Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
A diplomat in service to the secretive Obertus Order, this well-travelled Tzimisce met the Concord while touring Transylvania. Since the Great Sack, he and his sire have relocated to Carptathia, and he continues his role.
An exotic, distractingly handsome man with a dusky glow to his skin, long black hair and large, expressive hazel eyes. His face is all planes and shadows, with very high cheekbones. The fine robes of a wealthy Byzantine nobleman drape his tall, slim frame. He has very long fingers with sharp, painted nails.
(Expanded from the character as presented in Constantinople by Night, p. 111, Transylvania Chronicles I: Dark Tides Rising, p. 86, Bitter Crusade: Fiendish Winter & Dying Embers, Road of Sin, pp. 93-94, and Dark Ages Clan Novel Tzimisce).
The oldest (surviving) and most pre-eminent of Symeon’s progeny, Myca is a fascinating study in contrasts. He appears to enjoy luxury, but belongs to a monastic order. He is clearly a pure-blooded Romanian, yet his sire and most of his brethren are Greeks. He is clearly a well-read and ambitious Cainite, yet he serves with practised (if somewhat wry) humility. And although he considers the Carpathians of his mortal days to be his true home, he was more than comfortable negotiating the myriad intrigues and diversions of his chosen home of centuries – Constantinople, the Queen of Cities.
Myca is an old acquaintance of Veceslav, having met the nobleman when the still mortal Basarab scion was a student among the ranks of the Akoimetai monks in the Monasteries of St. John Studius and Christ Pantokrator. Well-acquainted with vampiric nature by virtue of his formative up-bringing, Veceslav was aware of Symeon and Myca’s activities among the mortals around them. After Veceslav’s Embrace many years later, it was also Vykos who introduced him to the pleasures that could be had at the Silk Road, a den of vice and iniquity run by the Children of Judas. While the two Cainites had little to do with each other in the many years after, Lord Symeon was quick to remind Veceslav of Myca’s regard when the coterie sought Obertus aid during the investigations into the murder of the Narsene Lasombra Adrianna and Juliano.
After a harrowing encounter with the coterie of Mitru of Klausenburg, the coterie was grateful to meet Myca and his bodyguards on the road to Bistritz. The Obertus diplomat spoke eloquently of the Dream, and also of the good works that the Akoimetai monks do in any community to which they are attached. Impressed with his words, but not without some measure of caution, and in need of some cash to fulfill their duty to Vencel Rikard, the coterie then approached Vykos with a deal. If he could forward them the funds that they need, once established each of them would be willing to sponsor an Obertus monastery in their prospective domains. Myca was pleased to acquiesce to their request, with the added condition that should they fail to establish domain in the Siebenburgen, the boon would still be owed to the Obertus Order. The accord was put onto paper, and a deal was struck.
Myca Vykos and his men then escorted the coterie to Bistritz, where they collectively paid their respects to Prince Radu. Over the week that the formative Concord dwelt in his palace as the guests of the court, they saw very little of Myca, for he seemed absorbed in his negotiations with the prince. What little time he had to spare, he spent either in the company of Veceslav or the intriguing koldun, Ilias cel Frumos, a fellow visitor to the court. He did make a point of turning out to wish them well when they continued on to Tihuta, and he promised to look in on their progress in due course.
When he did arrive, he found them lagging behind in their progress despite the toll that they had levied on merchants desiring to use the road winding its way past the construction site. Trade had been strangled in the pass due to the instability beyond and the raids of several Pecheneg villages within it. He offered further monies to assist them, and in addition he would contact one Zelios, a Nosferatu master mason of his recent acquaintance, who might be willing to come to the site and assist in the construction of the tower. In return, of course, he would require a strengthening of their debt of prestation, and doubtless Zelios would require a separate debt as well. There would be no payment in kind for this further service. Instead, Vykos would hold the boon in abeyance for a time of his choosing, and they would have to make a solemn promise to repay the debt, whatsoever it happened to be, if it was within their power. Anxious to succeed, the coterie agreed with the exception of Sister Maude Khlesl, who was deeply suspicious of the slippery Tzimisce. In addition to drawing up papers, the monk presented them this time with half of a golden ring. If he or anybody else showed them the other half, they would know that the time to repay the debt had come. Having secured all due promises Vykos left the next night, confident that with the extra silver and the services of Zelios, they would succeed and more than capably repay him.
He was next encountered several years later, after the Sack of Zara in 1202. He had arrived in the city to investigate the destruction of the Obertus monastery there, and he seemed quite pleased at his fortune to meet his “friends” among the now-established Concord. In particular, he was complimentary of both Iulia and Veceslav, both of whom had fulfilled their obligation to sponsor the building of an Obertus monastery in their demesnes. Pointedly he asked Sir Gunthar, who had made no such effort, when he intended to fulfill his own duty. When the Small Council of the Fourth Cainite Crusade and Prince Gari of Zara asked the Transylvanian coterie to escort their prisoner to her home and negotiate a cessation of hostilities with Bodor Toth, Vykos mentioned that he was familiar with the obscure pass in which Toth was located. In return for further boons levied this time on Gari, the Obertus diplomat agreed to accompany the Concord and show them the way.
