventrue sat behind their Saxon kine and plotted, now Toreador and Malkavians from Rome or France could vie with each other in the corridors of the churches. Without Mithras, and without any form of centralized government on the island, Cainites rarely heeded the Silence of the Blood, and the Fifth Tradition was heeded not at all.

Vampires routinely had rivals murdered, and only the craftiest and strongest vampires survived. In these years, the Fief of London remained the Throne Fief — the place where the rulers of the vampires gathered. A Cainite who could claim and maintain this barony could expect great respect and power over his fellows. Though the politicking ran bitter, the Cainites all sought to keep London as peaceful as possible.

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The Fief of London created extra posts of deputy sheriff and assigned respected and supposedly politically neutral vampires to ensure that all the traditions were honored in London. Despite the almost constant warfare between the Saxon states, the Saxons drove the Britons relentlessly back, north into Scotland and west into Wales and Kernow. British people were Saxonized through conquest, intermarriage or through the slow dilution of their culture , killed or driven away.

The dynastic struggles, petty wars and assassinations would continue, however. At some point around the turn of the eighth century after Christ, traders from the northlands beyond the sea came south. They were kin to the English Saxons, and spoke a barely intelligible version of the English Saxon dialect. They came first as occasional traders, and sometimes as pirates.

In AD , these Northmen looted and burned the abbey at Lindisfarne. It was the first of many such raids. They were a pagan people, who cared little for the teachings of the Church and nothing for whatever kinship they shared with the Saxons of England. Although many saw them as one people, they were separate tribes, serving separate kings. Some served as mercenaries in the continuing wars between the Saxon kingdoms or between those kingdoms and the Britons. The Norwegians came to dominate the west, building fortified realms on the east coast of Ireland, on the Isle of Man and the western isles of Scotland.

The Danes dominated the east, absorbing many Saxon territories, and in truth becoming Saxonized themselves. Even as the Danes expanded, the Saxons united. He and his successors, however, were relentlessly driven back by Danish invaders. Their first attack failed, but their second was successful. Vampires came with the Vikings — northerner spawn of the Ventrue, Gangrel and Brujah clans — and strove to rout the native vampires from their fiefs.

But the English Cainites held on tenaciously. Some Viking vampires established themselves; many more failed and met Final Death. In time, even these invaders were caught in the web of politics and rivalry that marked Cainite interactions in England.. Under Alfred, laws were organized and taxation systems reordered. Alfred paid scholars to translate ancient texts into the Saxon language of his kingdom.

His successors, Edward the Elder and Ethelstan, pushed the Danish states further back, bringing more of the northeast under English control. The vampires stood aloof from these struggles. If there was a rival to be destroyed, that could be arranged, but in my experience, vampires have little loyalty to kin or nation, and as long as there was hunting, the vampires were content. The constant warring had weakened the internal rivalry between the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Britons in what is now England, and made the people more willing to accept such a designation.

Remembered forever as Ethelred the Unready, he failed to prevent renewed Danish incursions. Canute dismantled the army and some of the machinery of the English state, seeing England as a prominent province of his northern empire. In , Edward returned to England to claim the throne with Norman support. Although Edward was an English king with an obvious claim to the throne, the English resented his Norman French ways.

Saxon nationalists, led by Godwin, Earl of Essex, opposed the king. Both invaded simultaneously. The time of the Vikings, indeed the time of barbarians in Western Europe, was at an end. Christian Vikings from Norway were invading a na- 32 tion created by their distant kin, the Saxons, in rivalry with a group of Frenchified Vikings of Normandy. Harold Godwinson defeated the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge and then marched south, sending half of his army to gather the crops.

At Hastings, in the south, the disciplined heavy cavalry and armored infantry of the Normans overcame their Saxon foes and William of Normandy took England for his own. MacLochlainn was a tyrant, despised by the populace and the provincial kings. His vassal, Dermot MacMorrough, fled the country. MacMorrough turned to the Norman princes of England and Wales for help. In a series of invasions, English Norman lords took and occupied much of eastern Ireland. By AD , Ireland belonged to the English crown. The Normans erected the Pale, a series of fortifications, dikes and fences around their eastern territories to prevent incursions by Irish raiders.

