The Ministry

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The Ministry
Ministry symbol.png Ministry logo.png
The Clan of Faith, Setites, Followers of Set, The Clan of Lies, Typhonists, Serpents, Liberators, Judasians
Disciplines:

Bane:[[#Bane|Abhors the Light]]


Compulsion:[[#Compulsion|Transgression]]


Introduced in:Vampire: The Masquerade Anarch Renegade store / DriveThruRPG store

Background

The Ministry are one of the fourteen vampire clans of Vampire: The Masquerade. The Ministry always has something to offer. This often cult-like clan recruits those able to employ temptation as a weapon. They Embrace those with the will and means to sway, entrap, and ultimately liberate their targets from whatever they seek: the victim’s possessions, allegiance, or even faith. To the Serpents, everything has a price.[1]

The clan was formerly known as the Followers of Set. For as much as a cult as they are a clan, the majority of their members adhere to a disruptive system of beliefs. They are known as as a group of the devious type, tricksters, tempters and liars. Due to this their relationships in the modern age and in the past are rocky at best, given their tendencies to play all sides during major conflicts. Their entry into the Camarilla was rejected, leaving most to side up with the Anarchs.

With the creed not forced upon their childer, that does not stop their lineage from influencing them and enticing them to gravitate towards the propensity for subterfuge and attraction.

Many of the clan keep vast libraries, making a nightly hunt to gather ancient documents or artifacts to study and bring to the cult. While others take a less direct route to liberate subjects on a more personal level rather than religious. Time is no matter to them, as often they'll wait months in order to properly sink their claws into their target with all the right forbidden vices.[2]

Disciplines

Below are the powers innate to the Ministers as well as the uses they find in it. [3]

  • Protean allows the minister to change their body's form, be it to extend their fangs or turn into an animal. They often take the form of a snake over a wolf.
  • Obfuscate is the reason Ministers are able to melt into shadows or vanish from plain sight. They use this power to discover the beliefs, creeds or other information of those around them to then later weaponize it against them.
  • Presence when used by the Ministers is a powerful tool to both attract and repel their victims. Used in both swaying a large congregation towards their whim or finding a lone person in need of some help.

Bane

Abhors the Light - When a Minister is exposed to direct illumination, be it naturally caused or artificial, they receive a penalty equal to their Bane Severity to all dice pools while subject to the light. They also add their Bane Severity to Aggravated damage taken from sunlight.[4]

Compulsion

Transgression - The Minister suffers a burning desire to influence those around them to shatter the chains of their own making. They suffer a two-dice penalty to all dice pools that do not relate to enticing someone or themselves to break a Chronicle or personal Conviction. The Compulsion ends once the Minister causes someone, or themselves, at least one stain.[5]

Example archetypes

  • Fraudster - Their life of crime hasn't escaped them, their face is known to others to be one who will rip you off. Yet, each time they seek something they manage to slip it right from beneath their victims nose.
  • Conniving Archeologist - Archaeology is a field filled with money and to the Minister, breaking the will of collectors and conning museums is nothing but a passion project.
  • Local Occultist - To the mortal eye, they run a small occult shop filled with crystals and other trinkets. But behind closed doors much more sinister things occur.
  • The Mouthpiece - They believe they have heard Set or maybe it was something else, still they think of themselves like a prophet. Brought to this world to spread the good word and shed the shackles others cast on themselves.

Notable characters

Hesha Ruhadze - Rather than waste his focus on politics, Hesha dedicates his time to history and mysterious origins of vampires as well as their fates. He still sits in during the Anarch meets and listens attentively, however. He believes himself a servant of the Blood and through that can understand the voice of Sutekh from calling his vitae. Because of his standing within Kindred society he is not marked as insane, instead it lends credence to his claims. [6]

Marcel -  A war profiteering drug trafficker and gun runner in his mortal life for Algerian Independence, he almost died when the French secret service discovered his operations. His future sire was able to turn him and connect him to the heroin trade, based in Haiti, where he flourished. Then embraced, and left the Caribbean for Chicago, noting the power vacuum after Lodin’s death. There he operated and gave support to the Camarilla with his gambit paying off. While not an official member of the Primogen he has worked his way as a sort of advisor and ambassador that many outsiders approach if they need access to court. Under the façade, he is playing the long game until his ambitions can be met, where the Prince Jackson or the Primogen will own him a large boon. Some Orthodox Setites see him as a heretic that needs to go.[7][8]

