Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Kyros of Antioch
A secretive Ancient of the Clan of Death, Kyros reluctantly leads a like-minded cabal of humanistic scholars dedicated to the mysteries of life as well as death.
An ancient, extremely pallid and sickly looking man with a long, wavy white beard, only a wispy crown of hair and a kindly, weary smile. He wearing a simple dun coloured robe and a pair of sandals. There is a sagely, wise manner about him. He appears to be unarmed.
A noted magician and astrologer in the courts of the troubled latter days of the Seleucid Empire, Kyros’ first and foremost passion was for scholastic pursuits. Nonetheless, he developed an interest in medicine and a morbid curiosity of death simply because of a forced familiarity with witnessing poisoning, assassination and bloody murder. He was a friend of Demetrius I Soter and tutor to both of his sons, Antiochus VIII Sidetes and Demetrius II Nicator. As such, he worked hard within his humble means to see to their health and welfare throughout his life, with admittedly mixed success as their dynasty rose and fell throughout numerous intrigues. His chief reasons for doing so were a great love and loyalty for his friend and an equally great love and loyalty for his city, Antioch, the capital of the empire. After the death of Demetrius II Nicator, he was discarded by the royal family as being old and feeble of body and wit. While resentful for their lack of gratitude, Kyros retired with the grace that they lacked and waited peacefully for the end to come.
Long, shared, silent moon-rises over the rugged coastline near Seleucia Pieria (the port of Antioch) had been his and Demetrius Soter’s secret pleasure, and the companionship of his late companion was sorely missed in his own twilight years. Starved for company, and with his eyes grown too weak to read, he took to using his magics to summon the ancient spirits of the land, sea and air to discuss his melancholic musings on the quality of life, love and wisdom, for (to his own mind, at least) only they seemed to know his feelings of age and neglect. On one particular occasion, his musings happened to be over-heard by the ancient vampire Japheth, who had decided to investigate the rumours of a dying wise man of Antioch. No stranger to melancholy himself, and eager to connect with a companion and reconnect with his own sentimentality, Japheth made himself known and asked Kyros what he would do if given the chance to do it all again. It all happened so long ago that Kyros cannot even remember what he said, but it earned him the Embrace.
He travelled with Japheth for centuries, learning at the feet of a man who had not breathed in over six thousand years. In that time he learned much of the Clans, the Curse of Caine, and the common wisdom regarding the hereafter, though his primary interest remained an ethical consideration: How best might one live life? He spoke with many sages of the living and the Undead in those years, and even resided at Mount Erciyes for a time after Japheth ceased his travels. Kyros worked with his sister-in-blood, Lady Constancia, in her early work plumbing the mysteries of the Well of Bones, and even spoke with Cappadocius himself on a number of occasions, the first of which prompted the Antiochan’s conversion to Christianity immediately afterwards.
Kyros eventually took to travelling again. As a devout follower and Ashen Priest of the Road of Heaven, he often served Erciyes in his travels as an envoy for the Father, the Faithful Son and the Prophet of Bones. He never got over the absence of Japheth however, and often Embraced those whom he considered to be worthy companions. The first of these many companions was the priestess known as Amalia of Thrace, while the last was the German merchant and occultist known as Dietrich von Steyer. Eventually, he would move on and leave them behind as Japheth had done to him. Kyros finally realised that what was missing was the quality of life itself. He decided to find a mortal worthy of immortality and make a free-willed ghoul of him, and eventually settled on a Coptic monk and philosopher called Bartrish. Bartrish still serves his friend and companion to this night, under the name Brother Bertrem.
The Feast of Folly shook Kyros to his core. As the loyal progeny of Japheth, Dietrich performed his role as envoy, courier and escort to the city of Kaymakli, and in doing so helped to doom thousands of his brothers and sisters in the Clan. His duplicity and treachery caused his faith in the Road of Heaven and Cappadocius as its embodiment falter, and for the first time in centuries the proverbial scales fell from his eyes. The plans of Cappadocius were madness, and all of his loyal children were the true fools- not the poor souls that were doomed to remain under the mountain. A change came over the elder, and he sought first to return to his beloved Antioch before inexplicably, and secretly, moving on to Beirut shortly afterwards. He took up a careful correspondence with a select number of like-minded survivors of the Feast, and, with Bertrem’s help, slowly reawakened his humanity over the following decades. Most of his fellow correspondent’s have sought similar close connections with the humans around them to achieve the same effect.
Constancia’s recent prophecy of the clan’s doom and the resulting lassitude and hopelessness have only confirmed his beliefs in his own eyes, yet Kyros cannot move himself to action. He chooses to hide his face from the world, spending most of time in torpor investigating the mysteries and wonders of the Astral Plane. Except for Elijah of the Bashirite Ravnos, his only true visitors in the last half-century have been Dietrich and his promising childe, Maude. With the benefit of their stimulating company, his interludes of torpor were much reduced for a couple of years. Even their fascinating company could not keep Kyros from the pull of torpor forever, however, and he eventually returned to his long sleep. Dietrich maintains contact, but hears from his sire perhaps once every couple of years at best.
Lineage: Childe of Japheth, Childe of Cappadocius