In , a powerful coterie of French Cainites — remembered as the Triumvirate — set their sights on the dominion of the English night. The Isles were in disarray; Mithras slept, and his heirs had grown weary of their task. Since the time of Charlemagne, the Cainite dominions on the Continent had grown steadily more organized, adopting some of the practices and rituals of feudal Europe. The vampiric hierarchies ossified.

Ambitious Cainites found themselves trapped in a power structure that offered little hope of promotion or advancement; new frontiers were required. Many looked to the east, to the pagan states of the Baltic and beyond. The Triumvirate — three Ventrue with mad dreams of power — looked west, to the Isles. The Triumvirate came with the Norman invaders — not as conquerors, but as diplomats, bowing to local lords and flattering them with tales of how they had come to trade with the famous vampires of England.

Sometimes they offered alliances with French courts. At other times, they fomented conflict by offering aid to one lord against another. Initially the aid was financial and political. As the Triumvirate inveigled their way into the complex dynamics of British Cainite politics, their approval, or lack thereof, became a polarizing factor. Those who saw themselves as British sought to oppose them. Though these upstarts foiled many a plan of our Clan and House, I must admire their skill and finesse.

The Triumvirate was a decisive force in the balance of power. Many Cainite lords, tired from centuries of ruling over the scraps of a divided England, longed for the stability and respectability the Triumvirate offered. The Triumvirate helped prod the Normans into punitive campaigns in Wales and Scotland. Some have claimed, later, that the Triumvirate forced the Normans into action. Not so: They merely interfered enough to dictate the timing to their advantage.

As the vampiric lords took to the field of battle and blood flowed, Mithras reawakened from his long slumber. Curiously, the Cainites of the Triumvirate seem to have met their ends some time after Mithras awoke. These Final Deaths were unfortunate, of course, and I would not be so boorish as to accuse Mithras of engineering them.

I will note, however, that Baroness Seren of Gloucester received her position shortly after Roald Snake Eyes met his Final Death in her lands, and that although Countess Liseult de Taine met her demise under Lupine claws, she did so in a region that had never before been troubled by werewolves. Geoffrey of Calais, actually the first of the Triumvirate to die, was slain by mortal soldiers scant moments before dawn. I have heard legends that the soldiers who killed him had stolen a bull from a nearby farm the day before.

Strange indeed. In truth, it had started much earlier in , when the Triumvirate arrived and agitated the fragile balance of power among the Cainites for their own ends. Signed in , the treaty gave Mithras a unified empire to rule, and gave his subjects a framework to operate under. We Tremere did not sign the treaty, nor do we recognize it. However, it serves a purpose. In Conclusion For nearly two hundred years now, the Normans and their descendants have dominated these isles. They have defeated the Welsh, driven the Scots north and broken the backs of the remaining Vikings.

Half of Ireland belongs to them. A new wave of vampiric interlopers has arrived to stalk English cities. The result has been ever-widening conflict and new waves of purges As our "historian" mentions, the Tremere did not sign the Rose Treaty. They were not invited to do so; the treaty was a deliberately first cursed affair.

Young Cainites are often surprised that Mithras ever signed away his right to raise an army. I humbly submit my own theory for his acceptance of the terms — the Prince of London does not need an army. But things carry on; Mithras has awoken and sits on his throne in London. The borders of the fiefs are recognized. The Lupines are far from our haunts. Now it is time for our work to begin. Glastonbury, An Afterword In making one final point to conclude this short missive, I will speak of Glastonbury.

Much has been made of the great battle for Glastonbury. Vainglorious elders of our Clan and House speak loudly of their famous deeds, while our enemies chortle about a dreadful defeat dealt to us. But I must ask: What use would Glastonbury have been to us? We are vampires now. We do not need places of power — we have our vitae. But Glastonbury is important to other powers that could threaten the Clan and House of Tremere. In AD , we made it known that we intended to construct a great chantry at Glastonbury.

Our enemies claimed victory, but fell to infighting as soon as we had departed. Some of our number did see the loss of Glastonbury as a major defeat — had we taken Glastonbury and kept it, it would have been a major victory for our order. But we as Tremere play a greater game; we have the time, we have the power, but we do not have the numbers. We must therefore neutralize our enemies one by one. Glastonbury saw the deaths of hundreds of those who would stand against us.