Reverend Twosret - Her full name is Sarah P. Donnadieu, and she is an orthodox Setite operating inside of Chicago. Originally a southern preacher she was embraced into the clan when it was still inherently linked to the worship of set. When the schism happened she balked at the thought of heretical Ministers and their reinterpretations of Set teachings. Thought to be fanatical even my her own clan standards she goes domain to domain to correct the heresy. She eyes Marcel as a fit for assassination as a message to other Ministers. She is currently indoctrinating and manipulating a young Nosferatu to this end.[9][10]

Culture

Embrace

The clan is drawn to those who know their way around human desires and lies. Those who understand corruption, who understand how to handle scams or how to erode those of blinded belief. Criminals, con artists and self-help gurus are often among their ranks. As well as skeptics or straight deniers of gods are taken into their ranks: hardline atheists, iconoclasts, history professors, philosophers, and any other seekers of truth. However, the Ministry does not seek to corrupt their potential childer, instead looking for those who already have a grasp on how to do so onto others.

Mortal society

The kindred of the clan often mingle with human society masquerading among the ranks. The Ministers may play their hand at posing as drug lords, club owners, and even pimps. Some might even go for loftier positions that may require more attention to their mask: counselors, movie executives, and therapists. A telltale sign of many Ministers is the following they manage to garner, be it gang, cult, or informal poses, the lost are drawn to the Serpents. They don’t work with mountains of red tape and the confines of some bureaucracy, but prefer their herds and retainers to be bound to them by personal emotional dependence be it fear, desperation, or need.

Many Serpents don’t see their herds or hunted vessels as family like some may or violently take their blood in the darkened alleyway. They typically look down on such heavy handed ways, thinking themselves better for being above such methods. Their herds tend to be congregations and their vessels usually hold out their wrists willingly, and may even come to love the feeling of their blood being taken. Many vessels come to depend on the vampire as the Serpents are the only ones to understand their mortal vice. [11]

Kindred society

Refused entry into the Camarilla 500 years ago. Now with the Gehenna War, Sabbat packs, and Beckoning in the Middle East, the Ministry decided it may be time to find allies. In recent nights talks of the Ministry joining the Camarilla were underway. An ornate meeting in Paris, France where the Camarilla were gifted objects and Ventrue portfolios invested in by the Ministry; the meeting ended with it being firebombed. The Camarilla went silent and instead inducted their mortal enemies, the Banu Haqim. Suspect to be meddling by either the Banu Haqim, the Toreadors, Second inquisition, a Camarilla set up, or simply lone mortals actors with bad timing, this pushed many Minister who were outside the Church of Set to go Anarch. There is a going theory the Church of Set itself did this or even the Ministry did to get into the Anarchs easier. No one knows which theory is correct.[12]

The Ministers are often disliked for their reputations in Kindred domains as deceivers, liars, and corrupters. Even with such a reputation, they still get Kindred to enter dealings with them in two ways. The first way is many of them taking to smuggling; be it drugs, vessels, or any other thing of seedy origins. The other purpose many serve is being spiritually minded, mingling with the seedier parts of the city and sinners so others don’t have to. Their excuse of being martyrs usually is enough to divert Kindred suspicions as long as they stay useful.

Internally, the clan is organized around "temples" with the larger cities holding multiple shrines. It is rare that these places are directly seen as places of worship, and instead are usually areas for privacy, discretion and convenience. Either before the embrace or after, new clan recruits are brought into the folds of the cult of Set.

To some in the Ministry, the clan and their secret belief are joined even if their faith takes many different forms. Usually their faith encompasses a subtle alternative to or outright heresy against the other's belief system with its purpose to erode whatever faith remains. This is called liberating to the Followers of Set, as they free their believer from their former chains. However, this does not mean that all members of the clan are followers of Set, many cast aside these shackles to never return or are simply never taught by their sire. Those that are not members are not usually reached out to in order to re-recruit them and other members allow them to do as they please. However, should one cross them by revealing their secrets, they punishment is harsh and yet quite creative.