Over the course of the months long journey to the winter-lorn valley of Toth, several of the coterie became more acquainted with Myca. In particular, he seemed impressed with the sharp minds of Iulia and Maude, although his preference was still the company of the urbane Veceslav. After they arrived in Toth, he seemed content to take a back seat in their negotiations with Bodor, and then reluctant to remain and fight when Voivode Koban and his army arrived to prosecute their Trial by War against the Cainites of the valley. However, once it was clear that there would be no escape from danger, the monk did his part. Although they had known him in the past as a retiring scholar, when the fighting broke out he displayed enough mastery of Vicissitude to assume the Zulo shape, and he fought quite capably with a pair of razor sharp long knives. The efforts of the Concord had bloodied Koban’s nose as they threw back 2 waves of his assault, but their mortal warriors were mostly dead or wounded, and Vykos slipped away unnoticed.
Seeking a parley of his own, he convinced the enemy voivode that he knew of a way to break the curse that motivated Koban’s hostility to Bodor. Initially, Koban was unconvinced, but when the castle of Toth survived a 3rd wave and he lost one of his vozhd, he listened to the Obertus diplomat more closely. In the end the negotiation was successful, preventing a final all-out attack on the castle that might have cost the Concord and their allies their lives. Resentful of his duplicity this time, and believing that they could have held their ground, the Concord had no interest in recognising a boon. Vykos was unconcerned in his triumph, though, and quietly said that it was worth it to protect his “investment” in them. It was not lost on the coterie, however, that Bodor Toth certainly owed him a steep debt, and the newfound regard of Koban also meant that he had come out very much on top of the situation.
By the time that the Fourth Crusade found itself in front of the walls of Constantinople, Myca Vykos was back at the Monastery of Christ Pantokrator. As the crisis worsened over the following 8 months, he seemed to grow quite restless, not at all complacent as many of his fellows among the Trinity Families. In December of 1203, as the likelihood of renewed hostilities seemed unavoidable, he met with Veceslav and revealed to him that he was making plans for he and his sire to leave the city.
However, he knew that Symeon would never leave Gesu so long as his brother-sire yet lived. Further, it was likely that if the Franks breached the walls, the Cainite Crusaders would almost certainly strike at the monastery and, lost in his solopsistic meditations, Gesu would never leave it even if it meant his Final Death. Therefore, Symeon’s desire to protect his brother would almost certainly lead to his own doom, and that Myca could not countenance. Vykos argued with far more passion and urgency than Veceslav thought he was even capable of feeling that Gesu’s philosophies were a dead end, but Symeon might one night unite their clan. Knowing the truth of this, would Veceslav not entertain the notion of conspiring with Myca to assassinate Gesu to save Symeon? Further, did he not also owe it to Symeon for all his past kindnesses, as well as the debts that Veceslav and Gabor owed the Draconians? Pointedly, Vykos then placed his half of the golden ring on the table. His mind reeling, the Knez of Tihuta took his leave with the promise that he would put it to his coterie and his sire. Luckily, Symeon knew the mind of his childe, and he summoned Veceslav shortly thereafter to kill the scheme before it could even be seriously entertained.
When the walls were breached, Symeon did indeed rush to the defence of the Monastery of St. John Studius with his Draconians and his servants among the Baron’s Gangrel. They fought their way through gangs of looting crusaders and mobs of panicked Constantinopolitans, but by the time they reached it, the monastery was already in flames and he knew that his brother-sire had found the Final Death. Shocked and dejected, he allowed Myca to lead him from the city by the secret routes that his childe had long since set in place.
Rumours of them surfaced later as guests of Voivode Koban at his stronghold of the Vranca. Indeed, they would remain there for years, exchanging their learning and knowledge of the south with Koban’s understanding of the markedly more cruel and tumultuous clan politics of the north. By 1209, they had moved on from his court and made their way into Transylvania proper, heading west for the courts of Hungary and Poland.
In AD 1211, at the Spring Court of Lord Jürgen at Magdeburg, Svenin overheard a snippet of a whisper in a crowded room where someone addressed Myca. The Viking looked for him among the courtiers, but if he was indeed there, he had chosen to wear a different face for the occasion and he did not approach his “friends” to converse.
Embrace: AD 1002.
Lineage: Myca is of the 7th generation, and hails from a noble bloodline in the East. He is the childe of Symeon, who is the childe of Gesu (d), who was the childe of the Dracon, who is the childe of the Eldest.