In the battle for that piece of land, our enemies aligned against us — and then sought to destroy each other. That is sufficient victory for me. You stand at once in one of the most powerful nations in Christendom and one most disposed to succumb willingly to the wiles of the great Adversary. While all the nations now subject to the English crown have long professed to serve our Lord, most have followed a debased version of that faith that can only be the work of the Enemy and his servants, seeking to turn souls from the true path. This is a land where kings seek to turn the Church to their own purposes and bishops marry and father great broods of bastards, mocking the commandments of Scripture.

Harold seized the throne for his own upon the death of the most Godly and Christian soul, Edward the Confessor. William had oft proved himself a true friend and ally of the Church and a good Christian, properly penitent. His friend and advisor, Lanfranc of Bec, abbot of Caen, presented a list of the affronts to the 34 Church perpetrated by the Godwin family to his Holiness. Their crimes were many: They supplanted the rightful Archbishop of Canterbury with the blasphemer Stigand, so-called Bishop of Winchester, who labored under excommunication no less than five times in his damned life.

Surely, the Lord was with the forces of the Normans, for they swept the English aside and took control of these lands near two centuries since. It is nigh impossible for us to judge the influence of the Satanic and the blasphemous on the history of this land since then, save by inference and divine guidance. My brothers in the order and I pray nightly for the insight to see the true faces of the devils who beset all the Christian souls of these Isles. Believe me, my fellow servant of the Holy Office, that in Damburrow it is impossible to escape the sure and certain knowledge that the servants of the Fallen One have put down deep roots in the soil of this land.

Lands in the west of Wales and Ireland still prove troublesome to the crown and no doubt harbor creatures of a most damnable and horrific kind. We must concentrate our work on protecting the good souls of the civilized world before we endeavor to cleanse the pagan lands. By necessity, this account focuses more on England and its kings than those petty leaders found in the other nations. While circumstance has forced my brethren and I to take up residence in Scotland for the greater glory of God, make no mistake that the country is but a bit player on a stage where England is the leading actor.

Aye, and both are as disreputable as actors, too. I shall endeavor to convey a little of the history of these lesser nations at the end of my account, or mayhap I will assign the task to one better suited to such toil. Two Churches The most troublesome aspect of this land a mere century ago was its nigh-heretical view of our faith.

The form of worship followed in Ireland and much of Scotland deviated far from the stricture of Rome. Indeed, the Irish Church was so open to the Devil and beholden to his servants that it had the effrontery to send a letter to the pope, questioning his theology. All the while, their own clergy were prey to the leaders of the tiny lands that claimed the title kingdoms, prone to marrying and lacking in piety.

They did not allow women to serve in the Church and indeed seem to have paid them little or no regard. The pope could not allow this situation to continue. They received it at the hands of a pious Norman named William. William the Conqueror William was not a conqueror in the true sense, merely a noble man and a designated heir unseating a usurper who had stolen the crown. The exception to this magnanimous gesture was the despised Godwin dynasty, which the king stripped of all lands, titles, and often life, too.

William waged war against them throughout the land, defeating them at Canterbury, Winchester and then London.

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He was crowned in the Abbey in neighboring Westminster on Christmas Day in the year of our Lord To seal his power, he immediately ordered that construction begin on a mighty fortress on the edge of London, the tower that stands proud over the river Thames. But the Saxons proved an unworthy and uneducated lot and one by one, William had to replace them with more trustworthy and Godly Norman men, often those very brave and pious souls who had supported him against the perfidious Harold.

Those men and their descendants now make up most of the noble families of this kingdom and it is by far the better for it. Even the unruly Scots recognized the worth of the Norman race. Their late king, William the Lion, and his court were famous for taking Norman wives and husbands in blessed matrimony, rather than other Scots. After a spell among these barbarous people, I can see the wisdom in their choice. Thus, the influence of William and his descendants has spread to most parts of mainland Britain.

