The Children of the Nazarene
The Children of the Nazarene is one of the most dangerous of all organizations in all of Europe & the Middle East. Made up of vampires, it has a broad reach affecting politics, religion and trade throughout all of these regions. Led by a cabal of ancient vampires, hundreds of not thousands of years old each, they provide leadership for many gangs of these foul creatures. Most members are vampire spawn, and mortal followers hoping to become full fledged vampires. The organization has ties to the Far East and into northern Africa, with a cabal of 12 vampires governing each region , all of which report to a cabal based in Babylon. They get their present name from Christianity, and the idea of drinking the blood of Jesus (as in the Holy Communion), and converting it to the drinking of mortal blood instead. The original name is Lilitu Ascendant, after the Sumerian vampire that became the Judaic Lilith. The elder vampires are primarily found in Babylon, and still use the term for their council as Lilitu Ascendant, but recognize the main body of their followers as the Children of the Nazarene. The organization is extremely rich, and has agents now looking to contact and establish relations with similar organizations in the Far East. They keep track of Nosferatu, Dhampir, and Vampire Mist, looking to keep them in check & at the same time recruit hem into service.
Each branch is further divided into smaller groups under different guises throughout each region so if one is destroyed, they can repopulate the again with more experienced members. They are indifferent to the Necrocult in that they see the benefit of having them as allies, and as a problem in the long run if & when the world has their prey turned into undead. Each of the vampire leadership is generally split evenly as to whether it is a good or bad thing, and they have lost members in the past to it, and gained a few who became disillusioned with the Necrocult.The Children, as mentioned, is ruled over by the eldest vampires originating in the Middle East where the first council was established. As this type of undead spread, a few moved to other parts of the world, and set up councils in other regions to allow their kind to survive without attracting attention. Europe has two councils of some of the eldest in that region, one in the north west near Parisius, and another in the south east near Byzantium. Africa has a at least three, with one in Libya, one hidden in the equatorial jungles (and rumoured to an even older complex than the council), and one far to the south. Rumours say that one is somewhere in the Eurasian Steppes, and a further three spread throughout Asia, and maybe more. In these the eldest always rule. The standard vampires are second only to the elders, with vampire spawn below on a third tier acting as the main body of the organization. Below them is humans who have been inducted into the vampires world by being offered all manner of treasures & promises of immortality. They carry out the day to day running of the councils and act in the living world as the face of the organization. Below them is the nosferatu, and the vampire mists that are used as guards, hunters, and shock troops of the vampire peoples. Dhampirs are coaxed in by offers of being cured of their vampirism or by being offered the full benefits of becoming full bloods. They are welcomed as being able to act as assassins, shock troops, messengers and terror troops. The Children have a number of legends concerning vampirism. They have it that Lilith was the first true vampire, or at least birthing them. Another is that Lamia was the first, while others believe that some other deity passed vampirism onto the world. A few think that vampirism was brought to Earth by another intelligent being, like a Dwarf or Elf, as they can be infected too. A few legends stand out. Many of the Children think that there is a single vampire hidden away that is the primogenitor of all vampires and their kin. Some think it is somewhere in an old Sumerian tomb, biding it's time to be woken & uniting all vampire-kin. Others think it is somewhere in Africa, since this is the birthplace of humanity. If they can find this tomb then they will have a royal dynasty. Another legend is that there is a 'cure' for vampirism, or parts of it, like the inability to cross flowing water, and sunlight sensitivity. Others think that there will be a time when the world darkens eternally and the vampires need not hide in the shadows any more. A unique legend in the Children is that some vampires have made it to a new land far away across a large ocean and settled primarily in the south of the world. There they have been living amongst local human tribes guiding them to human sacrifice, as a model for other vampire infested regions. One legend that has to be mentioned here, is the belief that vampirism originated off-world, and came from the stars when earth was young. It waited until there was advanced enough life on the planet for it to get into the right carrier.
The oldest vampires rule at the top, and goes by age. Also, the more 'pure' the vampire is the greater the respect they are shown. The 'Elders' are barely able to pass as human anymore. Each level is built like this going down to the bottom where the new bloods and the 'Bitten' are.
The Children of the Nazarene respect age, power, and the purity of their kind over all others. They believe they are the dominant predators on the planet and are willing to go to war over it. Aggressive and highly intelligent, they worm their way into societies around them looking to bring them under the cult's domination. They have only respect for themselves, and the Necrocult, who they believe are brothers in some respects. Much of their beliefs also mirror dark aspects of Middle Eastern traditions & cultural outlook.
The cult has many many cells scattered throughout the world, and are given to setting up local councils where and when needed to relay orders back & forth. They have access to extensive stores of magic items & libraries of books. Both of these contain ancient objects & books. Out of all the cults they are one of the richest, mainly due to the only ones that come close (the Dragon cults) are too individually greedy.
The first vampires appeared in some of the earliest humanoids on the planet in and around the Middle East. From there they started spreading out and encountered the elder races, such as the dragons, giants, Yuan-Ti, and the like. Realising they needed to band together they assembled their first conclave in what became Persia, and started to gather followers. At the same time they named their organisation yet changed it millennia later after the birth of Christianity. The old name is now forgotten but somewhere some members will likely recall it. At some point, they realised that there were many strains rising out of their feeding habits and decided that they needed to document everything about their kind. From there they scoured the world looking for strains of vampirism and cataloguing the varieties. At the same time the eldest started to formulate a plan to dominate whole regions, and sent emissaries to pockets of vampirism to push them into joining the local councils, who in turn joined the elders. When they proceeded to do this they encountered others of their kind that had joined with another organisation, the Necrocult. Seeing them as both a threat to the Children, and a possible ally when needed, they are willing to work with the Necrocult when both can benefit.