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Ordo Dracul Initiation Ceremony

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A player wants to play out her initiation into the Ordo Dracul. I'm cobbling something together between the OD book, some Golden Dawn stuff, and my own foetid imagination.

Has anyone done an Ordo Dracul ceremony before? Could you describe it/put the script here? I'll likely do the same when I finish mine, for feedback.

Thanks,

FBM

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A player wants to play out her initiation into the Ordo Dracul. I'm cobbling something together between the OD book, some Golden Dawn stuff, and my own foetid imagination.

Has anyone done an Ordo Dracul ceremony before? Could you describe it/put the script here? I'll likely do the same when I finish mine, for feedback.

Thanks,

FBM

The below is taken from the Ordo Dracul description of the Dead Empires section of the City of the Damned: London England Project in Requiem City Projects here on SNE

*****

Seeking the Dragons Tail

The rite known as Seeking the Dragons Tail is the first ritual a prospective initiate to the Covenant must overcome in order to join the Covenant's clandestine ranks. It is not only a test meant to asses the initiate and gauge their potential, but is also a potent reflection of the Covenants quest to seek knowledge, understanding and spiritual transcendence.

When a Kindred is thought to either show interest or aptitude favourable to the Ordo Dracul, they will be secretly assessed by a mid ranking member of the Covenant known as the Oculus. The role of the Oculus is to investigate prospective members, devise and organise the challenges of the Dragons Tail and report directly to the Covenants leadership keeping them appraised of potential initiates should they be found suitable. Often this role is taken on by the Kindred's prospective Mentor, though it is strongly advised that Mentors in cities where the Ordo Dracul is strong should defer this role to the official Oculus of the city.

The Oculus will then arrange contact with the prospective member, sometimes personally, more often through an intermediary or an anonymous communication. This communication however it happens will end with an invitation for the Kindred to meet at a specific location in the city were they will be given further information. Upon arrival they will be told, again through intermediaries or anonymous communication, that in order for them to be accepted as a student they must undergo an initiation rite meant to test both their mental and physical resolve. What then follows is a city spanning set of clues and challenges ranging from the enigmatic "Find the most read and least finished book in the British Library" (The antiquated yet still used index ledger of the library's entire book collection) while having to negotiate access to the Mage held domain, to solving a riddle hidden in the inscription of Shakespeare's tomb giving co-ordinates to the next location, cutting out one eye with a specially prepared knife in order to see a hidden message in a painting in the National Gallery, or walking across a bed of hot coals in order to retrieve the final clue.

This quest is always tailored to push the initiate, and in extreme cases has even been known to bring a moment of enlightenment or understanding about the weakness of Kindred nature and its transcendence. The quest is often set to be completed in a set time period, usually one night, and if completed successfully culminates in the initiate being welcomed personally into the Covenant by their Mentor.

It is interesting to note that in recent nights some members within the Covenant have been intrigued by suggestions that elements of this rite of passage have found their way into popular culture with the publication of books such as 'The Da Vinci Code'. Some even suggest that high ranking members of the Covenant influenced the books writing and marketing in order to stimulate interest in the occult similar to the rumours surrounding Bram Stoker's novel almost exactly a century ago.

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The below is taken from the Ordo Dracul description of the Dead Empires section of the City of the Damned: London England Project in Requiem City Projects here on SNE

*****

Thank you muchly for that. It will be useful.

FBM

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Re testing. Some time ago the PC was tasked with developing dossiers on a group of around a dozen friends -- names, work histories, relationships, and secrets. She's been observing the group dynamics of this young urban mortals for several in-game months. She has just been assigned to determine the following based on the profiles: If one of them dies (she would choose the individual and the apparent manner of death), how the group would be positively affected. In other words, by whose death would the group be best served. Once she reaches her determination, she will be told to proceed with the test. As she was a cop in life and still has a fairly strong idea of justice, it should prove an interesting test.

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Here is a draft of the ceremony. Let me know how it can be improved or made more Dragon-like.

The initiation into the Ordo Dracul is held in a dark, windowless room, with fine wood panelling.

On the wooden floor is inlaid a red in a circle 2’ wide. The circle is made of hundreds of scales of red marble, making it path look like a serpent. The serpent circles around the room once before turning inwards, making another half-circle to reach the room’s center center. Where the head would be is a stone altar of the same red material, shaped in the stylised form of a dragon’s head. Inlaid in black stone on the top of the altar is the insignia of the Ordo Dracul. The attending members are Obfuscated (those who can’t do so are along the wall, robed and hooded). The Elder is likely the Elder Wyrm but can another of rank and experience. The Elder waits at the altar.

Elder: Who desires membership in our Order and instruction in its Mysteries?

Candidate: I, ______________________, desire it.

Elder: If this be truly your wish, dare to follow the path of the dragon.

Candidate begins walking along the red path.

At four points along the circle are 4’ pedestals. Atop the first is a silver bowl containing soil – earth from Wallachia.

Elder: Place a pinch of Wallachian earth under your tongue, and remember always to let the words of the Lord of Wallachia always guide your tongue.

Atop the second is a golden censer, with the scent of frankincense wafting out.