I shall write more of the obstreperous Welsh race later. This sinner married a woman of the fairy race and introduced her to the king in an attempt to cast a glamour over the pious man. His faith was too strong, thank the Lord, and Eadric resorted to force of arms to little avail. William wisely decided to settle for containment of the barbarous Welshmen, allowing his trusted knights to build a string of castles along the Welsh borders.

Those brave men became known as the Marcher lords and undertook the difficult task of pacifying those Welsh tribes nearest their territories. A rebellion in York proved so tainted with evil that William was left no choice but to slaughter many of the people of that town, the better to leave the Christian inhabitants of York safe and free.

Once the Lord granted William victory over each of his foes, the king established castles in the Norman style, both to enforce his rule and protect his subjects. Finally, in , England and Wales were free of the ungodly and rebellious and William was able to turn his attention to the Scots. He boldly attacked the Scots king, Malcolm, with two armies. One struck from the west, the other from the east. Malcolm found himself trapped. To spare his own skin, he gave up the Aelthing, the last of the old Saxon ruling line, to the invaders and swore an oath of allegiance to William.

He continued to labor in his fields, raising crops and giving his devotions to God. What matters it to such men if their lords speak French and Latin and have strange names? The most profound change that William instituted across the realm was a single line of succession. Under the Saxons, holdings had grown ever smaller through their division among several heirs. William wisely abandoned that factitious practice, bringing the land a new stability as one baron succeeded another, each generation holding the same lands as the previous.

His actions were a great boon to the Church, as younger children often found and still find a better alternative in a monastic life when they could no longer count on an inheritance. In , while celebrating Christmas in Gloucester, he asked that a record of all the holdings of the lands be prepared, shire by shire.

Once such battle cost the king his life, thrown from his horse while riding through the ruins of a French town. The king had made provision for this. He intended that his second son, William Rufus, should inherit the Kingdom of England, while the eldest, Robert, should take his original title, Duke of Normandy.

The youngest son, Henry, would be left a large cash payment. Robert was a noble and pious man, but his brothers were avaricious and manipulative souls, both given to the sins of the world. Henry in particular gave himself over to lechery and sins of the flesh, fathering no fewer than 20 bastards in his time. Civil war shook England and Normandy as the three strove to settle their dispute over who should inherit what. Despite his profligate lusts, Henry sired only two legitimate children, William and Matilda.

When her husband perished in , Matilda, still childless, married Count Geoffrey of Anjou. He fathered three boys, finally securing the line of succession for Henry in his mind. The Rise of the Angevins When Henry I finally left this world, no doubt to face an unfavorable fate on Judgment Day, his two-year old grandson and namesake was the appointed heir. The land was torn by strife once more, with Dover and Canterbury rejecting Stephen and London accepting him in the first days of his reign. The battles between the supporters of the two kings laid waste to much of England.

As the two sides fought, the other barons took on greater control of their lands, often extending their boundaries. The peoples of Wales and Scotland were quick to take advantage of such discord, throwing off much of the English control that William had imposed. The turning point after many years of struggle was a woman. Sole heir to the rich duchy of Aquitaine, Eleanor had become a divorcee after the Church declared her first marriage within the bounds of consanguinity. I am well aware of the associations your family keeps and am glad you have all found penance in service to the Church.

The royal couple seemed well matched and even in love, which, as you well know, is far from a necessity or likelihood in royal marriages. She was a strong woman, an ideal match for her zealous husband. She also had a deep purse. The years of war had taken their toll on the young Henry, though, and God did not bless his reign with good fortune. At first, all seemed well. The Kingdom of England controlled lands from Scotland after Henry ruthlessly put down an ill-advised invasion by the Scots to the Pyrenees.

It was the mightiest empire of its day. He humbled barons who had grown too powerful during the civil war. He also pulled the administration of justice for the ordinary man away from the barons and into royal courts, in which a jury of 12 men would pass judgment on their fellow freemen. At first, he did not dare to impose such justice on men of the Church, although that would change in time. He was to take control of Ireland and bring the heretic Irish Church in line with the one true faith.

Henry did not pursue his charge with enthusiasm, which may have been a sign of the growing influence of the diabolic on the nobility, so fallen from the piety of William of Normandy. But God is not content to let sinners idle when His work remains undone. Henry was slow to offer anything but his sympathy. He invaded Ireland himself, with some knights, 3, archers and ships, the largest army the island had ever seen.

