Character: Viviane Morgause
Year of Birth: 1111
Year of Embrace: 1133
“Oh, but this is all so very exciting! It’s a terrible strain on the decorum.” – Viviane Morgause, Tremere.
“Well, hell may reign down upon us, but bad manners are truly when we are damned.” – Viviane Morgause, Tremere.
Appearance: A spirited English rose of fair complexion with bright, inquisitive blue eyes the color of the Thames at dawn. She favors slightly antiquated, stark clothing of elegant decorum, often with an excessive amount of buttons, which cultivate a proper air of delicacy and schoolmarm nobility. Her lips are the shade of soft coral and call to mind the delicate colors of pink sea shells and of shining pearls hidden in the unknown depths of the ocean. Though well comported, her naturally wavy hair, the color of deeply steeped Earl Grey tea, is often worn loose. Her ornamentation is modest, though she is rarely seen without an opal or charm around her neck.
The Devoted Scholar: Viviane Morgause has a rapacious hunger for knowledge and is dedicated to the endless mysteries of immortality and their preservation. Though a talented thaumaturgist, she believes that, at heart, the true power of the Tremere rests in the troves of accumulated knowledge they’ve acquired. Thaumaturgy, though a vital tool, is secondary to the pursuit of knowledge, and she views the over reliance of thaumaturgy even as detrimental to the mind.
The Impoverished Noble: Born to an impoverished, minor noble English family, Viviane, whose name refers to the Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend, was betrothed to a wealthy merchant’s son through an arranged marriage to save her family from financial ruin after the First Crusade drained their treasury. However, before the wedding, she grew intensely ill with a raging fever. She seemed to recuperate for awhile, and the wedding plans resumed. Though, eventually, she was taken by strange spells, followed by catatonia, sleepwalking, violent fits, raving, babbling in foreign tongues, and perhaps worst of all to the mandated decorum of the English, at times, frighteningly lewd behavior. All the while her pallor grew ever more corpse-like and her thin body increasingly frail. The wedding was called off, excuses about vague maladies made to obscure the truth while her family strove to salvage the arrangement by offering up Viviane’s younger sister instead for the marriage.
A Woman Possessed: Her family believed Viviane was possessed by demons, and she was quietly sent to the arms of the Catholic church for an exorcism, where she was tortured at length and nearly died. However, one of the clergy, who was a Tremere in disguise, recognized Viviane’s condition for what it was. She wasn’t possessed by demons, but just spirits and was a natural medium. He drove the spirits out of her, and placed a pendant around her neck so they didn’t possess her again so easily. Then he made the necessary arrangements so it seemed as though Viviane had died during the exorcism, and he took her away.
An Embrace in the Anatolian Desert: As it turned out, she and several others like her were just what was needed for an upcoming secret ritual Tremere and his closest advisors would perform in the Anatolian desert where Saulot would be diablerized. The natural mediums were used to siphon off Saulot’s mind just long enough so Tremere could drink Saulot’s heart’s blood and share some measure of its potency with his advisors through the ritual. Each of the other mortal mediums had their minds promptly burnt to cinders and died, except Viviane, who defied the odds, barely managing to survive. As Tremere and his Councillors stood there flush with the benefits of pilfered antediluvian blood, they closed in on Viviane. The Councillors were ready to drink her up in celebration and to dispatch a witness to the events. But Tremere was impressed she had been able to withstand Saulot’s mind even briefly, and decided to embrace her that night.
Unlife in House Tremere: A world of knowledge opened up to Viviane as an apprentice, and she enjoyed a measure of respect as Tremere’s childe within the House. Despite how jarring her embrace had been, she found a place in House Tremere. She steadily rose through the ranks, becoming increasingly aware of the subtlety of Tremere politics, employing them when needed to unify the House and to allow scholarly pursuit to flourish. She was viewed as a teacher, a conflict resolutionist, and someone who put the ideals of the House before power. Consequently, she became a trusted Magister, and she often attended to matters of inter-chantry disputes which proved useful to the Councillors. So much so, that, in time, when Viviane ascended to the Council, most existing Councillors begrudgingly agreed she was a sensible choice.
The Third Eye (Tertia Oculus): Though she was a unifier for House Tremere, she was horrified and utterly sickened by the clan’s push to destroy and diablerize the Salubri. She used her growing connections within the pyramid to start a secret sect, the Third Eye, which focused on trying to curb and atone for the Salubri genocide. They quietly worked to preserve what they could of both Salubri and their knowledge, always in danger of discovery and being put to final death if the secret sect was discovered. Over the years, Viviane found it harder to find new members as the Salubri passed into legend, and the malicious gossip about the Salubri combined with the ties of blood made it difficult to sway Tremere. Even if many shared a bond with her as one of the Councillors through the Transubstantiation Ritual, it just often simply wasn’t enough. As war within the House and out began to escalate, she, at last, understood, that the only way to save the House and what was left of the Salubri was to purge the Tremere. Consequently, she risks exposure, and reaches out to potential allies of the Salubri, including those of the fallen Salubri, Delphine, which leads to the Ancien Regime, and yet another secret sect, one deeper and far older, the Order of the Venerable Dead.
The Order of the Venerable Dead: As the most recent member of the Ordo, Viviane has been tasked with investigating its history. The events in New York and its aftermath have left Marcel with many questions regarding it, especially how the Baali are able to overcome the Incognitas that obscures the Ordo. Viviane dedicates herself to uncover the truth, and she begins to notice passages formerly hidden in texts are now revealed since she’s joined. Though she struggles to keep her objectivity with the combined weight of Marcel’s passions and Luthienne’s mind, these very qualities also blend with her scholarly impetus well and encourage her to search in new directions for answers. If the Ordo’s mission is to purge the world of corruption while remaining above kindred politics as it purports, Viviane will bring that to light. And if it is not, rather than leaving this ideal of the Ordo to wither on the vine, she would use what’s revealed to purge the Ordo itself, and rebuild it. For what makes one sect evil or good save for those who fill it.