Campaign of the Month: August 2014
The Concord of Ashes
Keeper of the Faith
For centuries this elder was the Obertus Librarian of the Monastery of St. John Studius. Inscrutable and mysterious in her methods and goals, she vanished during the Great Sack and has not returned to Constantinople.
This small figure shuffles around in a shapeless black robe, its head bowed and obscured by the deep folds of its cowl. No feature is visible that could possibly give away its gender, but it somehow appears to be feminine by the nature of its movements.
(Expanded from the character as presented in Constantinople by Night, pp. 110-111).
Nothing is known of the Keeper’s history except that she seems to have always been associated with the Library of the Forgotten, and had always been responsible for its upkeep. Her responsibilities included filing and overseeing the transcription of works, and her knowledge of the books was boundless. Without the Keeper, locating any tome would have been a monumental task. She was more or less autonomous from Gesu’s oversight by the last wishes of the Dracon, but the Keeper seemed to have no interest in acting for herself. She cared only for her books.
It is known that the Keeper led the expedition of the followers of the Dracon to Alexandria in the early decades of the 7th century, where they transcribed many hundreds of documents that would otherwise have been lost when the Great Library was burned to the ground in the Arab Conquest of Egypt in AD 646.
She was assisted in her duties by two childer known as the Watchers. Taken from families loyal to the Gesudians, these Cainites were infirm children who could only be saved by the Embrace. Hidden behind leather cloaks, the two roamed the library performing inscrutable duties that only the Keeper knew about. Those who made use of the library tended to get the uneasy feeling that they were being watched at all times, although even those who were quite accomplished in the use of Auspex failed to note the immediate presence of either the Keeper or her Watchers.
Throughout the course of the months prior to the fall of the city to the Fourth Crusade, several of the Concord had significant congress with the Monastery of St. John Studius and the Gesudians. They discovered that the Keeper and her Watchers were working closely with the Baron’s Gangrel and the Malachite and Lexor families to remove as much of the Library of the Forgotten from the city as possible. Naturally, Veceslav Basarab put his shipping contacts at the disposal of the Gesudians to assist them further. In thanks for this, and his many services to the Obertus over the years, Veceslav was granted access to the highly coveted closed stacks of the Library of the Forgotten.
This required him to endure an unsettling interview with the Keeper, as he noted that her bulky robes shifted and undulated in a manner more in keeping with a nest of tentacles than that of a human. The old Tzimisce asked him a great many questions regarding the ethics and intentions behind his studies of Koldunic Sorcery and then, seemingly satisfied with his answers, relented to allow him to study some of the forbidden texts. Veceslav was able to surmise from his readings of the margin commentary in the texts that not only was the Keeper a proficient koldun, but so too was the Dracon himself. Dissemination of this truth might have rocked the very foundations of the Obertus family, for the ancient one had been noted for centuries as condemning the practice of koldunism.
The Keeper was notable in her absence when the Monastery of St. John Studius fell to the Fourth Cainite Crusade. Obviously warned by her mastery of Auspex, she and her followers had simply left before the enemy could arrive. It must have rankled her to know of the breadth of knowledge that would be lost, but everything that could be done to save the most important works within the Library of the Forgotten had been done.
She vanished, and throughout the many years since that dreadful night, the Keeper has not been encountered by the Concord nor their extensive web of contacts.
Embrace: As long as there had been a Library of the Forgotten, the Keeper had watched over it. Both Gesu and Symeon have been heard to remark that she was an elder of “many centuries” according to their own knowledge.