After he landed in the autumn of , almost all the Irish chiefs of the south and middle of the island submitted to his rule. The country had none of the sophistication of England. People did not hold land individually. Instead, all the people who dwelt there held it in common. Inheritance could follow any branch of a family tree, rather than down a strict line of succession. Henry appointed Hugh de Lacy as justiciar of the island, all the better to bring civilization to Ireland and a timely end to these primitive practices.

Praise be to God, he also brought the errant Church of Ireland back to the true faith. Clerics from Rome and Ireland, including a papal legate, gathered in Cashel for a council. The Martyr, Thomas Becket Henry was clearly in the thrall of some servant of Satan, if he was not such a beast himself. Henry sought to turn the Church to the service of the state by appointing a friend and ally, one Thomas Becket, to the highest station of the land: the Archbishopric of Canterbury. He was a scion of a wealthy house and his father one of the most notable men in the land, a background to which you profess no little familiarity, my friend.

He, like you, found salvation by the direct action of our Lord. When the Lord gathered Archbishop Theobald to Him in , Becket replaced him and the King hoped that he would bring the Church firmly under the yoke of the crown. Henry held to the heresy that kings had a sacred autonomy, God-given, that rendered them free from the oversight of Rome. Becket shared his view and would enforce it from the highest position of authority, or so the king reasoned. Yet, the Lord was in the heart of Becket.

He declared that the men of the Church were only answerable to the successors of St. Peter and God himself, in defiance of the king. The two men achieved a tentative compromise but Becket balked at the details. The king wished to take charge of all communication betwixt Rome and Canterbury and what more proof of the influence of the Enemy need you?

He sought to seize powers that only God himself could grant. Becket resisted the blandishments of the Evil One and refused the king once more. He fled the king and removed the blessings of the Lord from the English people. He denied the people absolution, confession and all the sacraments until the king relented. When the king brought the archbishop to heel, the archbishop appealed directly to the pope.

Here he established a network of good Christian men, committed to watching England and spreading the true gospel. This network exists today as part of the Oculi Dei, as you shall learn. Through the news he gained from his trusted men, Becket was able to excommunicate those clergy who had turned from the Lord to serve Henry, such as the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of London.

In , the two achieved a tentative peace after a pair of meetings in France. However, good Becket knew that a man so tainted by the Enemy could not easily turn from the path that leads to the flames of Hell. He returned to Canterbury wary, yet crowds of good Christian people greeted him, singing hymns of praise to the Lord.

Becket walked barefoot through them, still humble in the eyes of God. In his absence, Henry had his son and heir crowned as successor to the throne by the Archbishop of York. On Christmas Day, Becket pronounced anathema on two nobles who had aided the archbishop in the service. Henry was in France, stricken by illness as those who choose the service of Satan often are. Becket ignored their interruption and threats, and made his way to the cathedral to perform the office of vespers.

The three knights apprehended Becket in the north transept and attacked him and his attendant. Thomas Becket is now a saint, canonized by Alexander II in and blessed in the sight of the Lord. We members of the Inquisition in these lands pray to him for his blessing as we carry on his holy work. His shrine is a place of 38 pilgrimage for the people of many lands.

His miserable assassins found themselves excommunicated and perished on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He walked the last miles barefoot and wearing a hairshirt of his own, in memory of his former friend who had done the same. He confessed his sins at the tomb and the bishops attending scourged him with the lash. He lay all night on that cold ground, fasting and praying in full sight of his people. However, we well know that the mere mortification of the flesh will not free the soul of the touch of Satan, and I am sure that Henry even now languishes in Hell for his crimes.

Many suspect that his visit was nothing more than a base attempt to win back the favor of his people. He had lost the love of his wife as well: Eleanor was leading a rebellion against the king with his own son, also named Henry. At length Henry forced him to swear complete submission to the English crown and set him free.