Elder: As frankincense symbolizes life among mortals, let it symbolize the promise of the new life which awaits those who transcend our half-cursed state. Breathe deeply and let the promise fill you.

Atop the third is a silver basin containing water.

Elder: Dip your hands in the cleansing water and wipe your eyes, that you may see clearly.

Atop the fourth is a lit candle in a golden candlestick.

Elder: On the path, you must show no fear for the flame of questing, for it reveals what is hidden, though you know it may consume you utterly. Take up the flame, and bear it to the dragon’s head.

When the Candidate arrives at the altar and puts down the candle (assuming she doesn’t lose her head), the invisible members of the Ordo reveal themselves and draw close to the altar.

On the altar is a depression, stained dark. A slim, razor-sharp dagger lies across the depression. The elder picks up the blade.

Elder: Why do you request admission into the Order?

Candidate: In the Dragon is the path of seeking. In seeking is the discovery of knowledge. In knowledge is the lore of change. In change is the path to transcendence.

The Elder hands the knife to the Candidate.

Elder: Then show your willingness to sacrifice for the Order with your Vitae.

The Candidate slices into her palm, and wills a few ounces of blood to pool in the depression. The Elder takes back the knife and does likewise.

Elder: Once you were merely human. Then you crossed the threshold of unlife, everlasting night, and curse of the blood. Tonight, you mindfully and willfully step onto the difficult path, determined to transcend the curse and embrace the power of our evolved condition.

Attend ye the Prinicpia Draconis, the foundations of our Order.

The Elder hands off the blade to another Dragon, who adds his blood to the depression as he speaks. This is repeated a total of three times, one for each tenet.

Dragon One: First, that the student has no loyalty above his studies.

His sole and ultimate duty is to seek the perfection of himself through the Coils, regardless of what his perfected nature is revealed to be.

Dragon Two: Second, the student must recognize the mutability of all things.

If he does not trust change, he can never use the Coils to overcome the curse of stagnation. The power of change, fortune and even base fickle randomness in this fallen world must be understood, acknowledged and embraced, even as we stand against it by our immobile inclining.

Dragon Three: Third, the student must take responsibility for the path he walks, the changes he makes, the self he makes anew.

We who are beyond Death cannot blame fear for our failings. We who are exempt from Age have no excuse for rash acts or foolish passions. We who possess unbounded Time have the chance to understand more fully, deeply and broadly than any mortal can. To ignore that opportunity is worse than murdering ten thousand souls, for it means murdering your own fullest future.

Elder: You have heard what is expected of you. The price of success, and the penalty for failure, with never be less than they are at this very moment. If you would still both to join our company, then speak your oath to us.

Candidate: I, ___________, in the presence of the Master of Heaven and Earth and in the sight of those assembled this night, do of my own free will and accord solemnly pledge myself to in all ways be in accordance with the Principia Draconis. In like manner I solemnly pledge to keep the secrets of the Ordo Dracul, and to keep the names, words, and deeds of its members, and all its proceedings, hidden from all and every being in the world and beyond it who is outside the pale of the Order. In like manner I solemnly pledge to maintain a kind and benevolent relation with all the Kindred of the Order, to aid and not impede the membership in their labors on the Great Work. In like manner I solemnly pledge to obey my superiors and those of greater rank in the Order, holding their wishes above the commands of outsiders.

This solemn covenant I make between myself and the Kindred of the Order of the Dragon, forsaking all other covenants. Should this great oath prove false in any way, may the stain of my dishonor be cleansed in fire, and may my ashes be scattered on the wind.

The Elder dips a signet ring in the blood, and presses the mark of the Order on the candidate’s forehead.

Elder: With the oath duly spoken and duly witnessed, I now seal ________ with the Vitae of the Ordo Dracul, and claim her as a follower of the Loyal and True Rite of the Impaler Prince of Wallachia. May her feet never falter nor stray from the path to transcendence. Members of the Academy and honored guests, make yourselves known to the new Dragon.

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This character just became Sworn of the Dying Light tonight. On the off chance someone might need some inspiration at some point, here is the oath I used for the occasion:

I, __________, do of my own free will and most solemnly swear the Azure Oath, in the presence of those likewise bound by this Oath.

I swear that I shall never reveal the secret doctrines and policies of the Oathsworn to the unsworn, even at the hazard of my existence.

I swear to use my intellect to further the Great Work, both by my own efforts towards Transcendence and by guiding the efforts of those in the Order;

I swear to obey my superiors and those of greater rank, holding the wishes of the sworn above the commands of the unsworn, even as I hold the wishes of Dragons above those of outsiders;

I swear that I shall shun the black arts, nor shall I traffick with dark powers that imperil the soul, nor will I engage in any action or line of research that may threaten the security of the Order or of any Academy therein;

I swear that when called upon to offer council or render judgment I shall use discernment and wisdom, judge impartially, and always keep the needs of the Order foremost in mind.

In so swearing, I take my place among my fellows, invested with the authority, rights , duties and responsibilities that have been borne by the Twilight Dragons since Dracula himself charged Anoushka to unlock the secrets of Transcendence.

Should I prove false or unworthy of this great oath in any way, may the stain of my dishonor be cleansed in fire, and may my ashes be scattered on the wind.

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