Destiny: The Elect (Noble Vampires)
Monarchy is dead.
No, seriously. The writing was on the wall in Europe, 700 years ago, when the Magna Carta was signed. There are also reasons why warlords in Asia paid homage to royalty and then stuck them away as figureheads in palaces while they did the actual governing. And you know, there’s really nothing natural or divine about families of bandits setting up control over tribes of unarmed agrarian workers. It’s not even all that romantic, unless you like bad fantasy novels.
So what does it mean, to be Elect?
It means obligation. Service. Vision. You’re not riding down from your log palisade on the hill to collect chickens and barley from the mud people. You’re carrying a banner in the darkness that others can follow. You’re showing merit to others, so they can demonstrate their merit to you.
And this is, in a word, fucking hard.
The Process, In Brief
You know how we become Vampires. First we play the role of the Great Victim, as a Vampire gives us the Shadow’s Kiss, we die, and we return as a Vampire in a sort of apprenticeship role. Then we play the role of the Great Murderer, as we give someone else the Shadow’s Kiss. You’ve been reborn, very painfully, and you’ve taken someone else from the world of the living into the shadows with you. That’s the basic idea of it. But it doesn’t end there.
Time passes and you attain some experience, a little wisdom, and begin to walk the Earth more comfortable in your own skin. You establish who you’ve become. And eventually, your Destiny calls to you.
The call to destiny is louder and clearer for the Elect than for any other kind of Vampire. Destiny is the central element of our existence.
It doesn’t seem like anything much at first, just some coincidences and funny notions here and there. You feel a sort of call to do something, but you’re not sure at first what it is. Then it strikes you, like lightning in your brain, and you know! And because you are the right kind of personality, because this truly is your Destiny, you will not shrink or dodge or deny… you will rush to your fate!
You undertake the circuitous path to your Initiation as an Elect Vampire with a clarity and certitude that no other Destiny generates. Nothing else will suffice. After the dangers of the journey to the Initiation, you are ready or you are truly, finally, irrevocably dead.
The Rite of the Dark Moon Circle
There is a power greater than the world, and She made us. Most of the other Vampires, those not of our Destiny, doubt or deny Her existence. We know she is real. We know it because She, Herself, initiates us.
The Rite of the Dark Moon Circle is a statement. It is a declaration to the universe: I am here. More than that, it is a declaration to the Dark Goddess who created all Vampires: I am your champion.
The Rite is enacted in a remote place, though “remote” is a very loose term. It only means secluded, secure and private in this context. You could seek Initiation in the top floor of an unfinished office building, in the deep forest, in a chamber of a palatial estate, at the bottom of the ocean, or wherever. You’ll know when it’s right.
The Rite is performed at midnight on a night of the new moon, in other words, on a moonless night. You, the initiate, will nevertheless see a full and silvery moon. No one else will see it. It is the gate and the barrier. You must pass through it or be destroyed.
At least one other person must be present, though there is no upward limit on how many might be present. As long as the Rite remains secure and private, that is enough. The one other person who must be present is the Goddess Vessel. The Vessel could be anyone, of any kind, if they are correctly prepared to be given up to the Dark Goddess as her vehicle. The Vessel must be put into an altered state of consciousness, by whatever means you deem viable, and then you must begin the vital meditation of the Rite. This meditation is your very first taste of the Command of the Elect.
While the Vessel writhes and mutters, helpless as the Dark Goddess consumes their mind and infuses their body, you will gaze up into the sky—or ceiling, it makes no difference—and see the full moon. Again, only you can see it. And in your heart and bones you will know: The light must die, or the Goddess will abandon you.
It’s time to exercise your will. You will scream from the exertion. You may be destroyed by it. But you must focus every fiber of your being on a single visualization: An eclipse of the moon that exists in your mind, a perfect and total darkness to blot it out forever. You may achieve this in seconds, or it may take hours. But you must drive away the light completely.