The rebellion failed in short order, with Eleanor captured and Henry the Younger treated with surprising leniency. A decade later, Henry the Younger attempted rebellion again, but perished that same year. That left Henry and Eleanor, who had spent the last ten years in close confinement, with two sons: Richard and John their first son, William, had died while still a young child. Now the work of freeing the country must fall to us. It merely remains for me to make plain the severity of the task that lies before us. Angevin Power, Absent Kings My friend, I am sure you are familiar with the idea that the Devil cannot create, merely corrupt and destroy.

Those with the eyes to see can find further evidence of the influence of the diabolic in the fortunes of Henry II and his sons. Of his sons, Henry always showed a preference for the younger, John, over the elder Richard. This did not sit well with the young and brash Prince Richard, who begged the aid of the King of France, the equally young Philip Augustus, against his father. The young defeated the old in , and Henry perished a mere two days later, allowing Richard to take the throne.

Of his 10 years on the English throne, he dwelt in the country for a mere six months. The rest of his God-granted span he spent in France, in the Holy Land and in a filthy prison.. Yet he started well, tendering his crown to the Archbishop of Canterbury during his coronation and thereby clearly putting Church ahead of kingship, in stark contrast to his father.

A lone bat marred the coronation, by flying, in broad light of day, through the cathedral and striking the throne. Do we not know that the Enemy can take the form of the bat and the wolf? The Jews of England gave Richard handsome presents on his accession. The foolish and credulous masses took this act of generosity to be a sign of a plot, betraying their usual suspicion of the Jews.

Richard proved himself a more forgiving, educated and Christian soul by doing his best to prevent the massacre of that people at English hands. Alas, the depths to which the English have fallen! The massacres that followed the moment Richard quit the country were another ill omen.

You should learn, my friend, how easily our Adversary can turn good Christians into tools for his evil works. Let us return to the King. For Richard, England and the other countries that made up his kingdom were little more than a convenient source of men and money to pursue his true interest, the waging of war. He took a coronation vow to free the Cross from the Saracens in the Holy Land, and he pursued this aim with all his ability.

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A fire at Glastonbury Abbey revealed two bodies, those of Arthur and Guinevere, and an ancient sword, Excalibur itself most like. King Richard directed much of his energies against the Saracen foe, crusading in the Holy Land. In his absence, he entrusted the realm to William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely. However, many barons were not comfortable with a man of God gaining such power.

Alas, Richard endured an unfortunate capture at the hands of the King of Austria and was imprisoned in that land for two years. Eleanor herself intervened, begging the pope to aid her son. The king lost no time in hunting down his perfidious brother and humbling him before all. Richard met an ignoble end, killed in a mere skirmish while punishing a rebellious vassal in Normandy. His enthusiasm for fighting for Christendom was admirable. A pity he could not have devoted more of that enthusiasm to his own kingdom. In fact, his reign was so inauspicious that God clearly was not with the man.

His barons in Normandy and Brittany seem to have assessed the French king as the worthier of the two, and cast their lots with him. By , there was little left of the Norman holdings, bar the Channel Islands. Where his noble brother had a friendly relationship with King William of Scotland, John quickly soured it and began preparations for war. Legends of King Arthur were already in circulation by the 13th century and certainly people of the time believed that the real bodies of Arthur and his bride had been found. Robin Hood, on the other hand, is first found in ballads originating in the 14th century and set in Yorkshire, not Nottingham.

Of course, the Dark Medieval world is not the real world, so if you choose to include a variation on the Hooded man legend in your own chronicle, feel free. After all, he could be anything from a Gangrel who took more than money from the rich to a Fianna seeking to keep his Kinfolk safe to what he appeared to be: a hero and rebel opposing a corrupt ruler. That which was freely given to one brother was won with threat of force by the other. Only in Ireland did the king fare better. In , John returned to Ireland, hoping to undo the damage done by his earlier visit some years previously, in which he insulted Irish natives and Norman rulers alike.

During his nineweek visit, he replaced the restless Norman nobles with strict English rule. Soon 20 Irish kings paid homage to John as their High King. He would trust no one bar those he could buy: Mercenaries were his trusted aides and blackmail, extortion and hostage-taking his weapons of choice.

He attempted to keep them in line by demanding onerous taxes, called scutage, to buy them exemption from military service. The barons chafed under such treatment and eventually they gained the upper hand. God guided the pope well, allowing him to find a man who would be acceptable to all, yet still the king refused him.

