[Let’s Study V:tR] The Lancea Sanctum

Posted: December 12, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, Vampire: the Requiem, World of Darkness

My, what good little demons we are.

The Lancea Sanctum are a Covenant of vampires who adhere to the words of the Testament of Longinus, a spiritual take on the vampiric curse that paints the damned as not as lost souls, but demons with a purpose.  To the Lancea Sanctum, the vampires are indeed cast out from the sight of God, but they are not without purpose in His Divine Plan.  To the Sanctified, they are those chosen to be agents of God’s displeasure, his very wrath made manifest.

To the Sanctified, his very existence is dedicated towards furthering the goals of God.  He is an instrument, preying upon the sinful mortals to bring them in line with God’s will, while also adhering to the tenants of the faith.  This sort of near-zealous self-justification of what is technically cold-blooded murder is what makes them frightening to the other Covenants, as they seem to take it as the most natural of processes.  Even those of the bizarre cults of the Circle of the Crone acknowledge that life itself is somewhat worthy of respect, but the Sanctified will take a life without question.

That said, the Lancea Sanctum holds quite a lot of clout among vampires.  Their faith is a powerful one, and is often the only sense of morality that a young, newly embraced vampire can come to terms with.  Many Vampires who were spiritual in their mortal lives gravitate to this, finding some small measure of peace in the idea that they are somehow still part of the Divine Plan, regardless of how far they’ve fallen.

However, the Lancea Sanctum also an ambitious Covenant, as it seeks to address the issue that there are still vampires that are not of the faith.  To them, such vampires are misguided at best, and heretical at worse.  As such the Lancea Sanctum is the one that causes some of the most tensions among all the Covenants as they will actively seek out to convert other vampires to their faith.  They may not necessarily push the vampire into joining their Covenant, per se, but many vampires would rather pay lip service to the Lancea Sanctum rather than be forced to convert or die at the hands of the Lancea’s most ardent followers.

Wolves Among Sheep

The Lancea Sanctum posit an interesting moral code.  As the damned, they occupy a strange niche in the spiritual food chain.  Much like fallen angels, they prey upon humanity and serve God in doing so.  They are the self-styled necessary evil for those who are weak in faith to find a reason to believe in God and pray for his protection.  It is an interesting philosophy, to be honest and one that I can see working.  Vampires cling to such a spirituality with the desperation of the dying, as it gives them some semblance of purpose.  Little wonder then that they strive to prove all the other vampires wrong, just to silence the doubt in their hearts.

Miracles of the Damned

Of all the Covenants, the Lancea Sanctum practice a strange form of magic known as Theban Sorcery.  This is often used as proof of the Lancea Sanctum’s holy nature, capable of calling upon such miracles as a sign that they are in fact doing God’s will.  To their credit the powers often do manifest as divine miracles and require a sacrament in the form of an offering and faith in the form of a point of Willpower to cast.  The spells themselves take on a biblical tone, causing people to speak in tongues or suffers from other forms of curses.

The Lancea Sanctum is a Covenant that has many strong Catholic undertones.  It’s heretical, yes, but draws strongly from the narrow-minded view of the Church during the Dark Ages.  It makes sense in some crazy desperate way, considering that the Vampires can’t exactly say that they’re exalted over mankind in the usual sens that most zealous religions use because they very well know that they’ve got the short end of the stick.  That said, Vampires who are plagued with doubt and guilt will no doubt find the Lancea Sanctum to be quite able to soothe their troubled consciences in the eternal night.

  1. Again, just as with the Crone, the Lancea book presents the different creeds of the Lancea. So once more, the Lancea pigeon hole a number of similar, related, groups, unified by the Testament of Longinus.

    However that does not mean they all get on. Lancea from a more Jewish based creed may well view Longinus’ act very differently to those of a more typical creed.

    • It’s funny that the more I read through the Covenants, the more I find that comparing them to old Mage Traditions helps immensely. Your description of the sub-factions within the Lancea creed resemble how the Celestial Choir tend to represent many different (and often Monotheistic) faiths.

      • Yep exactly like old mage in that way. I used these points to argue that VtR is in fact deeper, and more tangled and so more exciting that VtM. I mean politics between Covenants is one, thing, but then dealing factions within is another. Imagine the trouble when sub factions start teaming up, ignoring Covenant boundaries!

        • You make a compelling argument then, and despite my initial reservations on Vampire, I think I may have to start investing in more of the supplements to see just how broad the various Covenants really are. Something tells me that the V:tR corebook suffers the same issue as the M:tA one… they’re both very dry reads, but actually contain much more depth once you play the game.

          • +1 ! Exactly the issue. For example, my own Vampire chronicle (on my blog etheric labs) starts off as a Carthian centric game. So it deals with an election, and a Senatorial style system, and those carthians wanting a more parliamentary system (can you imagine proportional representation with Vampires!). But I plan for season 2 to look more at the other Covenants. So the game is moving up the influence scale.

          • I’ll make sure to drop by your blog and check out your Vampire chronicle then!

  2. Also add in Crone cults that are banned from a city. The cult of Mithras from Mythologies is great for this. I use them as a sect within the Invictus.

  3. Jeremy says:

    The thing I don’t get about the Lancea Sanctum, though, is how they approach the idea of that religion is supposed to lift you up. You have a place in God’s plan… but if you’re Damned, that means he doesn’t particularly like you. How do LS types fulfill people’s need to feel happy and loved? Or is it just “okay, go cheer up by terrorizing some mortal scum?”

    • Hi Jeremy!

      From what I can tell, the Lancea Sanctum are operating under a certain martyr complex. “We are the damned, but even in our deplorable state, God has a plan for us.” By being the boogeymen, they can set people on the straight and narrow.

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