For soon, the Goddess Vessel will pull him/herself up from the place where they lie, and they will be changed. They will no longer be a mortal. They will be your Maker, and She is your Judge. If you fail—or worse yet, give up—in the creation of the Dark Moon in your soul, then she will rend you and devour you. The Vessel will be destroyed, you will be destroyed, and the Rite will be ended.
But if you succeed…
The Revel begins! For the remainder of the Initiation Night, you will exist in a delirious abandon with the Dark Goddess Herself. Nothing will be forbidden to your indomitable will and your noble spirit. Ecstasies and triumphs unimaginable to others will be your first moments as one of the Elect. When it ends, before you fall into the death-sleep that all Vampires undergo by day, you will destroy the Goddess Vessel by giving the Shadow’s Kiss back to the Dark Goddess herself. The Vessel cannot survive the Goddess’ joy in this moment, and will be annihilated by Her passion.
And you are inspired and Initiated, never to turn back, and never to wish to turn back.
The Three Faces of Our Maker
In extinguishing the light within yourself, you will find a new power takes its place. At first, it’s only a vague suggestion of form and feature. But over time, you will see more clearly with your inner eye: An outline… a shape… a silhouette… then a chiaroscuro of darkness on darkness, like a memory of the planes and curves of a face that you’ve traced with your fingers a thousand times.
This is the face of the Dark Goddess within you. She looks on your works, thoughts and feelings with one of three faces. Whichever one it is, is the one you are most attuned to:
You might be drawn to Her Aspect of Patience, which builds and destroys with boundless care and a sense of the unceasing power of eternity. You are immortal. You have centuries to fulfill your designs. In coupling your incredible drive to your gigantic passions, but remaining dispassionate and wise at your core, you find that the universe aligns itself to you. You gain the gravitas and relentless, majestic power that can command weather, animals and other natural things.
Perhaps you will fall into the orbit of Her Aspect of Mutability, which plays on the more mercurial facets of your temperament. Your passions are greater than even you can fully master, and you change like the stormy seas. This manifests in the way the Dark Goddess’ power surges inside you: You become an agent of transformation, both figuratively and literally. You can metamorphose into all manner of things, from bats to rats to wolves to vermin and more; you can become mist, moonlight, shadows and fire. And beyond this, you can cause others to transform according to your will.
Finally, you may be Destined to gaze forever on Her Aspect of Vengeance, a Face that some consider the most important of all. It’s said the Dark Goddess harbors a terrible wound, salved in an ocean of blood and nursed in perfect darkness, and from this wound seeps the sovereign poison of Her undying hatred. If you share this quality with your Maker, then She will gift you with a portion of Her spite—which you can then use to fulfill your own designs through bestowing horrifying curses, bitter misfortune and other plagues and blights to your enemies and the obstacles in your path.
Where Do You Go From Here?
Having passed from lesser Vampire to True Vampire, and then through Initiation into the Elect and seeing the Face of the Dark Goddess, you have only begun your time among the Elect. You will have plans and schemes, and they will occupy most of your time, the rest of it being spent in roaring passion and grand delights. But along the way, you’ll need a little schooling.
There are lots of books and ideas in the mortal world on leadership, planning, creation and advancing yourself. Those are all very well, but you need more. It’s hard to reinvent the wheel every time you face a new challenge. Your challenges will be many, because you are ambitious, but you won’t be the first to face most of them. So when an Elect Vampire mentor crosses your path, you’ll want to cultivate that relationship. You may walk with your teacher for many, many nights, so you should both choose as wisely as possible.
Could you do it all alone? Of course. Some always do. But it is needlessly slow and painful to go that route if you can avoid it. Elect Vampires are not solitary, cringing things. They exist in a larger world, one big enough to be the stage for their plans. Engage the world.
And Now, Some Context For All This
Who will dominate society with guile, deal-making, money and force of arms? Anybody who can. That isn’t what it means to be Elect. That is nothing more than being part of the big churn of power and manipulation, which is common as grave mold. In any society of powerful people, or creatures if you prefer, there will be a constant game of status and control that demands nothing more than a momentary advantage. Momentary advantages do not build societies, or much of anything that lasts. No one remembers the winner of a series of chess games except to try and emulate their strategies.