His Holiness, heavy of heart, placed an interdict on the whole of the country, depriving the English people of the sacraments of marriage, burial in consecrated ground, communion and confession once more. The pope responded in the only way possible: He excommunicated John. The pope blessed this penitent act, and restored the gifts of the Church to the nation and its king.

The barons saw that John was weak and sought to exploit his humbling at the hands of the pope and the King of France. The rebellion spread and by , London itself had fallen to the outraged 40 nobles. John sued for peace and the barons presented him with a great charter, a Magna Carta, which curtailed his power and made him answerable to a group of 25 barons who would monitor his behavior. The king who sought to place himself above the pope found himself humbled by his own barons. An aside: At Runnymede, around the same time that the Magna Carta was signed, the local populace suffered a strange spike in mortality.

For no easily discernible reason, the good citizens began dying, as many as a score each night, if the stories are to be believed. Was something lurking in the shadows while John was forced to sign the papers? It was, of course, a ruse. By , John was fighting a battle on two fronts. Louis VII of France had invaded, and the king had both the French and his own rebellious nobles to contend with. Like the perfidious Harold before him, he found himself trapped between two fearsome adversaries. The king fell sick with a terrible fever in Norfolk. He attempted to flee across the Wash to Wisbech in his weakened state, a foolish decision in the best of weathers.

He and his disoriented men blundered into quicksand and much of his baggage, including a large portion of his purse and his household goods, were lost to the muck. John escaped, but a week later he was dead. Few mourned the passing of this devil-struck heretic. Better a malleable English king than a warlike French one, they decided. A council of regency presided over by the venerable William Marshal, First Earl of Pembroke, was formed to rule for Henry; by the rebels had been defeated and Louis forced to withdraw from England. However, three years ago, the king took up his full powers and acts as he will, with the advice of de Burgh in his ear.

Magna Carta is in force once more and the absolute power of the king broken for good. God has humbled the line that sought to usurp the power vested in the rightful heirs of St. Peter alone. The Welsh Princes Now I must turn briefly to the lands beyond the castles of the marcher lords. The Welshmen fought hard against the Normans and paid the price for their resistance. The people of the north and west of the land, however, never surrendered.

Instead, the marcher lords kept a watch on these restless men and the boundaries of the free Welsh lands, known as Pura Walia. What would the king gain by giving Norman lives to capture such treacherous, unprofitable lands? Welsh rebellions, while troublesome to suppress, could never pose a threat to the crown.

For a time the warlord Owain Gwynedd, styled a prince, achieved a measure of power over much of Pura Walia, but after his death in war engulfed the country. Owain had murdered many of his own kin, and his family followed his ungodly example. On occasion, friendships developed between the leaders of the Welshmen and the kings of England. He has signed treaties with the English crown twice, both of which acknowledge him as chief amongst the Welsh princes.

He holds the throne still, the closest that factitious and rebellious land has to a king. I will attach a brief history of Scotland for your pleasure. I look forward to meeting you once more three months hence at the next Council of Faith. My missive on the recent history of the Scottish people will be, of necessity, shorter than that of my most pious and goodly brother, due both to ignorance and a paucity of material. The lands of the Scots have not seen the same upheavals as the lands south of the border, a blessing to the people that can only be a gift from God for their Godfearing nature and endurance in the face of such evil in the heart of their cold land.

While MacBeth had not been a bad king, as Scots rulers go, Malcolm III brought a new stability to Scotland, and by the glory of God none of the challenges to his rule and that of his sons succeeded. Yet the people of the north were nonetheless conquered, without any battle. Before William invaded England, the Church stood at the heart of the kingdom of Scotland and the lands that surrounded it. The great monastery at Iona, which had suffered grievously at the hands of Norsemen, recovered and produced a famed Bible, the Book of Kells.

Other centers of the faith grew in Dunkeld and Kinrymont. The Normans were not content to leave the lands to the north of England alone. While William did invade this country briefly, the Normans conquered it not through force of arms but through the marriage bed, slowly entwining themselves with the Scots nobility. With them came their ideas of feudalism and the rise of secular power and landholding over the glory of God.