Though some walk away from the spiritual side, many of these Ministers may still find themselves drawn to the Blood's hunger for subterfuge and attraction in Kindred and mortal society. A reason for this may be the clan’s belief in hearing the voice of their progenitor, Set or Sutekh, in their very veins. Some try to discern the will by meditating. Those who can pull off convincing others feel their Blood singing to them gain respect in the clan and maybe even become high priest. Proof isn’t a matter of reality, but of those who can make such claims and go unchallenged.

It should be noted some religious Ministers are not part of the Church of Set. Instead they love to bend and twist religious doctrine to their agenda, even that of the orthodox Setites. This may even appear to put them at odds or at war with the Church of Set, each side spreading lies or abuse just for the other to offer shelter and respite. There may also be two sides of the clan in a scheme of grand manipulation or endless cycle of abuse.[13]

The clan as a whole is known as enablers and promoters, while they try to mingle with sinners to break their chains, they more often than not drag them down. Many ministers lie to themselves, assuming they are in control of their indulgences and above the sin they sell to others.[14]

In coteries, both Setites and Ministers often strive to be confidants and trusted allies to their coterie mates. They believe they can provide anything to their coterie aiming to ensure the groups needs are met. Though they always have a small morally ambiguous bend to fulfilling needs. There is also an expectation of payback in some form. Help with their flock or connections to the local community are popular wants of some Serpents. Many coteriemates notices this face, some maintain connections for their ability to get stuff even with questionable ulterior motives. Others are more wary of the Tempters' out of fear of their machinations. Funny enough many Ministers are often upfront with their intentions to try to avoid this, and keep Kindred customers coming back for their services of course.[15]

Orthodox Setites

Main Article: Church of Set

The Church of Set contains Setites who want to liberate vampires from societal structures and help them find their true selves. Many fall to Beast and become a Wight, but they prove to be valuable learning lessons for the next groups of inductees. Those who survive the Setites believe they become stronger for it. Some see the orthodox Church of Set as a cult of chaos advocating against hierarchies, but others see it as some sage wisdom to be beholden to no master only learned by age old vampires.

Factional differences

Many Ministers are critical of their Orthodox Setites clan mates, especially the Egyptian styled ones to be outdated and stuck in the past. Stuck in actual temples and associated with mummies feels very much like they aren’t able to keep up with the times. Outsiders are unsure if the divide is a rebrand or a schism. Those of the Ministry have largely gone Anarch though some deal with the Camarilla and Ashirra. They have various branches in belief and non belief, even going so far as taking roles of factional leadership leadership. Anarchs have noted the Ministers have allowed to spread in places they never dreamed of in the past.[16]

The Setites in the Church of Set could be described as Autarkis, they are much more distant from the sects and factions. They regard the Ministry as frivolous, incorrigible children. This is amplified when the Setites observe the Ministers’ stunts that threaten the Masquerade, which the Church often covers. The Setites have even been known to cooperate with the Camarilla to suppress bothersome Ministers.

The more confusing aspect of this schism is the possibility of it all being manufactured and truly a rebranding. Ministers are just the front-facing politically active façade of the clan, while the Church can pursue its goals in the dark avoiding out of clan scrutiny. If true, then the clan is playing the Anarchs with their overnight reformation ploy, but if this true the Ministers are larger in number and have political power to overwrite traditions of the old Church.[17][18]

Among all the smoke and mirrors of the fractured clan, a regular line of communication runs between the rest of the clan and the Egyptian core bases, where the Hierophants and clan members have always held power.[19]

Exclusive Loresheets

Ministry characters have special access to the following loresheets:

Hesha Ruhadze

Gallery

Game concepts
Beginner's guide Vampire: The MasqueradeConsiderate playOfficial TTRPG sources
Character creation Merits and FlawsCoterie Backgrounds and MeritsLoresheetsPredator typesMortals and ghouls
Quick references Hunger systemResonanceHumanityIndex
Clans Banu HaqimBrujahGangrelCaitiffHecataLasombraMalkavianThe MinistryNosferatuRavnosSalubriToreadorTremereTzimisceVentrueThin-blood
Disciplines AnimalismAuspexBlood SorceryBlood Sorcery RitualsCelerityDominateFortitudeObfuscateOblivionOblivion CeremoniesPotencePresenceProteanThin-Blood Alchemy
Factions CamarillaAnarchCults
Antagonists Second InquisitionSabbat

References