You can call the Elect “Noble Vampires,” but that’s not right. There are Elect Vampires in any kind of society, not just modernized feudality. The name’s a little punny in democratic or representative Vampire subcultures where someone actually votes for you, but it still means “chose a cause, chosen by the cause—Elect.”
An Elect Vampire must decide upon a great purpose for their existence. This is what they stand for. It must be something meaningful and achievable, big or small, and it must be worthy of eternity. Plodding, cynical, amoral pragmatism is not a vision. An Elect Vampire may use pragmatism as a tool, but it is never their purpose. They are not mere politicians—anyone can be a salesman, an actor and a policy fiddler. When the Elect lead, they lead.
You might not be “Queen” or “King.” You might be the Great Counselor whose wisdom shapes your society. You might be the Exemplary Champion whose deeds show to do what you consider to be right. You might be the Silent Bureaucrat whose architecture sets your society on the path to greatness, though no one ever knows you did it. You might be the Fiery Revolutionary whose vision transforms things forever, or even merely smashes and burns the way things have always been done. For the Elect, order and chaos are points on a wheel, and the Elect is the harbinger of What Should Be.
In San Cipriano, for example, one of the three major social factions of Vampires is the Anarchist Vampire Collective. They are not “agents of chaos” or a mere rabble of outsiders—they are an actual cooperative of anarchist Vampires, with a different sociopolitical structure than their counterparts. All members of the Collective take part in its decisions and actions. It is believed there are more Elect Vampires within the Collective than in either the Court or Republic, and that this visionary nature (and some unwillingness to be led by others) may be the reason they insist on voluntary cooperation rather than statutory or forced social harmony.
It’s not about what job you hold. It’s what you do with your time and energy. There are a thousand ways to be one of the Elect, but they all have one thing in common: People fucking know who you are and what you stand for. You’re not a blundering idiot, but you’re not hiding under a rock. Quiet or loud, you have confidence and you are going somewhere. That’s more than most living people can say, and you’re damned if you can understand why a Vampire would squander the gift of eternity just to mumble, shoegaze and pretend they’re a hat rack in the corner. You want more, and you will have it!
Work Harder, Play Harder
It will seem stereotypical to say that being one of us means that you no longer see things the way others do—and that your appetites match your vision. “Giants striding the earth” talk, you’ll think. But it’s true: We won’t settle for the ordinary in any way, and that includes our pleasures.
Others indulge in a discreet affair here and there. We have grand orgies. When it’s time for a celebration, we create a glittering spectacle, not a tea party. And we want the grandest and the best, because quantity and cost mean nothing without taste and style. You don’t have to be understated (we love theatricality), but you can be neither vulgar nor crass to win the admiration of the Elect.
There is a severe flaw in this extremity of our nature: We are given to excessive emotion, when not engaged in our great work. Our free hours are lost in blazing joy, furious rage, terrible melancholy; any and all feelings are magnified in us. Over time, we become better able to temper our emotions, but we are never lacking in passion. By the time we are better at self-restraint, we have blasted through society like tornadoes, leaving a trail of enemies, adoration, dread and envy behind us. Again: We are not schemers in the shadows. You will know us.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
The purity of our commitment and the intensity of our Destiny make us unlike any other Vampires, and we have a lot in common with each other. But we don’t come from a factory assembly line—the Dark Goddess is our Maker and we are Her instruments, but we manifest Her will through our wishes. You might be a president or a janitor, a queen or a clerk, a CEO or a footsoldier—whatever you become, undead sibling, you will become it to the Nth degree. Will you be a hero or a villain? Yes! To some, you will be Arthur ushering in Camelot, and to others you will be Sauron, unleashing darkness. You will have friends and enemies, but few will be completely neutral toward you, because you will be more alive in our eternal darkness than you ever were when you still drew breath.
And what about the rest of your story? You tell that. That is yours. Rise in darkness!