Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Vaclav von Tetschen
A great warrior among the secret Order of the Black Cross within the Teutonic knights. He is the progeny of Lord Jürgen von Verden.
A hulking, pale brute of a Teutonic knight, standing a full head and shoulders above most of his fellows. He is an unpleasant looking man, with broad, heavy features, a broken nose and a number of old scars marring his countenance. He habitually wears a gruff expression, which does little to improve his demeanour, but he has a habit of suddenly erupting into unseemly displays of mirth. At such times a number of broken teeth, spoiled in some long ago fight, can be seen.
As a fully vowed brother of Teutonic Order, Vaclav Ritterbrüder von Tetschen has forsaken his own coat-of-arms, and chooses to wear only the black cross on a white field of the German House of St. Mary of Jerusalem. While the sight of this monster of a fellow ambling along in a monk’s habit is somewhat ludicrous, the vision of him on the battlefield in full mail and winged helmet, laying about him with his huge sword and a sense of shocking abandon, is decidedly not.
(This character is an expansion of the character as presented in Dark Ages Clan Novel: Ventrue)
Brother Vaclav of Tetschen is one of the less well-known progeny of Lord Jürgen von Verden, for he is no prince. Indeed, he states openly that such is not his ambition, for he is happier with “a sword in his hand and blood on his face.” Vaclav was a simple soldier in the army of King Vladislaus II of Bohemia long before he was a monk or a Cainite, and despite his vows he retains his love of the crude humour and harsh comfort of the camp over the cloister. Ennobled for his valour on the field, he was chosen by his sire for his skill at arms; to be a bodyguard and a worthy champion when Lord Jürgen was unable to answer a challenge himself. In this role he has shone. He learned his letters, his heraldry and the legacy of the Ventrue as leaders of the Children of Caine, but busied himself far more by testing himself against older vampires in an effort to hone his skills and enhance his mastery of the physical Disciplines. Before the establish of the Teutonic Order, Sir Vaclav served as the Warden of Magdeburg from 1190 until 1202, serving with distinction in the role and happy with his lot. However, his stars would change in 1203, for in that year his Lord Sire offered him the tremendous honour of taking the Black Cross as one of the first Cainite members of the German military order, and despite misgivings about the notion of becoming a warrior-monk, he did not balk at the challenge.
As part of his new role, the hulking knight would join the entourage of his consanguineous brother, Baron Heinrich von Achern, on his mission to the Árpád court of Esztergom. There he would learn to behave in the more polished manner befitting his clan and the progeny of Lord Jürgen. Brother Vaclav is tight-lipped regarding what he witnessed of the Hungarian Ventrue, but he has little taste or talent for tact and subterfuge, and the observant have noticed those lips twist ever so slightly in scorn at mention of Prince Géza and his servants.
During his time in Esztergom, Vaclav would come to know and befriend Berengar von Dohna. The fledgeling, childe to Baron Heinrich, shared many of his own proclivities for the simple soldiering life and high standards of honour and personal conduct, if not his impious, off-colour taste for bawdy jokes and gallows humour. Over a number of years, Brother Vaclav oversaw the younger Cainite’s transition onto the via equitum, the Road of Chivalry. Together with Baron Heinrich, he would also initiate Berengar into the ranks of the Teutonic Order and the secret brotherhood of the Black Cross.
Embrace: AD 1174.
Lineage: Vaclav is of the 7th generation. He is the childe of Jürgen von Verden, who is Prince of Magdeburg, Overlord of Saxony and Thuringia, Landgraf of Brandenburg, Grandmaster of the Order of the Black Cross, and most recently Protector of the Burzenland. Jürgen is the childe of Hardestadt the Elder, most recently styled High Lord of the Fiefs of the Black Cross (the Holy Roman Empire), but long considered Lord of Bavaria, East Franconia, Nordgau and Swabia in his own right. Although Hardestadt has always been tight-lipped concerning his own sire, Jürgen has claimed Erik Eigermann (d?) as his grandsire. Eigermann is widely considered to have been one of the last childer of the Ventrue Antediluvian.