I’ve noticed there are many threats and dangers in this city. Your time here has been long and you must have gathered much experience along the way. For all our fellow vampires, what do you believe is the true insidious evil of this City?
Dear Vella, and more extensively’ dear Kindred,
It’s a grave question and I don’t do long and serious answers. But today is a special day and I’ll make an exception.
What would you say if I told you that vampires have an enemy that will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, bring them to their knees? What would you think if I suggested to you that no vampire, no matter how powerful or old, could foresee this adversary’s destructive superiority? Can you believe in a foe so wily and so powerful that it never suffers even the slightest wound? Does the thought frighten you?
‘Top of the food chain,’ we label ourselves. A few years ago, I might have agreed wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, I have learned of another that sits higher. It gorges itself on us. It hungers for dead flesh. Although it also preys on the living, it consumes us more regularly.
Us, the night’s royalty. I suspect our very natures make us easy targets. This monster exists whether you believe in it or not. Not unlike the monster under the bed or in the closet, it becomes a personal stalker of its victims. It takes the most insidious forms. It has patience.
It waits and watches. It establishes its influence with the gentleness of a lover, cleverly placing bits and pieces of itself among the vampire’s belongings until nothing remains untouched. It moves in. It redecorates. It spreads its disease from liege to serf and from serf to serf to serf. It rides the king like a demon Hell-bent on omnipotence. It leads the queen to believe she controls her own destiny. It lies.
Throughout the centuries, the monster has nurtured strong ties with insanity. You should take care, however, not to confuse the two. Few victims start out insane. That comes later, once the Monster has clawed through the hard shell to the softer parts inside. The Monster’s insanity is akin to that felt by the schizophrenic, an insanity so complete the victim never realizes anything has gone horribly wrong. With schizophrenia, the culprit eats the links to reality, one cell at a time. The Monster eats everything, one cell at a time. Don’t expect, however, to look at the Monster’s prey and see madness. Sometimes, you will. Most often, you won’t.
The monster has many disguises. It particularly loves to surround itself with principles, ritual and pomp. It does so to sate its lust for righteousness. It wears its own brands of logic and common sense like war medals, well earned and admirable. It struts out in the open, unafraid of repercussion or censure. Nothing can touch it. Only the best, the astute, recognize it for what it is.
So many of our kind believe they have evolved beyond humanity. Because we have achieved preternatural awareness, because we have greater power, and because we benefit from extended longevity, we most certainly are the higher beings. I find this amusing. In truth, we are nothing more than children who have stumbled upon an arsenal. We turn our weapons upon each other, upon ally and enemy both, before we even realize the power we hold in our hands. Our fingers squeeze the trigger, sometimes with easy grace, sometimes with violent twitches. The bullets fly. Our companions fall before our eyes and we wonder, ‘What happened?’ Some of us children stare down at our traitorous hands, in disbelief. Some laugh and practice some more, careless of whom they harm.
‘Oh, but not me’ I hear you say. Let me ask you a question. Do you have enemies? Do you support a cause? Would you meet the Final Death for it? Would you expect others to die with you? Do you extol your beliefs to others? Do you recruit fellow believers from among your allies? Do you recruit your companions from among your fellow believers? If so, then you know the scent of the Monster. It has, most assuredly, stalked you.
‘But,’ you say. But what? But, everyone should have a cause they advance and support? But, everyone should have an agenda? But, everyone must stand for something lest they die for nothing? Is that so? You may wish to reconsider. The Monster births inside its victims, invisible and immaterial. It flourishes because people, dead and living, want to belong. It knows that people create their coteries and extend their families so they won’t have to spend the balance of their eternities alone. They seek out and make followers, subordinates and audiences, so they can feel important. They flex their political and supernatural muscles so they don’t have to face the fact that they’re no better than anyone else, including, for Kindred, the mortals upon whom they feed.
I would suggest, for the sake of argument, that fundamentally vampires are nothing more than mortals with fangs. Ah, I bet that bothered you. You don’t like to think that you’re just like the cattle from which you take your sustenance? You believe the clothes make the man… or the Kindred? You’re wrapped rather tightly in undead power, aren’t you? Do you really think that makes you more emotionally and mentally balanced, gives you a higher intelligence, makes you spiritually superior or even improves your looks? You make me laugh. Look around at your fellow vampires. Are they emotionally balanced? Mentally? Spiritually? Of course not. But then, you’re better than they are, too, aren’t you? Of course you are.
The Monster loves people filled with self-importance and sinful pride. The Monster has many different names, you know. Sometimes, people call it ‘megalomania.’
Is it making more sense to you now? Only by cutting out one’s own heart can one destroy the Monster. We are our own worst enemies.
I hope this helps,
Lucius Solves all your problems instantly - or your money back!
Couldn’t agree more.