Mysteries of the Dragon

Mysteries of the Dragon

Within the Ordo Dracul circulate tales of the Order’s founder, who escaped his cursed state by transforming it. Legends describe Dracula walking beneath the sun, enduring ages without blood, and never succumbing to the Beast. No one knows if they’re true, but the stories ignite hope. Hope that the Kindred condition could be changed, and in time, risen above.

Building on knowledge passed down through Dracula’s brides, the Ordo Dracul began to search for and refine ways to achieve transcendence. The Dragons scour the world seeking occult secrets to further their understanding of the Curse. They call the results, refined through rigorous self-control and clear-minded study, the Mysteries of the Dragon.

Unlike Disciplines, which augment the body or bend the predatory aura, Coils manipulate and seek to change the very essence of the vampire. Each ties into a universal aspect of the Kindred condition, twisting the Curse and the Beast to the vampire’s benefit. Coils also don’t drain a vampire’s precious Vitae, although they may change the effects of some uses of Vitae.

The Order argues quite a bit about where this pilgrimage is supposed to be going. There are those who say that the pinnacle of their research is the total dominion over all deathly banes. Others claim that true evolution lies in manipulating the Beast, not denying it. Some stick to the traditional stories, that transcendence is defiance of God or nature. Others see those beliefs as metaphors for the triumph of the vampire over the otherwise unknowable forces that created him.

Coils of the Dragon

The Coils of the Dragon stand as proof that the Order’s methods bring results. Coils, like Disciplines, are on a ladder from one to five dots. With each dot comes a potent and everlasting change to a vampire’s accursed state. Through these changes the Dragons can circumvent banes, empower their blood, and form unions with the Curse far deeper than the average vampire. Some of the Defiant even think that the best way to counter a divine curse is to find a bigger curse and let the two clash.

Upon joining the Ordo Dracul a vampire chooses a single Mystery. Each Mystery contains a Coil, which Mystery members commit themselves to researching and refining. At the pinnacle of every Coil, there is enlightenment, different for each Mystery. Achieving this will raise the vampire to an entirely new state of being. To date this pinnacle has never been confirmed to exist, but the Dragons consider what they have achieved evidence that they can achieve much more.

System: A Dragon learns new tiers in his Mystery Coil for three Experiences per dot, and during character creation a player may spend one of his starting Discipline dots to take a dot in his Mystery Coil. Learning Coils outside a Dragon’s chosen Mystery is possible, but the ideological and personal differences between the adherents of different mysteries mean that a Dragon from a different path may have to prove himself. A Dragon can have no more dots in each non-Mystery Coil than he possesses dots in the Status (Ordo Dracul) Merit. Non-Mystery Coils cost four Experiences per new dot, and cannot be learned during character creation.

Scales of the Dragon

Dragons have performed countless ghastly experiments in the name of improvement, frequently on themselves, but mostly on others. The majority of these endeavors end in failure, with the death or maiming of the subject. But occasionally a Dragon’s research will bear unexpected fruit, and uncover a procedure that furthers the Mystery’s objectives. These are called Scales.

Through Scales a Dragon can share with others aspects of his enlightened state. Kindred can be forced to sleep at night and wake during the day, mortals given a taste for blood, and ghouls made to last well beyond their natural span. But these procedures can be brutal, tantamount to torture, and carry side effects both physical and psychological. As such, Dragons who pursue them maintain private laboratories, secured against interlopers, in which they can carry out their experiments in peace. Such laboratories may represent uses of the Safe Place and Haven Merits.

System: All Scales have a prerequisite Coil, a particular tier with which the Scale resonates. For Dragons who do not meet this prerequisite Scales cost two Experiences, if the prerequisite is met the Experience cost drops to one.

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