[Let’s Study V:tR] The Circle of the Crone

Posted: December 8, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, Vampire: the Requiem, World of Darkness

Whereas some vampires find a reason to continue their unlife from the political activism and social engineering exploits of the Carthians, others turn to more primal motivations.  These Kindred look to ancient practices and old world magic to find their raison d’etre, the very purpose of their existence. These are the Circle of the Crone, a covenant of vampires who fashion themselves against the mythological template of the Crone, the Mother of Monsters, a being made separate from society and yet capable of creation.

The Crone itself is a distillation of ancient religions and myths, and she carries many names.  What matters the most of course is the fact that the Crone is a mother-goddess, a creator of life.  The Acolytes of the Circle of the Crone revere this fact and revel in it.  They revere every facet of existence, from pain to pleasure as they see these as being intrinsic to the fact that one is alive, and is therefore holy and miraculous.

To understand the Acolytes, consider the vampiric state, an immortal creature that is sterile and incapable of natural procreation.  For these beings, the act of creation is a miracle in itself, and the creation and celebration of the life that they lost is something that strikes a chord in their cold undead hearts.  Perhaps it’s a yearning for what is lost to them, transformed and anthropomorphized by their need to believe in a godhead that has given birth to the concept of worshiping the Crone.

Seize The Day

If anything, the Acolytes are motivated to live every night to the fullest.  Their philosophy encourages them to experience everything that life has to offer.  Their methods may vary, and their practices may be primal and frightening to normal humans, but the Acolytes urge themselves to greater and greater experiences all in celebration of the miracle of life.

Not all of their activities are wanton and desperate, as other Acolytes practice the art of cultivating life, be it through simple gardening to other, perhaps more sinister activities.  I wouldn’t put it past a cult of Acolytes taking on a mortal family as a pet project, cultivating desirable traits such as beauty or intelligence, using these mortal lives as a reflection of their faith.

And Sacrifice It On The Altar

No mention of the Circle of the Crone would be complete without the mention of Cruac, the blood magic practiced by the Acolytes.  Cruac is a primal form of magic, requiring blood and pain and even the sacrifice of lives to fuel its effects.  They resemble Pagan magics or witchcraft, with equally dark requirements.  It is a cruel sort of magic, warping the Humanity of the wielder.  In fact, the more powerful the Cruac one vampire knows, the further they are divorced from humanity.

While one might say that this is paradoxical to the nature of the Circle, it is in fact perfectly acceptable.  It is important to remember that the Crone that the Acolytes revere isn’t human, but a goddess-figure.  And while creation is a holy act, there is nothing wrong about killing something to fuel power back to their divine patron.  Likewise the Crone don’t necessarily see humanity as the pinnacle of what they want to be either, and many new Acolytes eventually learn to accept that fact sooner or later.

The Circle of the Crone act as one of the religious covenants of Vampire: the Requiem, and it is easy to see why many Kindred learn to accept their teachings and ways.  The act of having a dark patron that serves as an ideal that allows for a hedonistic approach to life.  All things are permitted, as it were, and the Acolytes spend their undeath plumbing the depths of myth and old-world religions to find a place for themselves.  In securing a role the vampire fends off their ennui, giving themselves a purpose that gives meaning to their otherwise endless and lonely existence.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Circle of the Crone, the sourcebook is available from DriveThruRPG for $19.19 or roughtly PHP 845.00

  1. Hikkikomori says:

    Party rock is in the house tonight
    Everybody just have a good time
    And we gonna make you lose your mind
    Everybody just have a good time

    Everyday I’m shuffling.


  2. Hikkikomori says:

    Repost with preview:

  3. Again with the Crone, like the Carthians, there is a danger of using them as one big happy family of pagans. I think one of the most interesting elements of the Crone is to look at them as being a bunch of varying pagan cults (some old some rather newly established) pigeon holed together. The cults don’t like each other much, but at least together they have support and help against the Lancea and the Ordo Dracul.

    • Interestingly enough the treatment of the Circle of the Crone reminds me of the same pigeon-holed groups in Mage: the Ascension’s Verbena and Dreamspeaker traditions. Both Traditions actually span a staggering amount of various old world cults and shamanistic beliefs that vary greatly from one culture to another, and having them lumped together into a collective whole kind of obscured that fact. Thanks for bringing it up, I think it’ll help a lot to keep people from thinking that all Crone vampires are alike.

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